17 August 2001

Suffolk ram a real bargain

NORTH Wales Suffolk breeder Huw Francis admitted he would normally have had to pay much more than the 2300gns he gave for the champion ram at the Suffolk Sheep Societys show and sale at Balmoral, Northern Ireland.

"In any other year this ram would have been out of our reach," said Mr Francis who runs the Ward flock at Ruthin.

The ram was consigned by David Duncan and was one of eight rams from his Laurelbank flock at Crumlin, Co Antrim, that averaged 716gns. Movement restrictions to the mainland will keep the lamb with his breeder for the time being.

The champion is by Muiresk Monsignor and out of a ewe by the 75,000gns Edinburgh record-holder Stockton Almighty. Mr Duncan sold to 7000gns in the Edinburgh ring last year.

Chairman of the NI club, Roberta McMullan, said she was pleased to see 81 rams sold. "But the 21-day rule and movement restrictions to the mainland had an effect on demand."

Others to enjoy a good trade were Harry Stewart who saw eight lambs from his Castlewellan flock at Downpatrick level at 762gns and peak at 1600gns.

The Burnview flock of S and W Tait from Co Tyrone had a field day with progeny of Cairness Royal Court – NI sire of the year. They collected the reserve champion ticket with a ram lamb out of a Cairness-bred ewe. They also led the shearling and the recorded class and clinched victory in the best group of three ram lambs. (J A McClelland and Son) &#42