Ram lambs come out on top as S O’Keeffe takes Overall Champion and M Priestley grabs the top price at this year’s NI Premier Export Show & Sale.
Date: 14th & 15th July 2023
Sponsor: Danske Bank
Auctioneer: JA McClelland and Sons Ltd.
The Society’s Northern Ireland Branch Premier Export Show and Sale took place on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th July 2023 at Ballymena Livestock Market in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The show took place on Friday afternoon with an excellent quality of lambs and showmanship clearly to be seen and the Judge on the day was James Wallace (Claycrop) over for the day from South West Scotland to whom we extend our thanks for taking on the commitment.
Overall Show Champion
The Overall Champion Lot 189 from S O’Keeffe
Overall reserve Champion Lot 171 M Priestley
Male Champion lot 189 S O’Keeffe
Reserve Male Champion lot 171 M Priestley
Pen of three Ram lambs for the Allam Cup
1st M Priestey lots 175, 173 & 172
2nd P Gurney lots 144, 147 & 142
3rd W&S Tait lots155, 156 &158
4th D Taylor lots 93, 94 & 95
5th A Barkley lots 74,75 & 78
6th D Duncan lots 57, 58 & 60
Ram Lamb Class for the Suffolk Sheep Society Cup
1st lot 189 S O’Keeffe
2nd lot 171 M Priestley
3rd lot 140 P Gurney
4th lot 93 D Taylor
5th lot 65 D Ford
6th lot 131 S&J McCloskey
Novice Ram lamb for the Suffolk Novice Cup
1st lot 91 R Wilson
2nd lot 51 K Johnston
3rd lot 167 A OKeeffe
4th lot 188 S&J Toye
5th lot 127 D&N Fleming
6th lot 80 Grant Brothers
Commercial Gigot Ram lamb for the Robert H Stewart Memorial Cup
1st lot 120 A R Gault
2nd lot 75 RA Barkley
3rd lot 141 P Gurney
4th lot 156 S&W Tait
5th lot 129 C&J Watson
6th lot 132 S&J McCloskey
Shearling Ram Class for the Kinbally Cup
1st lot 46 A&N Robinson
2nd lot 43 AR Gault
3rd lot 45 Mark Priestley
4th lot 40 M&C McNally
Champion lot 16 S&J McCloskey
Reserve lot 1 R&J Watson
Shearling Ewe class for the R J Allam Memorial Cup
1st lot 16 S&J McCloskey
2nd lot 17 D Duncan
3rd lot 31 M Butler
4th lot 23 C&J Watson
5th lot 24 P Gurney
6th lot 34 M McNally
Ewe Lamb Class for the Major WEH Workman cup
1st lot 1 C&J Watson
2nd lot 6 J&M Maginnes
3rd lot 4 R Blair
4th lot 5 R Blair
5th lot 13 K Johnston
6th lot 10 I Donald
Young Handlers under 18s
1st Neal Flemming
2nd Joseph Trimble
3rd Lewis Chambers
4th Glen Caldwell
Young handlers under 14s
1st Isabella Taylor
2nd Noah Taylor
3rd Caolan McNally
4th Aimee Liggett
5th Ruth Trimble
6th Riley Gurney
Ballymena Sale report
Although there was a reduction in the number of sheep sold for export at the sale this year, this was more than compensated in increased local trade and a very solid commercial trade which aided our healthy clearance rate.
Patrick McVerry, chair of the Northern Irish Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society commented how pleased he was to see such a high standard of entries forward at the Ballymena Premiers sale, a standard which has been improving year on year.
There were 13 lambs offered for sale and the Ewe lambs started with a slow bidding, but 900 gns being reached on three occasions giving a 70% clearance rate and an average of 670.83 guineas.
J&M Maginnes (Seaforde) with a single ET lamb by Howgillfoot Batman, being purchased by MPD Morrow, Mark Priestley (Limestone) with a single ET lamb sired by Castleisle Kingsman being bought by Laura Jane Fergusson and K Johnston (Rossbrook) for a twin lamb sired by Ballynacannon Cannonball hitting the top price of 900 gns.
K Johnston (Rossbrook) followed his top lot with a 700 gns sale to SR Glenn with an ET twin lamb sired again by Ballynacannon Cannonball and at the same sale price I Donald (Donbraid) with a lamb sired by Islandmoyle Amarok.
There were 21 forward for sale and 14 changed hands at an average of 761.25 gns and a 66% clearance rate.
Reaching the top spot was lot 16 from S McCloskey (Glenroe) heading to Martin Brown at 1600 gns for a strong Shearling ewe by Crewelands Dancing Brave, followed by K Johnston’s (Rossbrook) Twin ET shearling by Larahirl Ladies Man. This was followed by D Duncan’s (Duncans) lot 17 reaching 900 gns by Forkins McCoy and going to Anthony Patton.
Five shearling rams were offered for sale leading to 4 going to new homes. Top of the shop was lot 46 consigned by AAJ and NAJ Robinson selling at 1400 gns and heading to M Herron.
With 130 ram lambs forward for the sale and 113 changing hands at a sale average of 1527.61 gns, a lift of 70 gns on the previous year with and increased clearance rate of 87%. Ram lambs were in demand and a good sign that the breed is in a good place.
Top of the shop was a Ram Lamb from Mark Priestley (Limestone) lot 171 selling to a syndicate in a 2 way split by Cailin Joyce & David Loftus all from Galway, South of Ireland for 12,500 guineas at the fall of the hammer. The lamb was sired by Castleisle A Kingsman and was a single ET by Blackstown UJL:20:00673 the dam was purchased at 4900 gns and the first daughter had sold at 7500 gns at the Signature Sale.
Jack Smyth (Bessiebell) followed on with his lot number 165, a twin lamb sired by Jalex King Charles from a home bred ewe running to 8000 gns and heading again to Southern Ireland with Evan Hopkins.
Mark Priestly (Limestone) then took the next three top prices for lot numbers 175 at 7000 gns to Ronan McLaughlin & Richard Thompson from Donegal, lot 170 at 5500 gns to James Wilkinson & William Tait and lot 172 again at 5500 gns to John Docherty & Sean McCloskey. These were all sired by Castleisle A Kingsman, ET single lambs and taking the top priced pen title for 2023.
|C Joyce & D Loftus
Marteye online biding proved to be prevalent at the sale with many lots sold to SOI, UK & Europe.
Thank you to lead sponsors Danske Bank and also Strabane Mills, Co Tyrone, who sponsored meal for 1st prize winners in each of our classes. Advertisers – NFU Mutual, Jayne Tannahill Livestock Care, Donbraid Livestock Services, AB Europe, United Feeds, Wilsons of Rathkenny, Clean it Car Care, The Sheep Vet and OMC engineering, we appreciate your continued support.
A word of thanks also to all the staff of Ballymena Livestock Mart, Fraser Tweed Veterinary Inspector, John Hegarty Steward, Ben Lamb for his help at the inspection, Ian Barbour and Andrew Evans for their help at the inspection & Alfie Shaw Agri images and everyone who made the show & sale a success.