The 45th Annual Premier Show & Sale of NI Horn & Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders Club, sponsored by Norbrook Laboratories, represented by Jacqueline Hamilton, was held in J.A.McClelland & Sons Livestock Mart, Ballymena on Monday, July 31.
This Premier Show & Sale attracted an entry of 222 great quality sheep, and the popularity of the breed was reflected in the interest shown by the large number of buyers present and eager to do business. These also included breeders from Scotland, England and Wales, given this event’s GB Export Sale status.
The earlier part of the day was given over to the judging of the different classes and this was ably accomplished by Judge Mr Joe Dufosee of the famed Blackhill Flock, Wiltshire. Each class entry was keenly contested with top quality animals being brought forward for judging.
Following careful consideration Mr Dufosee found his Supreme Champion in a superbly bred ram lamb from the Kildowney flock of Graham Cubitt. This tremendously formed young ram was sired by Richhill Wyatt off a Downkillybegs Huggy dam and he later went on to sell for 550guineas, being purchased by Mr Sam Driver, Derbyshire, who runs over 500 breeding Dorset ewes in his Sandy Lane Flock which totals 4,400 sheep.
In making his choice, the judge Mr Dufosee commented that this big solid ram lamb possessed all the qualities of the breed and was outstandingly correct in every way.
The top price of the sale was achieved by two breeders from two different classes.
First up was an eye catching young ram lamb from the Downkillybegs Flock of W & K Carson, sired by Downkillybegs TAZ, and following a flurry of bids sold for 800gns to A & G Sloane, Dromore, Co Tyrone. This was matched by an outstanding ewe lamb from the famed Olivertree Flock of J & R Hill. This Richhill UBank bred lamb went on to gain the top female price of 800gns to Graham Meadon, Wales.
The Reserve Champion was first prize Novice Class winner, a ram lamb from the Bannside Flock of Rachel Moore, a fine example of the breed sired by Granagh Nightrider. This ram lamb sold for 650gns, being purchased by the judge Mr Joe Dufosee of the Blackhill Flock, Wiltshire.
Opposite Sex to the champion was a shearling ewe of Ballytober Flock owned by K & B Sloan flock and was sold for 210gns.
The Champion Horn Dorset was a ewe lamb shown by Cameron Carson of the Mainevalley Flock and sold for 350gns to Mr Joe Dufosee, Wiltshire.
There was a keen interest in strong ewe lambs with the first placed pair from the pen of G & G Henderson, of the Sandleford Flock, selling for 260gns and 280gns respectively. Others from this flock achieved 380gns and 340gns.
Other leading prices: B Lamb 750gns (Ram lamb to Raymond Hill); W & K Carson 550gns (for two Ram lambs to P Crawford and to I Davidson); M & C Maybin 550gns (Ewe lamb); G Henderson 550gns (Horn ram lamb to Joe Dufosee): R Hill 500gns (Ewe lamb to R Fitton); A Knox 480gns (Ram lamb to J Dufosee).
There was a high clearance of sales in all classes and sale averages for each class are as follows:
Class One Ram Lambs: £385.73
Class Two Shearling Rams: £311
Class Three Senior Rams: £200
Class Four Ewe Lambs: £241.84
Class Five Shearling Ewes: £181.40
Class Six Senior Ewes: £301.88
The judge Mr Joe Dufosse, in addition to selecting the champions in each class, had the task of selecting the prizewinners in each section and these were as follows:
Horn Ram Lamb – 1st G & G Henderson, 2nd G & G Henderson, 3rd B Lamb.
Poll Ram Lamb – 1st G Cubitt, 2nd A Knox, 3rd A McConnell.
Pair Ram Lambs – 1st W & K Carson.
Shearling Ram - 1st K & B Sloan, 2nd A Fearon, B & V Campbell.
Horn Ewe Lamb - 1st C Carson, 2nd C Johnston, 3rd C Carson.
Poll Ewe Lamb - 1st G Cubitt, 2nd R Currie, 3rd G & G Henderson.
Pair ewe lambs - 1st G & G Henderson, 2nd J & C Robinson, 3rd G Cubitt.
Shearling Ewe - 1st K & B Sloan, 2nd A Dodd, 3rd A Dodd.
Novice Breeder Lamb Class - 1st R Moore, A & C Kennedy, 3rd R Moore.
Progeny group - 1st R Currie, 2nd G & G Henderson, 3rd J & C Robson.
Supreme Champion - G Cubitt.
Reserve Overall Champion - R Moore.
Best Opp Sex- K & B Sloan.
Best Horn Exhibit - C Carson.
The Club would wish to record its’ appreciation to Joe Dufosee for his judging of the event and to Norbrook for sponsoring the Annual Premier Show & Sale Prizes. Thanks also to Jacqueline Hamilton for representing the sponsors on the day.
The NI Dorset Club would wish 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 members will be held in Hilltown on 11th August. The show starts at noon with the sale commencing at 1.30pm. This is an EU export sale and will offer new and established breeders the opportunity to purchase top quality stock.