Seaforde breeder Mark Priestley had plenty cause for celebration this evening after his outstanding ram lamb scooped the supreme championship at the Suffolk Sheep Society Northern Ireland Premier show and sale at Ballymena Livestock Mart.

The champion, sired by Birness First Choice, not only caught the eye of judge Neil Benzie, but in the sale ring the exceptional exhibit commanded huge interest before realising the top price of 4000gns.

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It proved a highly successful afternoon for the Limestone flock, whose other offering, also bred by Birness First Choice, was knocked down for 1800gns – the second highest price of the day.Despite being early in the season, there was a strong demand across the board for some top class quality ram lambs and shearlings.

Philip Gurney, Aghadowey enjoyed a prosperous day by attracting 1700gns for a Glenhead Commander son, the same price paid for a Kings High and Mighty bred lamb presented by Downpatrick exhibitor, J H Stewart.

David Duncan, Crumlin sold six ram lambs in total, two of which were knocked down at 1200 and 1100gns, respectively, while William Tait’s reserve champion engaged a plethora of bidders before the hammer fell at 1100gns.

In the show ring the previous evening, Kesh breeder Gray Beacom won the shearling ram class while S and W Tait, Lislap, Omagh, captured the Robert H Stewart won the Signet Recorded ram lamb class.

The Novice Cup went to Ballymoney breeder John McKay, JH Stewart presented the best pen of three lambs to win the Allam Cup, while RT Maybin presented the top shearling ewe.

However, the weekend well and truly belonged to Priestley, who saw off stiff competition to clinch the Suffolk Sheep Society Cup for the overall champion.