Hampshires hit the target in carcass competition in Lurgan

Reserve champion pair of lambs from Seamus Doyle
Reserve champion pair of lambs from Seamus Doyle

The Irish Hampshire Down Club recently held their carcass competition at ABP Food Group in Lurgan.

Michael Woods, chief grader for ABP, had the task of judging the entry of crossbred Hampshire Down lambs.

Champion pair of lambs from Peter Lawso

Champion pair of lambs from Peter Lawso

ABP demands that all its lambs are Farm Quality Assured and the required specification for the competition was for a matching pair.

Most of the lambs put forward were mule crosses and the majority graded U’s with some R’s. The winning pair from Glenbrook Farm, Balliesmills graded U3L’s. The lambs were born in April and were out of a mule ewe.

They were reared and finished entirely off grass and milk in 12 weeks. Glenbrook Farm keep approximately 350 commercial ewes mainly using Hampshire Down rams. Their aim is to produce prime lamb at the lowest cost possible.

Peter Lawson commented: “This is achieved by reducing feed costs to a minimum and we aim to have all our lambs away by 16 weeks.

Champion pair of lambs with (from left) Sean Doyle, Michael Woods and Jonathan Fletcher

Champion pair of lambs with (from left) Sean Doyle, Michael Woods and Jonathan Fletcher

“This week we sent 100 lambs to ABP finished on grass alone.”

The reserve champion pair where submitted by Seamus Doyle from Katesbridge.

They were also bred from mule ewes. This was the end draw of his Hampshire cross lambs born in early March, with the rest having been sent to ABP over the past month.

Judge Michael Woods commented on the quality of the champion and reserve champion pair saying: “These were excellent carcasses well finished at 22kg with good shape and optimum fat cover. The rest of the entries all met market specification and this is exactly what our clients want.”

The club would like to thank ABP Food Group Lurgan for hosting the event.

The Hampshire Down Ireland premier ram sale will be held at Ballymena Livestock market on Monday, August 5, at 7pm.