First NI Dorset Club sale at Swatragh

On Friday, 26th August 2022, the Northern Ireland Dorset Horn and Poll Breeders Club held their first sale in Swatragh Livestock Market kindly sponsored by Strabane Mills.

This new sale was strongly supported by breeders, keen to make it a success, demonstrated by the impressive 105 sheep brought forward.

The earlier part of the evening saw the judging take place which was left in the capable hands of Mr Trevor Knox, Riverview Flock, Armoy.

A large turnout of sheep in the show gave the judge plenty of selection.

Peter Lamb with first prize ram lamb and best opposite sex to champion pictures with judge Trevor Knox and sponsor Sam Ritchie (Strabane Mills)

Champion of the day was awarded to lot 46 from Ellen McClure, Mountdale Flock for her January born ewe lamb “Mountdale E332”.

Sired by Ballytaggart Charlie out of homebred ewe Mountdale C21, this sharp lamb exhibited power and style, sold for 900gns to Mark Hamilton, Castlederg.

Reserve champion was awarded to the second prize ewe lamb from Ellen McClure with lot 49 “Mountdale E327”, again a Ballytaggart Charlie daughter from a homebred ewe Mountdale C22.

This September born lamb again showed power coupled with presence selling for a top price of the night at 920gns to John Keown, Fermanagh.

Caroline McKeown with her first prize shearling ewe pictured with sponsor Sam Ritchie (Strabane Mills)

Best opposite sex to champion was awarded to ram lamb class winner, lot 7 from Ben Lamb, Richhill Flock with his September born ram lamb “Richhill E1611”.

Sired by Manorcroft Thunder out of homebred ewe Richhill X612 this strong, well-built lamb sold for 480gns to Lee Geddis, Moira.

Show results

Ram lamb: 1st Ben Lamb, 2nd Steven and Stuart Lyons, 3rd David and Sarah Stevenson, 4th Laura Fulton, 5th Graham Cubitt

Ellen McClure pictured with reserve overall champion alongside Sam Ritchie (Strabane Mills) and judge Trevor Knox

Ewe lamb: 1st Ellen McClure, 2nd Ellen McClure, 3rd Ben Lamb, 4th Ellen McClure, 5th Caroline McKeown

Shearling ewe: 1st Caroline McKeown, 2nd Brian and Judith Moorhead, 3rd Caroline McKeown

The sale saw excellent demand, particularly for females with the third highest price at 720gns achieved by three females. Brian and Judith Moorhead, Briglands sold shearling ewe lot 101 for 720gns.

Sired by Downkillybegs Cantona out of Ballytaggart C335 and scanned with twin lambs, this striking ewe was purchased by Brian Donnelly.

Ellen McClure with overall champion, pictured with Sam Ritchie (Strabane Mills) and judge Trevor Knox

Also achieving 720gns was lots 47 and 48 from Ellen McClure for twin sisters E316 and E317 both from Lisnafillan Z43 and sired by Ballytaggart Charlie. These two smart lambs found their new home with John Keown, Fermanagh.

In close succession was lot 102 at 700gns from Caroline McKeown, Ashvale, with her first-prize shearling ewe. Sired by Ashvale Bruno out of Glenbrae B76 this strong bodied ewe found her new home with John Keown.

James and Craig Robson achieved 650gns for their January ewe lamb, lot 39 “Ballyhamage E942”, a Tardree Corry son out of Ballyhamage A07. This eye-catching lamb was capitalised on by Robert McCaughern, Ballymoney.

Sharp trade resulted in both a high clearance rate and healthy averages.

Other leading prices of the evening were as follows: C McKeown 640gns to W McCracken, C McKeown 640gns to W McCracken, C and C Holmes 640gns to W McCracken, B Lamb 640gns to R McCaughern, B and J Moorhead 600gns to B Donnelly, D and S Stevenson 600gns to R McCaughern, C McKeown 600gns to A and G Sloane, B and J Moorhead 560gns to R Marshall, S and S Lyons 520gns to J and C Robson, C and C Holmes 500gns to W McCracken, D and S Stevenson 500gns to B and J Moorhead, B and J Moorhead 480gns to W Jeffers, D and S Stevenson 480gns to W McCracken, B and J Moorhead 450gns to W Jeffers and L Fulton 450gns to B McTurk.

Overall, this new sale was highly successful which was made possible by the support from breeders, purchasers, sponsors, and both the excellent facilities and market staff at Swatragh.

The success of yet another sale is a testament to the breed as it continues to grow across Northern Ireland and further afield with unwavering demand.

The next sale in the club calendar will be the 33rd annual autumn show and sale held in Ballymena Livestock Market on Monday 10th October 2022.

This will be the last show and sale of the year, therefore is not to be missed.