Report from Dorset Diamonds Sale held on Saturday, March 27th, 2021.
Downkillybegs Dazzler smashed records at NI Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders’ Club’s sixth spring sale last month.
The club held its Dorset Diamonds Sale on Saturday, March 27th, 2021, in JA McClelland Livestock Mart, Ballymena.
A spokesperson for the club said: “In what can only be described as a remarkable day for breed history with multiple breed records broken, the Dorset breed was well and truly launched into the limelight.”
Previously the top price for a ram sold at a NI sale was 2,200gns, with the overall record at 4,000gns and national record at 6,000gns.
Smashing all three of these records was lot 46 from William and Karen Carson, Downkillybegs with their September-born ram lamb, Downkillybegs Dazzler.
He stood reserve champion of the day and is a son of home-bred ram, Cola. The “perfectly balanced lamb exhibiting outstanding breed character and body” went under the hammer for 6,600gns.
Following hot on his heels was lot 63 from Thomas Wright, Ballytaggart with his ram lamb, D2485, an Olivertree Archie son. This “stylish lamb displayed fantastic confirmation” was knocked down for 6,500gns.
Other notable prices
In the third position was Maineview Dropkick, property of Andrew and Caroline Kennedy, Maineview. The “powerful” ram lamb, a Richill Zulu son, changed hands for 4,500gns.
Furthermore, next up was Laura Weir, Lisnafillan with lot 40, Lisnafillan DiMaggio.
The Ballyhamage Christie son “showcased excellent presence” and found a new home at 3,900gns.
Allister McNeill achieved 3,400gns for lot 27, Kilvaddy D1202, an “impressive” lamb sired by Rossiz Wildfire.
Weir continued her success with lot 41, another Christie son, which she fetched 2,000gns for this entry.
“Overall, trade for ram lambs was outstanding, with the average for ram lambs finishing up at 1468.91gns, which added to the expansive list of records broken.” the society added.
Leading the female section was the overall champion, lot 10, from Laura Weir, Lisnafillan.
The entry, displaying “a profusion of bone, body and character”, was snapped up for 1,500gns.
The next best at 1,150gns was Allister McNeill’s lot 16, a “much-admired” lamb. Weir returned to the sales ring to offer the champion’s stablemate, lot 11, for sale. The entry, a Ballyhamage Christie, changed hands for 1,100gns.
Sale averages at Dorset Diamonds Sale:
- Ram lambs: 1468.91gns
- Ewe lambs: 748.13gns
- Shearling rams: 717.50gns
- Shearling ewes: 623.30gns
“The Northern Ireland Dorset Breeders’ Club have recorded this as the most successful sale to date with a surge in demand for stock indicated by the prices received.”
“This, of course, is bolstered by the calibre of sheep NI breeders are turning out, attracting an ever-growing appeal from buyers both here and on the mainland, looking to add that extra bit of quality to their enterprise.”
“Particularly in recent years, interest from across the water has rocketed with more and more NI-bred Dorsets making the trip across the water, either privately or through sales.”
“This sale, in particular, being the perfect example with eight sheep purchased by mainland buyers including the top two prices, a big incentive being the assurance of transport put on by the NI Dorset club.”
“The Northern Ireland Dorset Breeders’ Club wishes to thank all breeders, buyers, sponsors and of course, the staff of Ballymena Market for making the event such as success.”
The group will host its annual July Premier Sale on Monday, July 26th, 2021, in JA McClelland Livestock Mart, Ballymena.
We recently interviewed Chloe McGinty, a polled Dorset breeder, which you can find here.