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HomeFarming News€44,000 Suffolk ram sets new Irish record
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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€44,000 Suffolk ram sets new Irish record

A Suffolk ram sold for a record-breaking €44,000 at Blessington Mart on Monday, August 2nd, 2021.

It is understood that this is the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in Ireland.

€44,000 ram

The top-priced lot 70, from Richard’s Ballinatone flock, is a son of the 2017-born Solwaybank Sapphire 2 out of a Mountford Mustang-sired Ballynacannon ewe.

Coming second in the novice class, he was bought by Northern Ireland breeders, Dennis Taylor, for his Ballynacannon flock based near Coleraine, County Antrim’s Alaistair Gault (Forkins flock), Ronan McLaughlin from Donegal (Ballyboe flock) and Portuguese breeder Joao Guilherme with Richard Thompson retaining a share.

The Ballinatone pen also had the highest average at €15,625 for three sheep.


Following on his heels was Darragh McMenamin’s (Mullinvale Flock, Donegal) breed champion and winner of both the novice and open ram lamb classes.

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Judge William Tait (S & W Tait, Burnview Flock) forked out €34,000 for this Salopian Scuderia-sired ram lamb out of a Balquhain dam for his Co Tyrone-based flock.

According to the society, the Mullinvale pen had the second-highest average after Ballinatone at €6,575 for six ram lambs sold.

Other notable prices

Maghera breeder, Stephen Sufferin (Crewelands Flock, N Ireland) paid €7,500 and €6,500 for Philip Byrne’s (Kilkenny) lot 119 and Richard Wilson’s (Donegal) lot 194, respectively.

Byrne’s Limepark flock bred Muirton One Direction sired lamb is out of a Limepark ewe.

Richard Wilson’s February-born Shannagh ram lamb is by last year’s champion, Kells T-Rex, out of a Birness Murray-sired Shannagh dam.

Two sheep then changed hands for €5,000. First up was Brian and Gus Doyle’s (Kilmacoo Flock) lot 129.

According to the society, he was the top-priced ram acquired by a mainland Europe buyer,

French breeder, Sebastian Delval, secured this Kilmacoo ram lamb, the son of Errigal Grim Reaper, out of a Birness dam.

The other €5,000 priced sheep was lot 173 from J & M Doherty’s Malinhead Flock. P J Howard, Co Clare acquired this Limestone Red Rum-sired ram lamb out of a home-bred dam.


Topping the female price list was James O’Connell’s lot 7 Knockogan shearling ewe at €1,600. F & S Brigdale, Atomic Flock, Co Clare secured this female champion.

Meanwhile, the female reserve champion, Kenneth Bailey’s winner of the ewe lamb class, sold to Michael McHugh of Co Wicklow for €1,400.

In a statement to That’s Farming, a society spokesperson said:

“This was not just a breeder’s sale, an excellent clearance of 81% in the ram lamb class had the lot, breeder’s lambs at record prices, forty-one sheep exported, and a strong commercial turnout with over 60% of sheep sold meeting the needs of the Irish commercial farmer.”

“Although the overall sale average was €1,884 with a clearance of over 83%, the average price for commercial sheep was €660 to €670.”

Averages overall:
  • Top: €44,000
  • Clearance: 83% (160 sold)
  • Average: €1,884
Shearling ewes:
  • Top: €1,600
  • Clearance: 89% (16 sold)
  • Average: €909
Ewe lambs:
  • Top: €1,400
  • Clearance: 95% (20 sold)
  • Average: €732
Ram lambs:
  • Top: €44,000
  • Clearance: 81% (124 sold)
  • Average: €1,851
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