37th Annual Show and Sale

37th Annual Show & Sale
in Ballymena Livestock Market

Sponsored by McAfee Properties
( Agriculture land & Sites )

37thannual5Thomas & George Wright with judge Francis Fooks and Supreme Champion ram lambs

37thannual1Angus Fleming and son Arran with Judge and Reserve Champion.

37thannual6Richard Currie with best pair of ewe lambs and opposite sex
to champion and Judge assisted by Gary Henderson


37thannual2Colin Johnston and Family with best Horn exhibit and Judge

37thannual4Robert McCartney from McCaughan Animal Health presents Thomas Wright (Champion)
& Angus Fleming (Reserve Champion) Special Plaques to celebrate their Golden anniversary

Sale Report

The Northern Ireland Dorset Sheep Breeders Club held its 37th Annual Premier Show and Sale this week at Ballymena Mart. This year the Club is celebrating it’s Golden Anniversary and so members were hoping for a special event as part of the celebrations, and it certainly turned out that way.

The show classes were again kindly sponsored by McAfee Properties, Agricultural Land and Sites Division and in honour of this special year the club invited Mr Francis Fooks from the renowned Poorton Flock, Bridport, Dorset to undertake the judging. It was an honour to welcome Francis to Northern Ireland, especially as the Poorton Flock is the oldest flock in the Association Flock Book; still breeding Dorset Horn sheep after one hundred years and they also run a large flock of Poll Dorsets. There was a keen interest in watching the judging and after much deliberation Francis awarded the Supreme Championship to a striking pair of ram lambs from the Ballytaggart Flock of Thomas Wright, Kilraughts, Ballymoney. These lambs are full brothers, sired by Downkillybegs Jethro out of Ballytaggart H112. This success was another highlight in an amazing season for Thomas Wright, whose sheep have won the Championship in all eight agricultural shows which run classes for Dorset Sheep. These lambs were later sold in the ring for 800 guineas and 700 guineas, the first going to Sam Driver (Derbyshire) and the second to Fooks Bros (Dorset).

Top price of the sale went to the Reserve Champion, a ram lamb from Angus Flemming’s Drumlin Flock, Ballymoney, Co Antrim. This lamb was sired by Drumlin Kiwi, a New Zealand bred ram. After keen bidding this lamb sold for 2200gns and was bought by Tom Clarke, Crediton, Devon.

The Female Champions and Opposite Sex Champions were a winning pair of ewe lambs, exhibited by Richard Currie, Ballymena. These fine daughters of Blackhill Jak were later sold for 480 gns and 420 gns, both going to George Robson, Doagh for his grandsons James and Craig.

The top price female of the day was a ewe lamb from W & K Carson, Ballymena which was sold to Thomas Wright, Ballymoney for 600 gns.

The winner of the Champion Horn Exhibit was an exceptional horned ewe lamb from the Islandview flock of William and Colin Johnston. This exhibit will have the honour of being the first winner of the Carnamrock Cup, a new trophy presented by Mr Kyle Sloan for the Best Horn Exhibit at the Premier Show and Sale. This ewe lamb was later sold in the ring for 320 gns to Sean Paul McCarry, Loughguile, Ballymena.

Tom Symington, auctioneer, commented that bidding was particularly brisk for the females, although the better rams sold very well and that there was a remarkably good clearance. English breeders were again well represented at the sale which is encouraging for the local breeders.

Top prices in the ram section, after the Champions and Reserve Champion, went to W & K Carson, Ballymena (700gns to Fooks B ros, Dorset), Amy McConnell, Templepatrick, (520 gns to A & S Bingham, Annahilt), W & K Carson, Ballymena (420 gns to G & M Lyons, Dunloy), Raymond & Julie Hill, Ballyclare (400 gns to J McFetridge, Glenarm) and also R & J Hill (400 gns to David Wallace, Lylehill) and Amy McConnell, Templepatrick (380 gns to young breeders Robert and Matthew Coulter, Doagh).

Thirty seven ram lambs sold to average £354. In the shearling ram section there was a small entry with three being sold to an average of £409. Thomas Wright, Ballymoney (450 gns to W McAuley, Larne), Seamus Mullan (400 gns to W Robinson, Larne) and Angus Fleming (320 gns to G Robson).

In the ewe lamb section, after the top three prices mentioned above, other top prices went to W & K Carson, Ballymena (320 gns to S & S Wilson, Ballynure); Raymond and Julie Hill, Doagh (320 gns to Gary Hanna, Templepatrick) and William and Colin Johnston, Glenavy for the Best Horn Exhibit (320 gns to Sean Paul McCarry, Loughguile)

The 100 ewe lambs sold averaged £209. In the section for shearling and senior ewes all 19 lots presented were sold, averaging £281. The four top prices in this group all went to Thomas Wright, Ballymoney for a smart pen of shearling ewes, which made 460 gns (P Donnelly, Balllymena); 420 gns (M & C Maybin, Ballymena) 410 gns (M & C Maybin, Ballymena and 380 gns (P Donnelly, Ballymena).

William Carson, NI Dorset Club Secretary said that it was pleasing to note that in all sections average prices were increased from last year, for a similar number of sheep sold.

The NI Dorset Sheep Breeders Club Autumn Sale will be held in Ballymena Mart on Wednesday 14th October 2009. For further information, the NI Club Secretary can be contacted on 07841746705.