BYGONE DAYS: High praise for Ulster sheep breeders at sale

Mr R W Hanna, Fortview, Knockahollet, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, with one of the prize winning entries in August 1972
Mr R W Hanna, Fortview, Knockahollet, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, with one of the prize winning entries in August 1972

The Northern Ireland Suffolk breeders were highly commended this week in August 1972 for their ability to produce “good strong stock, writes Darryl Armitage.

The praise came from the Eire Department of Agriculture officers Mr Sean Duffy and Mr David Thompson, and several leading Scottish buyers at the annual show and sale of rams, ram lambs, shearling ewes and ewe lambs which had been held at Balmoral.

The event was conducted by Messrs R J Allams Ltd, Belfast, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society. It attracted a reasonably good turnout - described by the Eire visitors as “an excellent selection of high class stock”.

Mr Duffy said: “I have seen some excellent examples of the breed here. Your stock generally would appear to be much stronger that we have in the south.”

The supreme champion ram and winner of the Suffolk, Bocock and Norman Drage Cups, the Smith Kline and French Laboratories Tankard and the Merck, Sharp and Dohne Plaque was brought out by the well-known Crossnamuckley, Newtownards breeder Mr William Montgomery, reserve place went to another well-known Ards breeder, Mr Hugh Rankin, while Mr R A F Bryson, who showed the previous year’s supreme champion, was third.

In the sale ring three there was brisk bidding, which was in sharp contrast to the previous year’s disappointing trade when more than 60 lots were unsold. The top price was £199.50.