Strong demand for Suffolk females
Suffolk females were in strong demand at the annual show and sale organised by the Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society at Ballymena Livestock Mart.
The judge for the evening was the Suffolk Sheep Society president Campbell Watson, who awarded Alastair Gault, of the Forkins flock, first prize in the gimmer class. The Co Antrim breeder also went on to take the overall champion honours with his Forkins Fandago sired ewe in lamb to Beechbrook, which went on to sell for 1,900gns to fellow Suffolk breeder Patrick Donnelly, Ballymena.
Alastair also went on to take the first and second prize rosette in the ewe lamb class with both his lambs selling to S Doyle, Castlewellan, for 600gns and 500gns respectively.
Callum Patterson, of the Kinbally flock, stood well in the gimmer class going on to take second place with his Forkins Fandago sired ewe in lamb to Rhaeadr Rio being knocked down to the Benview flock of Geoffrey Douglas for 800gns.
Andrew McNeilly stood third in the gimmer class going on to sell to 520gns to Philip Kennedy, Co Armagh. Patrick McVerry stood fourth selling to 680gns to Wesley Cousins, Co Tyrone.
The aged ewe class saw Alastair Barkley take the winning rosette while going on to take the reserve champion title with his Deveronsde Pure Diamond sired ewe in lamb to Drimmie BlackIsle. This was quickly snapped up by Norman Robinson, Co Down for 850gns.
Andrew McNeilly stood second with Patrick McVerry taking the third and fourth place rosettes selling to 550gns, 580gns and 600gns respectively.
In the ewe lamb class Joe Adams stood third with Patrick McVerry taking fourth both selling to 380gns and 330gns.
Commenting on the sale N I Branch chairman Joe Stewart said: “Trade on the evening was brisk with a packed ring side for both the show and sale. There were many new breeders in evidence keen to start a Suffolk flock with the comfort of knowing that an official society sale all stock are inspected to society standards and ewes are scanned in lamb on the evening of sale by Ossie McKay to whom we are very grateful.
“Solid trade on the evening was testament to the strong interest in Suffolk sheep and I congratulate all vendors on the standard of their sheep.
“My thanks also go to Jim and the crew at Ballymena Livestock Mart for the work they put in on the evening.”
The show and sale was sponsored by Northern Counties Co-op and Uniblock.
Aged ewes: 1st, A Barkley; 2nd, A McNeilly; 3rd, P McVerry; 4th, P McVerry.
Gimmers: 1st, A Gault; 2nd, C Patterson; 3rd, A McNeilly; 4th, P McVerry.
Ewe lamb: 1st, A Gault; 2nd, A Gault; 3rd, J Adams; 4th, P McVerry.
Champion: A Gault.
Reserve: A Barkley.