Premier Suffolk line up for Ballymena

Danske Bank are sponsoring Tuesdays NI Branch Premier Export Show & Sale at Ballymena.  Pictured is representative Ann Armstrong, with NI Branch Chairman Geoffrey Douglas Vice Chairman Joe Stewart and Honorary Branch President William Montgomery.
Danske Bank are sponsoring Tuesdays NI Branch Premier Export Show & Sale at Ballymena. Pictured is representative Ann Armstrong, with NI Branch Chairman Geoffrey Douglas Vice Chairman Joe Stewart and Honorary Branch President William Montgomery.

The Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society will hold their Premier Export Sale of 125 suffolk ram lambs and five shearlings on Tuesday 1st August at Ballymena Livestock Market.

This sale is sponsored by Danske Bank and boasts an impressive line up of ram lambs and shearlings bred by many of the top flocks regarded among the elite in the UK and Ireland. All lambs and shearlings will be eligible for immediate export.

The outlook for the Suffolk breed in Northern Ireland is the envy of many other branches and clubs throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. With so many enthusiastic young breeders this is why Northern Ireland Suffolks are at the forefront of the market and NI breeders have led the way in sourcing the best genetics the breed has to offer and ultimately producing top quality lambs.

Last year’s Stirling Champion, was bred by Northern Ireland breeders Norman & Alfred Robinson and the top priced ram lamb from Coleraine breeder Dennis Taylor was purchased for 20,000gns by Northern Ireland flock owners Stephen Sufferin and Grant Brothers.

The 2017 offering at Ballymena is sure to suit all tastes with rams bred by some of the most renowned sires and from many outstanding and well established blood lines.

Rams bred by the 31,000gns Cloontagh Chieftain, 25,000gns Rhaeadr Rolex I, the 21,000gns Rhaeadr Rolls Royce I, the 20,000gns Ballynacannon Taylor Made, the 18,000gns Ballynacannon Attitude, the 14,000gns Castleisle Knockout, the 13,000gns Rookery Rodeo, the 10,000gns Rhaeadr Rhonn, the 10,000gns Limestone Brigadier, the 5,500gns Birness Murray, the 3,800gns Birness Bravado, Birness Brexit, Lakeview Hit the Diff, Dol-llys Dollar, Deveronside Pure Diamond, Rookery Best of the Best, Forkins Fandago, Blackbrae Maverick, Castleisle Carnage, Duncan’s Dominator, Redbrae Ranger, Safaddan Sapphire, Cairness Ignition, Cairness Temptation, Castlewood Highlander, Knockadoo Rio, Burnview Gin and Tonic, Lakeview Whats Wanted, Rhaeadr Readymix, Islandmoyle Eyecatcher and many more will be presented for inspection and judging before entering the sale ring.

Superior growth rate, early maturity combined with excellent confirmation has kept the Suffolk breed to the forefront of commercial lamb breeding and production. The numerous traits synonymous with the breed has offered pedigree and commercial flock owners the confidence to stay ahead in the market place.

Leading flocks represented at Tuesday’s show and sale include: Blackbrae, Lakeview, Loughbeg, Castlewood, Botera, Donrho, Duncan’s, Aughenaloopy, Mullaghboy, Forkins, Craighdoo, Oakbridge, Triplek, Carony, Knockadoo, Clunty, Kerrib, Kirkview, Smiddiehill, Stonebridge, Kinbally, Carrowmoney, Benrafton, Teeshan, Guiness, Theviews, Gransha, Crewelands, Burnview, Ballynacannon, Whitepark, Straidrock, Beechcrest and Bannview.

Seamus McCormick, Senior Agribusiness Manager representing lead sponsors Danske Bank, said: “The Premier Sale is a showcase event for Suffolk breeders in Northern Ireland and enables all breeders to display their superb stock. The Suffolk breed is very important within the sheep industry and has proved over the years to be as popular as ever as the terminal sire for pedigree and commercial producers.

“Given this is the first pedigree Suffolk sale in 2017, it is hoped that the improved performance within the sheep sector at present will be delivered in the sale ring for all breeders. Danske is delighted to be sponsoring the Suffolk Society’s premier show and sale in Ballymena.”

Mr McCormick added: “This sale follows on nicely from the local show scene where many breeders have enjoyed success with the Suffolk breed. This success experienced over the years has assisted with the continuation of superb Suffolk breeding across the province and in the development of their businesses into the future.

“We would like to wish all exhibitors the best of luck in the show and good fortune in the sale ring.”

Judging which will be carried out by Sligo breeder James Rooney of the Benwiskin flock, gets under way at 1.30pm with the first of the ram lambs scheduled to enter the sales ring at 6pm.

All sheep must be presented for inspection and penning on Monday 8-10pm or Tuesday 7-9am.

Catalogues can be viewed online at www.suffolksheep.org or further details can be obtained by contacting Secretary Orla Butler on 07841 117 252.