The Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders Club Premier show and sale for the second year in a row at Hilltown Farmers Mart, was another success for the breed and was very well attended by both pedigree and commercial breeders alike.
Ram averages were once again up on the previous year and, despite the increased difference in the exchange rate between sterling and the euro, many purchases were exported to the South of Ireland, with a select number of rams taking the top prices of the day.
The sales topper at £1,260 was the pre-sale show (pictured below) reserve male champion, a strong shearling ram from Elizabeth McAllister, Kells. Artnagullion Rome ET is sired by the multi prize winning Clary Platform ram – the 2012 Balmoral Show Champion – and is out of Artnagullion Mika ET, by Ulysses sire. He sold to K and A McCarthy, Comber and D Murray, Downpatrick.
Next up in the top sale prices was a strong shearling ram from Cynthia Aiken’s Carnew flock at Dromara. Carnew Rocket, by Artnagullion Prince Charming II ET and out of Carnew Penny, by Headlind Lackey, sold for £850 to Messrs Blair, Dungannon. This was closely followed by his pen mate, Carnew Rodeo, another strong shearling by the same sire and out of Carnew Pam, also by Headlind Lackey. He sold for £819 to Mark King, Castlewellan, leaving the Aiken’s with a pen average of £834.
Elizabeth McAllister’s Artnagullion flock then presented a shearling which fetched £787 – this time it was Artnagullion Ringleader ET, by the Artnagullion Playboy ET sire and out of Artnagullion Goody-2-Shoes by the £35,700 Tullygarley Elite sire, and he also sold to Mark King, Castlewellan. The Artnagullion pen of shearlings had the top average of £864.
Next up was a shearling ram from Matthew Burleigh’s Matt’s flock at Kinawley, Enniskillen. Matt’s Rebound ET is by the Eskdale Lionheart sire and is out of Vestry Look at Her by Airyolland Jester. He sold for £735 to David McLoughlin, Donegal.
Munreary R&D from the Munreary flock of Patrick Brolly, Claudy, sold for £714 to Messrs Jardine, Aughnacloy. This April-born shearling is by Ardstewart Messr sire and is out of Munreary Lascivious by Bishopton Jake. Another from the Burleigh pen sold for the same price, to Mr Gallinagh, Donegal, for £714. This time it was Matt’s Rocket, the second prize shearling ram also by Eskdale Lionheart sire and out of Burnside Kelly by Burnside Jako. The Matt’s pen averaged £617.
The show’s supreme champion, the stylish first prize ram lamb from the Matt’s flock of Matthew Burleigh, Kinaawley, Enniskillen, sold for £630. Matt’s Stardust ET is another by Eskdale Lionheart and is out of Rocksolid Molly ET by Rocksolid Knuckleduster and sold to Messrs Kearns, Southern Ireland.
Topping the female sales was a smart shearling ewe from the McAllister’s Artnagullion flock. Again bred by the 2012 Balmoral champion Clary Platform, Artnagullion Rita stood second in the shearling ewe class and is out of Artnagullion Janita, by Ulysses and sold for £525 to Mr J Ferguson, Newtownards.
Next up was the best from the O’Neills’ Lagyveagh pen, Lagyveagh River Dance. She is another by Goliath and is out of Lagyveagh Kimberley by Cannon and sold for £441 to John McLoughlin, Claudy. This was followed by another from the Artnagullion flock, this time by the Artnagullion Pavarotti sire and out of Artnagullion Lottie by Ulysses, and she sold for £420 to Mr Scott.
Sale Averages: Aged Rams – £352; Shearling rams – £506.42 (£493.50); Ram Lambs – £361 (£552); Shearling Ewes – £318 (£331).