There was a good turnout of NI Lleyn Sheepbreeders and their friends recently at The Ross Park Hotel for their annual dinner.
Special guest was William Thompson, agricultural manager with the Bank of Ireland who kindly sponsored the NI Lleyn Sheep Flock Competition.
Club chairman Edward Adamson gave a warm welcome to all those attending on a particularly cold evening and went on to announce the winners of the various cups and trophies won throughout the year which were handed over by William Thompson.
2015 was just the second year that the Lleyn breed has exhibited at Balmoral Show and champion male and overall breed champion was exhibited by Charles and Andrew Kennedy, Ballyclare. Female champion came from breed stalwarts Roly and Fiona Cunningham, Hillsborough. These two breeders seem to dominate at the shows where there were show classes for the Lleyn breed. Breeders turned out in good numbers at the shows and it was particularly encouraging at Castlewellan Show to see that the Lleyn breed was numerically the largest breed attending with a full ring for all the various classes.
At the annual show and sale held in Ballymena, Charles and Andrew Kennedy once again won the Crystalyx Cup for champion shearling ram with John Johnston, Portrush exhibiting the top pen of gimmers. The NI Lleyn Sheep Breeders Cup, a new cup presented for the best pen of ewe lambs was won by R and E Edwards, Carrowdore. At the sale all stock sold extremely well with a complete clearance in the female section despite a summer when lamb prices were in the doldrums.
The final awards announced were for the recent flock competition which was judged by Mr Jon Blakey from Morpeth in Northumberland.
1st Barry Latimer, Girgadis, Trillick, Co Tyrone
2nd Charles and Andrew, Kennedy Mileview, Ballyclare Co Antrim
3rd Roly and Fiona Cunningham, Woodlawn, Hillsborough, Co Down
1st Russell Millen, Knockmult, Coleraine, Co Londonderry
2nd R and E Edwards, Carrowdore, Newtownards, Co Down
3rd Aubrey Bothwell, Derryvree, Maguiresbridge, Co Fermanagh
Mr William Thompson gave a short presentation giving the bank’s perspective to the present situation agriculture finds itself in. The message was one of taking a look at the business costs and avoiding any unnecessary expenses while trying to increase outputs in a sustainable way. This was a place in the sheep industry where the Lleyn breed could play a positive role.