The NI Dorset Club held its fifth annual Dorset Breeders’ Sale in J.A.McClelland’s Mart, Ballymena on Monday 12th March at 6.30pm.
This sale saw the introduction of elite female stock for the first time with the prices reflecting a very keen interest amongst buyers.
With the main thrust of the sale having been scheduled at this time to give breeders the opportunity to purchase top quality rams to put to their pedigree flock in April, trade for quality animals was strong.
The sale attracted a total entry of 26, commencing with ram lambs to senior rams and all rams shown were adjudged to be quality animals. Judging was in the capable hands of the Northern Ireland Dorset Club’s Chairperson Amy McConnell, herself a noted Dorset breeder of the Beechmount flock. Showing commenced with a select but strong class of ram lambs.
Following close scrutiny and due deliberation the results were as follows:
1st Entry No.9 sired by Bannside X51 and owned by Seamus Mullan.
2nd Entry No.6 sired by Downkillybegs Taz and owned by Ken Thompson.
3rd Entry No.10 sired by Sandleford Thunder and owned by Ben Lamb.
4th Entry No.3 sired by Richill Wyatt and owned by Graham Cubitt.
The ram lambs were followed by a smaller number of shearling rams, all of which were predominantly strong animals displaying all the best traits of the Dorset breed.
The results were as follows:
1st Entry No.13 sired by Ballytaggart United and owned by Laura Weir.
2nd Entry No.12 sired by Pembroke Wildcard and owned by Thomas Wright.
3rd Entry No.11 sired by Pembroke Wildcard and owned by Thomas Wright.
4th Entry No.17 sired by Ballytaggart Xavier and owned by K&B Sloan.
Finally in the Senior Ram class the results were as follows: 1st Entry No.19 sired by Pembroke Time Bomb, owned by A&C Kennedy.
With the female stock consisting of Shearling ewes the results were as follows:
1st Entry No.26 sired by LisNafillan Utah and owned by Laura Weir.
2nd Entry No. 25 sired by Ballytaggart United and owned by Laura weir.
3rd Entry No. 23 sired by Downkillybegs Watson and owned by M&C Maybin.
4th Entry No. 20 sired by Ballytaggart T141 and owned by Ben Lamb.
Show Champion went to Seamus Mullan for his 1st placed ram lamb and Reserve Champion went to ken Thompson for his 2nd placed ram lamb.
Following the judging, past breed promotional officer very kindly presented the NI Dorset Club with the lovely perpetual Lisnafillan Cup to be presented to the Champion animal of each Spring Sale.
The sale commenced with the Ram lambs which saw prices peaking at 1000 guineas for the ram lamb bred from Ben Lamb’s Richhill flock, which after a flurry of bids saw it going to join Gary Hanna’s recently established Mae flock.
Other leading ram lamb prices included 380 guineas to Ken Thompson purchased by Samuel & Elaine Caldwell and 350 guineas to Graham Cubitt purchased by Timothy Walker.
Overall there was a strong trade for well grown September 2017 born animals with good conformation and blood lines, with ram lambs sold averaging £520.
The Shearling rams followed on with the top price of 400 guineas, having been bred and shown by Thomas Wright and purchased by J McFetridge, Glenarm, followed by 320 guineas for a Ballytaggart United ram bred by Laura Weir and purchased by Brian Taylor, Ligoneil. This class realised an average of £380.
The Senior ram sold by Andrew Kennedy off Pembroke Time Bomb made 700 guineas, being purchased by W R Stevenson, Ahoghill.
The newly introduced Shearling ewe class brought a great deal of interest attracting brisk bidding from those who wished to purchase elite females. Top price of 650 guineas went to the first placed ewe bred by Laura Weir and purchased by Gary Hanna of Mae flock. Other leading prices were 500 guineas to M&C Maybin and 400 guineas to Ben Lamb.
The Club would wish to record its’ appreciation to Provita for sponsoring the Spring Ram Sale and prizes, and many thanks to Keiran Donnelly for representing the sponsors on the night.
The NI Dorset Club would wish to commend the breed for its qualities, both in the pedigree sector and for ease of lambing in the commercial sector. While there will be future sales during the course of the year, many NI Dorset Club members are gearing up for the next big event in the breeders’ calendar, namely the May Fair scheduled for Tuesday 8th and Wednesday, 9th May in Exeter.