Birness Ram Lamb takes top price

Dates: 19th & 20th July 2019.

Sponsor: Norbook

Joint Auctioneers: J Straker, Chadwick & Sons, Abergavenny and Halls, Shrewsbury.

Judge: Patrick O’Keeffe

The Suffolk Sheep Society broadcast its Norbrook sponsored National Show and Sale online with over 23,000 people reached as George L Stuart’s (Birness Flock, Aberdeenshire) Ballynacannon Noah sired lamb ram (1W:19:02409) out of a Ballynacannon sired dam topped the sale at 7,200gns bought by Stephen Cobbald of Suffolk for his Lavenham Flock. Click here to view pedigree

With two of the top three prices from the Birness pen, D J Harvey from Powys bought the Birness bred National Champion (1W:19:02456) for 6,000gns. This excellent lamb was also a Ballynacannon Noah sired lamb. The renowned Aberdeenshire breeders had an excellent two days in both the Show and Sales rings by lifting the first place ram lamb and first prize pen of three. The ram lamb went on to lift the Breed Champion ticket. In the sales ring Birness also sold lot 89 for 2,600gns, lot 90 for 1,500gns and lot 87 for 1,300gns.

S & W Tait (Burnview Flock) from Co Tyrone got 6,600gns for their Strathbogie Im Invincible sired ram lamb. This Reserve Champion lamb (T86:19:01375) was 6th place at the Royal Ulster Show, Balmoral and is a full brother of the 10,000gns Burnview Bombay Saphire sold at Stirling in 2018. New young breeder Darren McMenamin’s purchased this ram for his Donegal based Mullinvale Flock.

Mark Priestley’s Limestone pen (Co Down) averaged 2,730gns for 6 ram lambs sold. Top price was 5,200gns paid by Jason Trimble from N Ireland for a Limestone Aston Martin sired lamb (KPC:19:01194) out of a Forkins dam. At 5,000gns, and heading to the Republic of Ireland to join E Duffy’s Kells Flock, was another Aston Martin lamb (KPC:19:01189), this time out of a Balquhain dam. The rest of the pen went for 2,200gns, 1,800gns, 900gns and 500gns.

The hammer fell at 5,000gns for lot 192, a ram lamb from J T & E A Midgley from York (Orion Flock) purchased by J M Robinson & Sons for their Crusoe Flock in Lincolnshire. This Strathbogie Shogun sired lamb (CRD:19:03089) out of an Arion dam from Stockton Springsteen. D G Jones’ Aberystwyth based  Frongoy Flock had a top price of 4,300gns for his Ballynacannon Mcgregor sired lamb (NAT:19:05664). P Lupton, N Yorkshire, paid 4,000gns for M A Evans (Rhaeadr Flock) a Stockton Snipers Son sired ram lamb.

L & M Liggett, Co Tyrone, got a top price of 3,500gns for lot 42 (DBB:19:00949), a Rookery Ringmaster sired lamb out of one of his best ewes by Rhaeadr Red Bull out of a Baileys ewe. This ram went to Dennis Taylor’s Bristol Gold Cup winning Ballynacannon Flock in Co Londonderry. Iain Barbour (Solwaybank Flock, Dumfries) paid 3,000gns for S Sufferin’s Birness Playboy sired lamb (lot 102). With S Ryder paying 3,000gns for DennisTaylor’s Beechbrook Bombastic sired lamb. A & N Williams paid the same price for T & A Mogford’s lot 31, a Crewelands Masterpeice sired lamb.

The top price ewe lamb was purchased by P Kennedy and P McVerry from N Ireland. The hammer fell at 1,500gns for this Rookery Bred lamb from C J Holmes’ Worcestershire Flock. S Walker’s Shearling Female Champion went to the mainland Europe for 700gns.

At the Suffolk Sheep Society National Sale in Shrewsbury trade was slower than other years, a trait experienced by other Society sales in recent weeks. Sheep presented was marginally down on last year, however, clearance was up slightly on 2018 from 64% to 65% and averages for Ram Lambs was disappointingly down from £1,475 in 2018 to £1,230.

“Challenging times, full of uncertainty. There was a distinct lack of continental buyers at the National this year and there is definitely a general reluctance for farmers to invest too heavily until the outlook for the sector over the next few years becomes clearer. Irrespective of individual political views regarding Brexit, this high level of uncertainty is most certainly a concern for our members and has to have a detrimental effect on prices.”

Society CEO Robin McIlrath


11Shearling Ewes Ave £515, top £735

13 Ewe Lambs Ave £524, top £1,575

128 Ram Lambs (205 forward) Ave £1,230 , top  £7,560