NI breeders to the fore at Carlisle Dorset show and sale

Mary Cubitt with Male Champion and Thomas Wright with Reserve Male Champion
Mary Cubitt with Male Champion and Thomas Wright with Reserve Male Champion

The 10th Special Show & Sale of Pedigree Registered Dorset Horn & Polled Dorset Sheep was held in Borderway Mart on Friday, August 25.

This annual event has grown in popularity with breeders making their way to Carlisle from all parts of the UK, this year attracting entries from seven Northern Ireland Dorset breeders. Also travelling from Northern Ireland were a number of potential buyers wishing to either establish or add to their Dorset flock.

This show and sale attracted a select offering of 27 Rams and 316 Females with quality sheep coming forward for sale and there was keen interest shown by the strong number of buyers present. There was a noticeable interest in the NI sheep on offer as the reputation of the breed from this part of the UK has been enhanced over the recent years by the consistent quality of the stock offered for sale at the National May Fair Sale in Exeter.

The earlier part of the day was given over to the judging of the various classes and this was expertly accomplished by judge Mr Geraint Jones of the Roci Flock.

All classes were keenly contested and the judge, having had a selection of top quality animals to choose from, found his Supreme Champion in a superbly bred ewe lamb from the Downkillybegs Flock of W & K Carson. This well grown young ewe lamb exhibiting all the traits of the breed was sired by Downkillybegs Pilot, off a Downkillybegs Taz bred dam. She later went on to sell for 900 guineas, topping the sale in the females and was purchased by Gary Hanna of Newtownards.

The top price of the sale was realised by the Reserve Champion, an outstanding young ram lamb from the Kildowney Flock of Graham Cubitt. This ram was sired by Richhill Wyatt, and sold for 1900 gns, a record price for a Dorset ram at this centre, going to another Northern Ireland breeder Shane Wilson, Ballynure (Legaloy Flock), to add to his group of stock rams which came first in the NI Flock competition this year.

Buyers were definitely in the market for quality stock and other leading prices were:

Graham Cubitt for ewe lambs 650 gns reserve female (to G Hanna Newtownards NI), 550 gns (to JE & SM Gray Ilkley), 450 gns (to G & M Trading Leyburn), 420gns, 380gns (to S Driver Glossop), 350gns (to Torbeg Holdings Isle of Arran).

Thomas Wright for pens ewe lambs: 340gns, 290gns, 290gns.

D. Lewis 750gns (to A Sparks Miskin) and A. Dufosee 450gns (to D Rankin Isle of Skye) for Shearling Rams.

Thomas Wright for ram lambs 620gns reserve male (to S & N Waller Carnforth), 500gns (to JW & JL Mellin Skipton).

Graham Cubitt for ram lamb 450gns (to JW & JL Mellin).

D. Lewis for ram lamb 400 gns (to RT & J Gorst, Kendal).

There was a high clearance of sales in the female classes and the sale average for both ram classes was up on the previous year for similar numbers sold.

Sale averages were:

Ram Lambs: £535

Shearling Rams: £472

Shearling Ewes: £368

Ewe Lambs: £258

Pen of ewes: £188

Dispersal of the Redhill Flock (Mendip Hills) by Brenda R Wear averaged £225.

The judge, in addition to selecting the champions in each class, had the task of selecting the prize winners in each section and these were as follows:

Aged & Shearling Ram - 1st, A Dufosee, 2nd, D Lewis, 3rd, S Driver

Ram Lamb – 1st, G Cubitt, 2nd, T Wright, 3rd, G Cubitt, 4th, W & K Carson, 5th, J Royan

Aged ewe - 1st, B Wear, 2nd, B Wear

Shearling gimmer - 1st, D Lewis, 2nd, DW Rossiter, 3rd, A Dufosee

Ewe Lamb – 1st, W & K Carson, 2nd, G Cubitt, 3rd, G Cubitt, 4th, M & C Maybin, 5th, SP McCarry.

The NI Dorset Club would take this opportunity to commend the breed for its qualities, both in the pedigree sector and its ease of lambing, fast growth rates and finishing in the commercial sector.

The next sale organised by NI Dorset Club, kindly sponsored by Danske Bank is the final sale of the season and will be held in Ballymena Mart on Monday, October 2, with showing at 5pm and the sale commencing at 6.30pm. This sale will offer new and established breeders the opportunity to purchase top quality male and female stock.