Demand for Dorset sheep continues to soar, as reflected by prices at NI Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders’ Club’s recent 49th annual premier sale.
Its sale, in JA McClelland Livestock Mart Ballymena on Monday, July 26th, attracted over 200 entries.
Dorset sheep prices
The supreme champion [main image], lot 177 from the McKeown family, Ashvale flock, topped the sale at 3,100gns.
This Downkillybegs Cactus Jack daughter out of a Drumlin ewe displayed “excellent style, body size and conformation”.
Judge, Thomas Wright, Ballytaggart Flock, Ballymoney, tapped out lot 9 from Richard Currie, Hilltop Flock for his September-born ram lamb, Hiltop Dan, as reserve champion.
The Islaharan Batman son, out of a home-bred ewe, stood top of the ram lamb class showing “excellent bone, character and correctness”.
He later went on to lead the male section, selling for 2,100gns.
In the female section, the next top price was 1,700gns which was recorded twice for two ewe lambs.
Lot 117 from Amy McConnell, Beechmount and lot 174 from the Mckeown family, Ashvale, reached this price tag.
Standing second in the “hotly contested” ewe lamb, class lot 117, Beechmount D566, a Kilvaddy Bolt daughter out of a home-bred ewe, displayed “outstanding body, length and style”.
Equally, as impressive, lot 174, Ashvale D338, a twin sister to the sale’s champion, demonstrated “size and power with excellent character”.
Beechmount struck again in the female section with a ewe lamb. Lot 115 Beechmount D570, a daughter of the successful show ewe, Bellatrix, fetched1000gns.
Other leading prices in the female section included:
- R&F McKeown 900gns to J&C Robson;
- E McClure 880gns to J Townley;
- A McNeill 850gns to R Fitton;
- A McConnell 750gns;
- B Lamb 720gns to W&K Carson;
- L Weir 720gns to D Robertson;
- L Weir 720gns to D Robertson;
- R&F McKeown 700gns to W McCracken;
- A McNeill 680gns to M Clarke;
- A McConnell 650gns to W Wilson.
In the male section, the next leading price was 1300gns, again achieved by two breeders.
Lot 45, Drumlin Dazzler, from Angus Fleming, showed “superb width, shape and size for his age”.
Matching this was lot 46 from Seamus Mullan, Islaharan, with 1st prize shearling ram, Ballytaggart Centurion.
The Olivertree Archie son showed “exceptional conformation and presence”.
In close succession was Andrew and Caroline Kennedy’s lot 41, Maineview Dealmaker. The Downkillybegs Clinker son stood third in the ram lamb class and changed hands for 1,000gns.
Other leading prices in the male section included:
- A McNeill 800gns to W McCracken;
- G Miller 720gns to W McCracken;
- R Currie 700gns to V Minford;
- G Henderson 580gns to S McCarry;
- B lamb 550gns to R Donnelly;
- G Henderson 550gns to A Gardiner;
- A&C Kennedy 550gns to A Magee.
Speaking following the sale, a club spokesperson said:
“Overall, the club recorded a successful sale with strong demand for quality reflected by the prices received from buyers both here and in mainland UK, all seeking to utilise the quality Northern Irish breeders have to offer.”
“The club wishes to express their thanks to the staff at Ballymena Market for the efficient management of the sale and Norbrook for their continued sponsorship.”
Dorset sheep prices: Sale averages:
- Ram lambs: 543.07gns;
- Ewe lambs: 467.06gns;
- Shearling rams: 525gns;
- Shearling ewes: 367.50gns.
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