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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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€3,700 Kilduff Bruno sets new price record at 6th annual Big Boy Ram Sale

The 6th annual Big Boy Ram Sale, in Carrick-on-Shannon, on Friday, August 4th, 2023, saw a “massive crowd of mostly commercial buyers”, with a 75% clearance of 134 lots and a top call of €3,700.

Leading the charge was James Dunne’s Suffolk ram lamb, Kilduff Bruno, sired by Bessiebell Motto Motto, which sold to a syndicate of pedigree buyers.

He set a new sale record and is said to be a “smashing” example of a modern Suffolk showing “lots” of commercially desirable traits.

Following the sale, Stuart Dorran, spokesperson, reported that a sale average across the board of €827.80/head, up €155/head on the previous year’s levels.

He explained that the average price for a PB SIS-eligible ram stood at just over €939, while the average for a PB non-SIS eligible ram was just over €785 and the average price for all non-SIS eligible rams was €682.

Breed averages as follows:

Breed Average
Aber 545
Roubex 633.33
Sufftex 528
Chartex 605.71
Charbex 780
Texel 893.12
Charollais 676.53
Belclare 500
Beltex 825.71
Suffolk 1294.28

 

Top prices

  • Aber – James Dunne – Lot 11- €550;
  • Roubex- Ben Lynch – Lot 16- €800;
  • Suftex- Marie Jennings – Lot 19- €620;
  • Chartex – Stuart Dorran – Lot 34- €1000;
  • Charbex- David Argue – Lot 46 -€1000;
  • Texel – James Dunne – Lot 65 -€1250;
  • Charollais – David Argue – Lot 100-€1200;
  • Belclare – Tim Keady – Lot 121- €500;
  • Beltex- Ben Lynch – Lot 128 – €1220;
  • Suffolk – James Dunne – Lot 148 – €

Sale commentary

He commented that the sale continues to go strength to strength with another “massive attendance” of return buyers.

“The commercial buyer was the dominant buyer on the evening. Trade was boisterous and saw an average increase in prices overall which were influenced by purchases by pedigree buyers and the SIS scheme.”

“The main question asked of breeders by buyers on the day was, ‘Is he SIS eligible?’ without concern for their star rating or accuracy.”

“We saw a break from the norm of the past five years in terms of clearance, average, and top-end prices for cross-bred rams (hybrids).”

“We saw a major drop in all areas. The consensus among breeders was that this was compounded by the need for buyers to purchase SIS (Sheep Improvement Scheme)-eligible rams. Buyers showed interest in hybrids.”

“However, despite interest, they referenced SIS eligibility as the reason they could not purchase the rams this year.”

“Unfortunately, for the breeders of these rams, there was no official document to state that they could have recorded and genomically tested their F1 crossbred (hybrid) (50/50 mix) until the terms & conditions of LambPlus (Sheep Ireland) were updated (4.8.1) on the 20/7/2023 to indicate their eligibility, leaving it too late to avail of the market influence of the scheme.”

“However, we look forward to the continued trend and trust buyers are putting in The Big Boy Ram sale and look forward to seeing everyone next year on August 2nd, 2024,” he concluded.

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