The buoyant Mule trade and overall confidence in the sheep sector failed to translate into a strong Bluefaced Leicester trade at Ballymena, with the top price set at just 2200gns and buyers only bidding strongly for the best of the sheep on offer.
Taking this lead call was a shearling tup from G Walsh, Quoile. This tup, bred by R Kerr, Randox, and by Z8 Lenmore, caught the eye of regular buyer, J Stewart.
Next best of the day was the leading call in the ram lambs, the day’s pre-sale champion from Alistair Christie, The Fields.
This one had also stood first in his class at Antrim and Ballymoney shows earlier in the summer and is by X3 St Ravenscar and is out of a ewe by V10 Todhills. Buying the lamb was B Blaney, Cushendall Farm.
Aside from these two buyers were reluctant to break the 2000gns mark, with several lots falling just short of this figure. First to get near was a shearling from Robert Loughridge, Orravale.
This one, not shown is by 3200gns B41 Midlock and out of a T1 Airyolland daughter. He sold at 1900gns to P Staunton, Co Mayo.
A second to hit the 1900gns mark was from Larne breeder John Holden. His C3 Blairmount, by Firth E+ is out of a ewe by an Orravale sire. He was bought by M Gingles, Kilwaughter. Mr Holden’s first into the ring, C6 Blairmount, and by the same sire sold in an 1850gns deal to J McCalmont, Glenarm.
Robert Loughridge then collected 1750gns for his second prized tup, C20 Orravale, sired by B16 Tan House and out of a ewe by W1 Hawshaw. He sold to R Hayes, Plumbrudge.
Hitting 1700gns was a shearling from C A Coulter, Carrick Rock. This was C22 Duhonw, a Michael James bred son of A5 Old Hemley E+. He sold to Michelle Wright.