Success for Hampshire Downs

Tony McGrath Champion flock with Kevin McCarthy judge
Tony McGrath Champion flock with Kevin McCarthy judge

The recent AGM of the Hampshire Down Club was held at the Sheepsbridge Inn, Newry where the 2015 chairman Alan McFadden was unanimously re-elected chairman along with with his wife Victoria being re-elected secretary.

The members thanked them both for their hard work and leadership.

Champion small flock P & H Stevenson. Left to right: Kevin McCarthy judge, Peter Stevenson, Harry Stevenson

Champion small flock P & H Stevenson. Left to right: Kevin McCarthy judge, Peter Stevenson, Harry Stevenson

On the same night the results of the 2015 Ireland flock competition was announced. For the first time this year the Irish members were also included in the society’ flock competition. The national judge was Kevin McCarthy from Comber and he found flocks in Ireland that were able to compete with the best of the British.

The champion Irish flock was the Clogherny flock of Tony McGrath from Dungannon. Tony has had a particularly successful year having been voted runner up ‘Sheep farmer of the year’ in the recent Farming Life and Danske Bank Awards.

Tony runs a 30 ewe flock which is fully recorded and was only established in 2012. As well as succeeding as champion flock he also won best medium flock, best stock rams, best breeding ewes, and best ewe lambs.

In the overall UK flock competition he came reserve champion medium flock, reserve best breeding ewes, reserve best shearling ewes, and reserve best ram lambs.

Glenbrook flock of Peter Lawson champion large flock. From left to right: Kevin McCarthy judge Francis Lawson, Peter Lawson, Sean Doyle (farm manager) and Liam Doyle

Glenbrook flock of Peter Lawson champion large flock. From left to right: Kevin McCarthy judge Francis Lawson, Peter Lawson, Sean Doyle (farm manager) and Liam Doyle

The Clogherny flock were also awarded the Monercarragh trophy for the most successful ram at the shows in 2015.

Reserve champion flock Ireland was awarded to the Lenaderg flock of Mr and Mrs Peter and Heather Stevenson of Manse Road, Portadown. Again this is a young flock established in 2013. Peter’s flock won the small flock category and was placed second in the breeding ewes. In the overall UK flock competition they were awarded reserve champion small flock and reserve champion novice flock.

Winners of the Large flock was the Glenbrook flock again another newly established flock of Mr Peter Lawson from Ballies Mills. This flock was only established in 2014 and already numbers close to 50 pedigree ewes. Glenbrook also went on to win the Ennis trophy for the recorded flock showing the most genetic progress in Ireland under the national Signet scheme.

Other Irish flocks that were placed highly in the National flock competition were those of Jim, Ann and Jonathon Fletcher whose Loughan Moss flock from Comber were placed fourth overall in the medium flocks, and Alan and Vicky McFadden’s Ashley flock from Banbridge were placed third in the small flock section.

Flock competition results

Small flocks: 1st P and H Stevenson; 2nd Alan and Vicky McFadden; 3rd Josephine Wray; 4th Victoria and Connor Murphy

Medium Flocks: 1st Tony McGrath; 2nd J, A and J Fletcher; 3rd Sean Doyle

Large Flocks: 1st Peter Lawson; 2nd Ciaran McAteer

Best stock rams - Tony McGrath

Reserve best stock rams – Sean Doyle

Best ewe lambs - Tony McGrath

Reserve best ewe lambs – Sean Doyle

Best ram lambs Tony McGrath

Res best ram lambs Sean Doyle

Best breeding ewes - Tony McGrath

Reserve best breeding ewes – P and H Stevenson

Best stock rams - Tony McGrath

Reserve best stock rams – Sean Doyle

Champion flock Ireland: Tony McGrath

Reserve Champion flock Ireland: P and H Stevenson

The club would like to send their best wishes to Alan and Vicky on the recent birth of their daughter Thea.