Crowds flock to Texel Club Open Night

Texel Cross Ewe Lamb which was donated by the McFarlane Family in aid of Juvenile Batten Disease Research.  Pictured is Graham McFarlane and son with Open Night host Victor Chestnutt
Texel Cross Ewe Lamb which was donated by the McFarlane Family in aid of Juvenile Batten Disease Research. Pictured is Graham McFarlane and son with Open Night host Victor Chestnutt

The Northern Ireland Texel Sheep Breeders Club held their open night recently at Victor and David Chestnutt’s farm in Bushmills, home to the renowned Clougher and Bushmills Texel Flocks.

In the 1980’s Victor recognised the contribution the Texel breed was bringing to the sheep industry and established the Clougher Flock followed later by the Bushmills Flock.

Over 25 winners for stock judging competition at Texel Open Night

Over 25 winners for stock judging competition at Texel Open Night

The flocks have become two of the largest and well known flocks in Northern Ireland and mainland UK. Both are well known for success in show and sale circles with Victor and David both agreeing that their success is due to breeding sheep with sound commercial attributes and stock tups making a mark in the breed. The Clougher and Bushmills flocks are renowned among commercial and pedigree Texel circles for producing Texel sheep with prime genetics to meet the demands of both markets.

Members, friends and farmers from across Northern Ireland were delighted to have the opportunity to view the Clougher and Bushmills Flocks and gain a preview of the ram lambs for sale over the coming months.

The evening was packed full of activities including the Young Breeder’s BBQ with burgers supplied by Ian Millar’s Butchers, Ballyclare, a bouncy castle, and digger challenge.

The club’s annual stock judging competition took a twist this year with competitors across all age groups putting their judging skills to the test across a range of classes including judging hens. The stock judging was kindly sponsored by Smyths Daleside.

Under 12 winners at the Texel Open Night  stock judging competition

Under 12 winners at the Texel Open Night stock judging competition

Results:

Under 12: 1st, Sophie Ross; 2nd, Abbie Ross; 3rd, Austin Ross

12-25 Age Group: 1st, Matthew McCorkell; 2nd, Hannah Tosh; 3rd, Ben McLaughlin

Over 25: 1st, Michelle Ross; 2nd, Noel Rutherford; 3rd, Sam Porter

Guess the Weight of the Bull: Sam Coleman

The evening’s raffle and charity auction was co-ordinated by Danny McAllister, auctioneer at Armoy Livestock Mart. Many donations were made towards the raffle and auction and the Chestnutt family would like to thank all those who provided items to be raffled or auctioned and to those who purchased. This year’s chosen charities are Marie Curie and Juvenile Batten Disease Research.

The event itself was kindly sponsored by Smyths Daleside and the Northern Ireland Texel Club extend their thanks for their generosity.

The club would also like to thank Victor, wife Carol, son, David, and daughter, Zara, for hosting this year’s open night which proved an enjoyable evening for young and old, members, friends, commercial and pedigree breeders alike.

Sale season starts on August 28 with the first Club Sale of the year at Rathfriland with the Northern Ireland Premier Sale at Ballymena Mart moving to the new dates 6th and 7th September.

For catalogues and further information contact Club Secretary Martin Warnock on 07791 679 112 or visit on line www.texel.co.uk/sales.