Date: 10th May 2023

Judge: John Gibb, Cairnton Flock

Limestone breeder Mark Priestley clinches the Supreme Champion accolade with his impressive Stockton Sniper Son sired shearling ewe.

Judge John Gibb from Aberdeenshire, Scotland was impressed with the stock presented to him at the opening day of Balmoral and certainly had tough decisions to make in each of the classes. His first major decision was to hand the first place rosette to Boveedy owners Stephen & Jordan Toye after their Crewelands Man of War ram triumphed in the aged ram class and the Bessiebell flock of Jack Smyth went on to claim second with his Landale Lugs ram.

Nicky Lowry of the Fourscore flock took first in the shearling ram class with Limestone Commando and Ian Donald of the Donbraid flock claimed third with Islandmoyle Amorak.

With a line up of over 20 strong ram lambs, the Limestone flock of Mark Priestley took the 1st prize rosette with a son of Castleisle Kingsman with the Ballynacannon flock of Dennis Taylor’s Lakeview Fury son taking second and Carony flock owners Lesley & Mervyn Liggett’s Mullinvale Ace son claiming third.

In the aged ewe line up it was Benrafton flock owners Alfred & Norman Robinson’s eye catching Cairness Diamond Geezer bred female who was handed the first place rosette whilst also going on to clinch the Overall Reserve Champion title. Jack Smyth’s Bessiebell V6 bred ewe took second and Campbell & Jason Watson’s Malinhead Jumping Jack bred ewe taking third.

The onlookers then got their first glimpse of the impressive Stockton Sniper son sired shearling ewe presented by Mark Priestley ahead of Co. Tyrone breeders Stephanie & William Tait taking second and Alfred & Norman Robinsons Ballinatone Showstopper sired shearling ewe taking third.

Dennis Taylor shone in the ewe lamb category with his Lakeview Fury ewe lamb taking first spot, Alfred & Norman Robinson took second with their Ballynacannon Hakuna Matata sired ewe lamb and the Bannview flock of Campbell & Jason Watson taking third with a Garvan Cracker sired ewe lamb.

Alfred & Norman Robinson continued their success coming out on top winning the group of three just ahead of Dennis Taylor and Stephanie & William Tait whilst Dennis Taylor took the winning rosette with a pair of lambs followed closely by William & Stephanie Tait and Jason & Campbell Watson.

In the final deliberations the Limestone flock claimed the Male Champion, Female Champion and the coveted RUAS Supreme Champion whilst also going on to be awarded the Champion Short Wool ribbons followed by the Reserve Interbreed Champion of the show. Norman Robinson took the Reserve Female Champion & Overall Reserve Champion with Dennis Taylor taking Reserve Male Champion.

This year also saw the introduction of a Suffolk Young Handler competition. All of our Young Handlers did exceptionally well. Hope you all enjoyed the experience.

8-13 years

1st Lara Taylor

2nd Aimee Liggett

3rd Noah Taylor

4th Harry Hunter

5th Oliver Hunter

14-18 years

1st Anna Taylor

2nd Neale Fleming

3rd Daniel Bryan

4th Martin Og Brown

Young Handlers (14-18) 1st place Anna Taylor
Young Handlers (8-13) winner Lara Taylor


Ram, two shear and upwards

1st J&S Toye

2nd J Smyth

Shearing Ram

1st N Lowry

3rd I Donald

4th D Bryan

5th A Barkley

Ram Lamb

1st M Priestley

2nd D Taylor

3rd L&M Liggett

4th D Ford

5th M&E Butler

Ewe, 2 shear and upwards

1st AJ &NAJ Robinson

2nd J Smyth

3rd RC&JC Watson

4th J Alexander

5th A Barkley

Shearling Ewe

1st M Priestley

2nd S&W Tait

3rd AJ&NAJ Robinson

4th M Priestley

5th D Taylor

Ewe Lamb

1st D Taylor

2nd AJ&NAJ Robinson

3rd & 4th RC&JC Watson

5th I Donald

Group of Three

1st A&&NAJ Robinson

2nd D Taylor

3rd S&W Tait

Best pair of lambs

1st D Taylor

2nd S&W Tait

3rd RC&JC Watson

Male Champion – M Priestley

Reserve Male Champion – D Taylor

Female Champion – M Priestley

Reserve Female Champion – NJ&NAJ Robinson

Supreme Champion – M Priestley

Reserve – AJ&NAJ Robinson

Supreme Champion M Priestley Shearling Ewe
Mark Priestley’s Supreme Suffolk Champion also taking the Overall Interbreed Champion (Shortwool Breeds) and Reserve Overall Interbreed Champion
Group of three (shearling ram – N Lowry’s, ewe – N Robinson and ewe lamb – D Taylor’s), winning Overall Champion Group of Three rosette.

All in all a fantastic few days for the Suffolk breed to showcase Northern Irelands premier livestock.

The Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society now look ahead to Our Branch Championships taking place on 10th June at Armagh Show with a large entry of quality Suffolk Sheep assured.