Curley Crown Jewel tops the Gems

The January Gems sale returned to Ballymena Livestock Market for its 11th year on Saturday 6th January.
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Quality consignments were on offer from local breeders C&M Mullan (Blue Gates Flock); A Liggett (Corbo Flock); J Trimble (Curley & Cherrylea Flocks); B Bell & Sons (Kiltariff Flock); S&M Warnock (Straidarran Flock), Berwick-upon Tweed breeders D&R MacPherson (Hexel Flock) and guest consignor Sam McAuley (WhitePark Flock).

The sale had an 85.5% clearance and averaged over 820gns for 35 in-lamb gimmers and 2038gns for 13 ewe lambs.

Providing the sparkle was Lot 59 from the Curley Flock of John Trimble & Family. Commanding the top price of 3600gns and heading to Co Mayo to James Murphy was this Auldhouseburn FanDabiDozi ewe lamb destined for a dazzling future. Her ET full sisters made 1900gns and 1300gns. Curley and Cherrylea had 11 in lamb gimmers up for grabs at the gems sale. These topped at 1400gns for a gimmer out of 10K Proctors El Jeffe carrying twins to Lylehill Gunshot sold to John Kidd with her full sister selling for 850gns.

The top priced lot from John TrimbleThe top priced lot from John Trimble
The top priced lot from John Trimble

Topping the trade of the in-lamb gimmers at 2600gns was Adrian Liggetts’ Corbo flock with Lot 15, a 20K Alderview Explosive gimmer carrying a 15K Mullan GameChanger. She heads over the border to James Walkers flock in Limerick.

Also heading South from the same pen is Lot 14 who made 1800gns with twins to the same sire sold to Michael Quinn in Ballybofey.

Corbo also had Ewe lambs by 32K Hexel FanClub sell to 2300 & 1800gns.

Guest consignor Sam McAuley sold six gimmers from his Bushmills based Whitepark flock. Lot 18 a Rhaeadr Edge daughter carrying twins to Garngour Gough topped the Whitepark consignment at 2400gns making its way to Maghera breeder S McEldowney. Emma Bellingham from Ballymoney taook home three of these Edge dazzlers also in lamb to Garngour Gough. A Rhaeadr Edge gimmer in lamb to Douganhill Gangster also made 1100gns.

Selling five of the Straidarren consignment of in-lamb gimmers brought Stanley & Martin Warnock a sale average of 560gns topping at 1,100gns for a Tamnamoney Decimus gimmer carrying Knap Governor twins. She will go on to do great things for James Hepburn in Draperstown.

Due to ongoing Bluetongue restrictions the Hexel consignment was unable to travel to Ballymena, however via a livestreaming video link made available by Marteye, Ballymena and the MacPherson family the five ewe lambs sired by Coniston Equinox, Proctors Chumba Wumba & Ballynahone Franco were able to make their appearance known.

Lot 48, a flashy, well grown lamb topped the pen at 3000gns to S&J McCollum, Crumlin. The powerful maternal sister to last year’s 6K top price lamb sold to Fordwell Farms in Oxford for 2200gns with two other lambs finding their future flocks in Co Sligo & Co Mayo at 2800 and 2200gns.

Averaging over 500gns for their pen of in-lamb gimmers were seven sparklers from C & M Mullans BlueGates Flock. Top price was Lot 20 a Mullan Daredevil daughter purchased by Seamus McEldowney from Maghera for 900gns. Another special one in the sale was the Annakisha Edan gimmer swept up by Sean Hamil, Limavady whose dam sold for 1500gns at the January Gems 2023.

A MellorVale DeJaVu lamb who is maternal sister to 7.5K Kiltariff GoldenBoy was top price for the Bell family from Rathfriland. This sparky ewe lamb was purchased for 3000gns by Co Down breeders Rian & Naomi O’Hare with a half share being retained by Johnny Bell. Kiltariff also sold gimmers to 1900gns and 800gns both sired by Knock Yardsman.

The January Gems vendors would like to thank Ballymena Livestock Market for the smooth running of the sale, their buyers, underbidders and sponsors namely NFU Mutual, Galloway & MacLeod, The Sheep Vet, Tullybroom ATV Sales & Service, Strabane Mills and The Veterinary Clinic Rathfriland.

Other leading prices:

A Liggett; 1200gns; 550gns

S McAuley 1100gns; 700gns

J Trimble 750gns; 620gns

B Bell 650gns; 650gns

S McAuley 1100gns; 700gns