Buoyant trade for Ballymena Babes

The first Export In Lamb Texel sale from Ballymena Babes was held last Saturday (9th January) at Ballymena Livestock Market.

The sale comprising of well-known local flocks of Crawfordsland (David and James Boyd), Drumadowney (Stephen McNeilly), Findrum (Neil Watson), Poseyhill (Peter Boyd) and Templepark (W & J Herdman) and the renowned Milnbank flock, owned by Robbie Wilson from Aberdeenshire saw impressive lots achieve top prices throughout the sale.

The quality on offer was evident with more than 100 online registered bidders for the sale, the most the mart has seen for a sale of this type, to date. The online presence resulted in a large number of gimmers being sold to flocks in Southern Ireland, mainland UK and many top local flocks.

Put forward were 58 in lamb texel gimmers, two Texel ewe lambs and seven embryo pregnancies. The sale saw 95% of gimmers sold to a gross average of £971.35. Four figured sums were achieved on 13 of these 58 lots, demonstrating the quality of sheep on offer.

Strong Crawfordsland Consignment.Strong Crawfordsland Consignment.
Strong Crawfordsland Consignment.

Topping the trade was the Milnbank flock achieving 3,800gns for lot 12, she is a maternal sister to Milnbank Brooklyn and came in lamb to the £30k Teiglum Dancing Brave. After strong interest she was knocked down to Jonathan Rees, Abergele in Wales. Following closely behind at 3,200gns were two lots, lot 59 again from Milnbank, a Auldhouseburn Billy the Kid daughter, also in lamb to Teiglum Dancing Brave. This was snapped up by Martin McGuinness, Dundalk.

The next lot to realise 3,200gns was lot 36 from the Templepark flock of W & J Herdman. This is a full sister to the 2019 RUAS 1st prize ewe lamb and reserve female champion which was sold to Milnbank post show at £5k. The hammer dropped on this gimmer to Allysha Moore, Co Westmeath. Templepark had a strong sale overall and the pen averaged £1,053.50 for those sold.

Next in the money was the local Drumadowney flock of Stephen McNeilly. Selling at 2,800gns was lot 30, a very stylish daughter of Greenstar Alfie carrying twins to Midlock Yorkie, which was purchased by the renowned Ballyhivistock flock of Robert and Christine Calvin, based in Ballymoney. Ballyhivisitock weren’t finished there. They went on to purchase the powerful pen leader of the Crawfordsland flock, Lot 17 for 1,100gns. This gimmer is an Irishhill Braveheart daughter who is coming in lamb to Crailloch Caesar. The Crawfordsland flock of David and James Boyd enjoyed brisk trade throughout the sale and averaged £791.00 for the six sheep presented. Their second top of 900gns a very smart Douganhill Blinder daughter was picked up by Stewart and David McIlwaine of Mistyburn flock.

Following on was lot 11 from the Milnbank flock changing hands at 2,400gns, a stylish Cowal Bucking Bronco daughter. Purchaser, Mark McMenamin, County Donegal, advised that this was the second pedigree Texel he had ever purchased, with the first being Lot 6, earlier in the day, for 1,000gns. Lot 6, is a Drumgooland Aga Kahn daughter and from a strong breeding line of the flock from Drumadowney. The Drumadowney flock enjoyed a great trade on the day with 10 gimmers averaging £910.35

Lot 30 from Drumadowney 2,800gnsLot 30 from Drumadowney 2,800gns
Lot 30 from Drumadowney 2,800gns

Next in the money was County Tyrone breeder, Neil Watson of the Findrum flock, Lot 42 selling for 2,200gns to William Carey County Kildare. This powerful gimmer had been part of the Findrum embryo team, bred by Knock Yazoo and in lamb to 2020 recruit Milnbank Diesel. Mr Carey acquired a number of lots on the day and also purchased Findrums next best at 900gns, lot 68, a Strathbogie Yes Sir Daughter. The flock achieved an average of £773.85 for 10 gimmers sold, and his two ewe lambs presented averaged £656.25. Both ewe lambs moved south of the border to William Walsh from Wexford and Thomas Kenny of the Hillswood flock in Galway.

The Poseyhill flock presented a strong pen of 14 gimmers and these topped at 850gns for Lot 47. This ewe was another Irishhill Braveheart Daughter, coming in lamb to Glenside Veegee and was knocked down to the Millcomb flock of Ian Millar, Ballyclare. Poseyhill also topped the embryo trade at 700gns selling their embryo entry to the Milestonehill flock of Murray Annett, Rathriland. The pen enjoyed a strong days trading.

Worthy of mention and selling for 2,200gns was another from Milnbank, lot 57. This capped a tremendous sale for Milnbank who achieved an astounding average of £2,053 for the nine sheep brought forward.

The sale, Ballymena Babes, will return on 15th January 2022 and the sellers, wish to express their sincere thanks to all the staff at Ballymena Market who made the sale possible and ensured such a successful event. A further thanks to the many sponsors and finally for the support from those who attended in person and online.

Lot 42 from Findrum 2,200gnsLot 42 from Findrum 2,200gns
Lot 42 from Findrum 2,200gns
Lot 36 – 3,200gns from TempleparkLot 36 – 3,200gns from Templepark
Lot 36 – 3,200gns from Templepark
Lot 12 Topped Sale at 3,800gns from MilnbankLot 12 Topped Sale at 3,800gns from Milnbank
Lot 12 Topped Sale at 3,800gns from Milnbank