Top entry for NI National Blackface Sheep Show

Some of  Paul McAvoy's sheep dipped and ready for the show
Some of Paul McAvoy's sheep dipped and ready for the show

A bumper entry of over 355 Blackface sheep will be on show at the inaugural Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association Northern Ireland National Show which is being held on Monday 31st August 2015 in the Alexander Hall, King’s Hall Complex, Belfast.

The show kicks off at 12 noon and following will be a social gathering where the Association will be providing a lamb carvery for all attending.

Robert Loughery with some of his Blackface ewes with lambs at foot

Robert Loughery with some of his Blackface ewes with lambs at foot

The event, whose major sponsors are the renewables company RES Energy, Ulster Ram Breeders and Corramore Construction, will be one of the biggest and best shows of Blackface sheep in the country.

There will be two sections judged alternatively in the one ring, North (Perth) Type and South (Lanark and Newton Stewart) Type. Judges of both sections are well known Blackface breeders coming over the water from Scotland. Judging the North type will be Archie MacKinnon from Auchnacloich Farm, Amulree and the man to the fore in the South type ring is Sandy Patterson, Auchloy, Hollybush Road, Crieff.

Two of the Northern Ireland Blackface breeders looking forward to the event are Robert Loughery from Limavady and Paul McEvoy from Kilcoo.

Robert’s farm is at Gortnarney and is home to 800 Lanark type Blackface ewes and 200 replacement hoggets. Robert keeps 250 of the best ewes pure and the rest are crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester. He is looking forward to the show in Belfast and is supporting the event by taking some sheep to it.

Robert said: “It’s very good the show is coming to our shores this time. There are a lot of Blackface breeders in Northern Ireland and there is sure to be a lot of support for the event. We are taking 11 sheep in total for the six classes at the show including rams, ram lambs, ewes and ewe lambs.

Paul McEvoy farms in partnership with his brother Barry in Kilcoo in Co Down and runs 450 pedigree Perth type Blackface ewes known as Cairnhill Blackface.

Paul is also attending the big show in Belfast and says it will be a super event.

“This will be an absolutely fantastic occasion for the Blackface sheep breeders,” he said.

“The interest in the event has been phenomenal. It’s a very good opportunity for the breeders here to show how good our Blackface sheep really is.

“The event will be attended by breeders from all over Ireland and Scotland.”