NI 2012 AGM

NI Dorset Club AGM 2012 

AGM 12_Club Chairperson, Ben Lamb with Mr & Mrs David Thomas (Dorset Association President)
and Trevor Knox, Vice Chairperson

Committee 12_2012 Committee members

At the 53rd A.G.M. of the N.I. Dorset Breeders Club held recently in Antrim, the Chairman Mr. Ben Lamb reflected on a highly successful year for the breeders. He highlighted the major achievements of N.I. breeders who exhibited ram lambs at the Mayfair in Exeter, noting that in the ram lamb class four out of the top six places went to sheep bred in N. Ireland and R. Currie went on to win the Reserve Championship, with many figuring among the highest prices. Records were also broke in the sale ring at both the N.I. Clubs' sales; the premiere sale in July and the Autumn sale in October and average prices in all categories had increased from last year.

The quality of Dorset sheep in N.I. continues to improve year on year and this is displayed not just at the sales but also in the show ring at the agricultural shows.The Chairman congratulated Samuel Caldwell, owner of the Granagh Flock who won the cup for the flock with the most show points and also Laura Weir of the Lisnafillon flock who won the N.I. Flock Competition. The committee were thanked for the hard work which went into the superb breed promotion stand at the NSA Sheep event in July, both for the eye catching backdrop and the excellent sheep on display. Many visitors to the event were impressed by the commercial lambs being produced using the Dorset as a terminal sire as well as in the more traditional maternal role. It is also important to note that the lamb Marketing Scheme which the club runs in conjunction with Crossgar Meats and Carnbrooke Meats is the only one of its kind in any sheep breed in N. Ireland. This produces a bonus per kilo for lambs up to 25kilos which are pure-bred Dorsets. The fact that the Dorsets can lamb at any time of the year means that a consistent supply can be provided all year round.

During the evening's business the office bearers were re-elected for another year and those present were informed that over the last months the N.I. Dorset Club's website has been completely revamped and given a fresh new look. The website contains a wealth of information for anyone interested in finding out about the breed or the N.I. Club and huge thanks are due to Graham Cubitt who has been website controller since it was set up and has spent many hours keeping the information available. Graham has now handed over the reins to Mrs Amanda Knox who has already carried out much work and has just launched the new website www.nidorsetclub.co.uk and she will now be responsible for the managing and updating of the Dorset Clubs news and events. 

After all business had been conducted the guest speaker for the evening was introduced. The Club was delighted to welcome Mr. David Thomas from Launceston, Cornwall; David is the President of the Dorset Horn & Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders Association and has over fifty years experience of breeding Dorset sheep. His renowned South - Win flock comprises of over 200 ewes and was one of the first in the flock book to introduce a 8 month, frequent lambing system. Many of the breeders present at the meeting were very interested in hearing how his flock is managed with three distinct lambing periods throughout the year, in Mid-November and December; Mid-March to end April and Mid- July to end August. The ewes are put back to the rams ten weeks after lambing, with lambs at foot and his lambing percentages do not suffer at all. His ewes are made to work hard, but as a result do not become overweight and continue to produce quality lambs over many seasons. This allows best use of grass supplies throughout the year and also farm income is spread over the year. David’s enthusiasm for the breed has certainly not diminished over the years and he concluded by complimenting the N.I. breeders for the quality of sheep they are bringing out and encouraged them to keep up the good work in the coming season. With that in mind the local breeders will now be turning their full attention to the preparation of stock for 2012, beginning with Exeter May Fair and Balmoral Show.