Taylor tops the class at Armagh Show

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It was an impressive shearling ewe belonging to the Ballynacannon flock of Dennis Taylor that clinched top honours at the recent Northern Ireland Suffolk Championships held at Armagh Show and judged by Iain Barbour of the renowned Solwaybank Flock.

This Ballynacannon Discovery sired shearling ewe edged out Mark Priestley and Campbell and Jason Watson in an impressive strong line up of shearling ewes.

However, Taylor had to fend off stiff competition on a number of fronts in particular from Burnview flock owners Stephanie & William Tait who claimed the reserve champion prize with their aged ram.

Competition in the Northern Ireland Championships was as intense as ever with judge Iain Barbour, of the Solwaybank flock from Dumfriesshire, handing the first and second place rosettes in the aged ram class to Stephanie and William Tait. It was the Tait’s again who edged out Bannview flock owners Campbell and Jason Watson in the shearling ram line-up.

The Crewelands flock of Stephen Sufferin clinched first in the ram lamb class with Mark Priestley claiming second and third in a very powerful line up of ram lambs.

The Ballynacannon flock was again top of the table in the aged ewe class ahead of Mark Priestley and Patrick McVerry.

Mullaghboy flock owner David Ford led the line-up in the ewe lamb class with Lesley and Mervyn Liggett clinching second and Stephen Sufferin third.

The Limestone flock of Mark Priestley clinched the pair of lambs award with Stephanie and William Tait second and Lesley and Mervyn Liggett third.

Stephanie and William Tait took the group awards edging out Mark Priestley and Campbell and Jason Watson. But in the final deliberations, Stephanie and William Tait had to settle for second best on this occasion as Coleraine breeder Dennis Taylor scooped the top prize on offer. Dennis also went on to take Reserve Interbreed of the show.

Meanwhile, in the stock judging competition which followed, it was Philip Gurney who won the over 26 section with Isabella Taylor winning the under 26 section. Neale Fleming and Eve Woods claimed the young handler classes.

Chairman Joe Stewart commented: “On behalf of the NI Branch I should like to congratulate all the many exhibitors on the care they took to present their stock at their very best. The sheer numbers and quality of the sheep on show demonstrated without doubt that Northern Ireland is the place to view quality Suffolks. I would also like to pay tribute to the members of the Show Committee for the efforts which they went to to ensure our championships were a resounding success.

“Many thanks to Smyths Daleside Feeds, our main sponsor of the championships. Thompsons for sponsorship of our stock judging competition and Britmilk for sponsoring our Young Handlers competition, we appreciate your continued sponsorship.”


Ram any age: 1st S&W Tait; 2nd S&W Tait

Shearling Ram: 1st S&W Tait; 2nd RC&JC Watson; 3rd S Doyle

Ram Lamb: 1st S Sufferin; 2nd M Priestley; 3rd M Priestley

Aged Ewe: 1st D Taylor; 2nd M Priestley; 3rd P McVerry

Shearling Ewe: 1st D Taylor; 2nd M Priestley; 3rd RC&JC Watson

Ewe Lamb: 1st D Ford; 2nd L&M Liggett; 3rd S Sufferin

Group of three: 1st S&W Tait; 2nd M Priestley; 3rd RC&JC Watson

Pairs: 1st M Priestley; 2nd S&W Tait; 3rd L&M Liggett

Male Champion – Stephanie & William Tait– aged ram

Reserve Male Champion – Stephen Sufferin – ram lamb

Female Champion – Dennis Taylor – shearling ewe

Reserve Female – Mark Priestley - shearling ewe

Supreme Champion – Dennis Taylor

Reserve Champion - Stephanie & William Tait

Championships Stock Judging

26 & Under: 1st Isabella Taylor; 2nd Emily Sufferin; 3rd Jack Watson

26 and Over: 1st Philip Gurney; 2nd Martin Butler; 3rd Hunter Stewart

Young Handlers

9 years & under: 1st Isabela Taylor; 2nd Jack Moses

Special Awards: Matthew Kyle, Caolan McNally, Noah Taylor, Samuel Maginnes

10 to 14: 1st Neale Fleming; 2nd Eve Woods

Special Awards: Sarah Jane Sufferin, Christopher McClurig & Lola Woods.