Castlewellan Blackface breeders prepare for their annual sale

A pen of quality females ready for the sale
A pen of quality females ready for the sale

September has all too quickly come round again and sheep men throughout the country start making their plans for the upcoming breeding season.

With this in mind the breeding sales kick into top gear giving people the chance to buy or sell breeding females and stock rams.

The members of Castlewellan Blackface Sheep Breeders, who have been breeding Lanark Blackface sheep for many years, have again demonstrated their belief in and support for this type of Blackface by once again presenting somewhere in the region of 1,700 quality females as well as thirty plus rams and ram lambs for their annual sale in Hilltown on Wednesday, September 13.

Over the years this sale has deservedly gained a reputation as one of the leading female Blackface sales of the Lanark Blackface type anywhere in Northern Ireland as well as a place to buy quality Mule ewe lambs bred from Lanark type ewes. This reputation is reflected by the number of buyers from all parts of Northern Ireland who return year after year to the sale, happy with their previous purchases and keen to get their hands on more quality stock.

The hill areas such as the Mournes and Slieve Croob produce a tremendous reservoir of quality Blackface females, which are drafted to marginal or lowland farms either as ewe lambs or four or five year old ewes, where they are crossed with various breeds particularly the Bluefaced Leicester to produce the much sought after Mule ewe.

Stock coming from these granite based harsh environments have proved over the years their ability to do an excellent job for the buyers irrespective of where in the country they end up.

The sale will start at 2pm with mule ewe lambs followed immediately by Blackface shearling ewes, Blackface ewe lambs, Blackface aged ewes followed by Blackface shearling rams, ram lambs and aged rams.

The message again this year is get there early especially if you want to purchase top quality females.