The first of the Texel Sheep Society’s National Sales, the Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena, saw prices peak at 5,6000gns.

Averages were up on the year, with averages for shearling rams up £230.

Leading trade was the male champion and reserve overall champion from the pre-sale show, John Foster’s shearling ram Springhill Uppercut.

Springhill Uppercut

This son of Teiglum Target is out of a dam by homebred sire Springhill Ronaldo. Having been bid to 2,800gns in the ring he was turned away unsold, but later sold for 5,600gns in a two-way split to Alex Gray, Langside, and Peter Gray, Scrogtonhead.

John Foster also took the day’s second best price when he sold his ram lamb, Springhill V Tech, for 4,500gns. This one is another by Ustinoff and is out of a dam by Ballynadrenta Nicefella. He was the choice of Jim Wilson, Blackstown, with a share retained by Mr Foster.

Following that at 4,200gns was Messrs Millar and McComb’s lamb Millcomb Vindicator, a son of Knock Ursus out of a 4,800gns Forkins dam by Watchknowe Rustic Boy. This lamb was knocked down to Christopher and Martin Mullan, Drumsurn, Limavady, for the Bluegates flock, with a half share selling to David and James Boyd, Ballyclare for their Crawfordsland flock.

Colin Gregg took the next best price of 3,200gns when selling Kildowney Victorious, a Killyvolgan Ulsterman son out of a homebred dam by Kerryhill Rocketman. This lamb had been first at Ballymena show and sold to for export to Eire with B Kirkham, Drumcondrath, Navan, Co Meath.

Two lambs then followed that at 3,000gns, with the first of these being from the Society chairman Henry Gamble’s Springwell flock. This was Springwell Viera, a son of the noted Oberstown Usain Bolt out of a dam by Derryvore Ranger, which was the Northern Ireland gimmer of the year in 2012. This lamb sold to Owen Donohoe for the Derryvore flock, Enniskillen.

Earning a second 3,000gns call was young breeder Mark Breen with his first prize winning lamb from the Texel Young Breeders class. This lamb, Ballygreenan Victor is sired by Auchencairn Tello and out of a dam by Duncryne Ringmaster. He was bought by Cyril and Martin Millar for their Millar’s flock, with half of this lamb taken by Andrew Kennedy for the Maineview flock.

Females

Leading the female trade on the first day of the sale at 4,000gns, was the champion from the pre-sale show, a gimmer from the McKay family’s Rohan flock, YMK1300256. This gimmer by Glenside Topgun is out of a dam by Tullagh Legend. After some strong bidding she was knocked down to Paul and Baillie O’Connor for the Drumgooland flock.

McKay's 4000gns gimmer

Following that was a 2,100gns bid for a full ET bred sister to the champion from the McKays, YMK1300230, with this one selling to Adrian Liggett for the Corbo flock.

Averages; 180 ram lambs, £732.49 (+£8.71); 80 shearling rams, £812.04 (+£233.24); 39 shearling ewes, £693.81 (+£7.43); three ewe lambs, £945 (+£32).

(J A McLelland and Son).