Leading Co Antrim breeder Alastair Gault had a day to remember at the recent Northern Ireland Branch Premier show and sale held in Ballymena Livestock Mart.
An outstanding ram lamb from the renowned Forkins flock beat off stiff competition to clinch the supreme championship before the newly-crowned 2015 champion changed hands for the top price of the day of 2000gns.
Sired by Rookery Best Of The Best and out of a Bailey’s BMW ewe purchased from the Rhaeadr flock, the champion found a new home in the flock of Tyrone breeder R Laird.
The second highest price of the day went to B and C Dickson. The Strathbogie Jackpot sired lamb out of a Cairness New Approach dam fetched 1900gns before being knocked down to M Morton, Newry.
The Dickson family also sold the highest price shearling with Rodney Blair’s final bid of 1150gns securing the impressive Solwaybank Major ram.
A number of southern breeders made their presence felt at ringside with D O’Mahony, Co Cork paying 1600gns for an eye-catching ram lamb belonging to Alfred and Norman Robinson’s Benrafton flock.This lamb was the first out of 20,000gn stock ram Cairness Masterstroke, jointly owned by Packie Donnelly, Donrho, to be offered for sale. It was out of a Diamond Geezer ewe and stood fourth in the single ram lamb class.
Meanwhile Sligo breeders James and Ursula Rooney paid 1550gns to secure an impressive ram lamb from the Carrowmoney flock of Anthony Patton. It was bred by Forkins Ferarri II out of a Whitestone Rory ewe. In all the former NI Branch chairman sold four cracking ram lambs to an average of £787.50.
Veteran breeder David Duncan sold two outstanding lambs for 1400gns and 1100gns respectively. The first has gone for use in the Teeshan flock of Ben and Trevor Robinson, the second found a new home in the Crumlin Fourscore flock of N Lowry.
The reserve champion, a Strathbogie Jackpot lamb out of a Strathisla Shadrach ewe, presented by Fermanagh breeder Gary Beacom sold for 1000gns.
Elsewhere in the show ring Antrim breeder Packie Donnelly claimed the shearling ram honours ahead of Omagh breeders Stephanie and William Tait with B and C Dickson third.
The Tait camp claimed the winning rosette in the Signet Recorded ram lamb class, pipping fellow Tyrone breeder, Hunter Stewart, while David and Andrew Neilly were the 2015 Novice Cup winners. David Duncan was runner-up followed by R and J Neill.
Onlookers then got their first glimpse of Alastair Gault’s champion and Gary Beacom’s reserve champion which claimed first and second in the ram lamb class. Anthony Patton was third with Norman Robinson, William Tait and Campbell and Jason Watson completing the top six.
The pen of three honours went to the Drumquin flock of Mervyn and Lesley Liggett. Denis Taylor was runner-up.
The Premier show and sale was generously sponsored by Danske Bank.
Shearling: 1, P Donnelly; 2, S & W Tait; 3, B & C Dickson; 4, K & G McAdoo; 5, JS Hamilton.
Signet Recorded ram lamb: 1, S & W Tait; 2, SH Stewart.
Novice Cup: 1, D & A Neilly; 2, D Duncan; 3, R & J Neill; 4, M Smyth; 5, D Duncan; 6, Grant Bros.
Ram lamb: 1, A Gault; 2, G Beacom; 3, A Patton; 4, A & N Robinson; 5, S & W Tait; 6, RC and JC Watson.
Pen of Three: 1, L & M Liggett; 2, D Taylor, A & N Robinson; 4, RC & JC Watson; 5, SH Stewart; 6, B & C Dickson.
Champion, A Gault; reserve G Beacom.
NI breeders to the fore at Stirling
A number of Northern Ireland breeders were very much to the fore at the Scottish Area show and sale held at Stirling.
Ballynacanon flock owner Denis Taylor achieved the second highest price of the day when his eye-catching Mountford Mustang son fetched 18000gns. The reserve champion, which stood second in the open ram lamb class, was sold to fellow Northern Ireland breeder Gary McAdoo. A lamb belonging to Gary Beacom was fifth in the class.
It was also a memorable day for Crewelands flock owner Stephen Sufferin. He sold not one but two Birness Bravado bred lambs for 13000gns.
The first which stood top of the line in the Novice class was sold to Chris Holmes, Rookery flock, while the second, out of a Forkins Ferarri dam, was purchased by a three-way syndicate.
Northern Ireland breeders dominated the Novice class with Grant Brothers taking third, Lesley and Mervyn Liggett fourth and Ian Donald sixth.
Denis Taylor’s Group of Three was placed third with Jason and Campbell Watson securing sixth position.
Overall show champion was presented by Andrew Wilson, Castleisle flock, Donegal.
Young Eoin Butler meanwhile achieved first place in the Young Handlers line up (age 8-12).