Wicklow Mountain Sheep Breeders’ Association to hold 77th annual show and sale

The Wicklow Mountain Sheep Breeders’ Association is set to host its 77th annual show and sale on Saturday, October 5.

The show is taking place at Blessington Mart, Co. Wicklow, and is due to commence at 8:00am, with the sale set to begin at 12:00pm.

There will be 160 shearling rams on offer on the day, from various farmers across the country.

John Malone, the Wicklow Cheviot Sheep Breeders’ Association’s chairperson, said: “This is a special day in the calendar for all Wicklow Cheviot sheep breeders.

“There will be good-quality shearling Cheviot rams on offer, hand-picked from some of the best flocks in the country.

“This sale offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a shearling Cheviot ram from some of the top blood-lines. This, in turn, will help to improve the genetic merit of their flocks,” he added.

The characteristics of the Cheviot ram include:

  • Extreme hardiness – a trait they can pass onto their offspring;
  • The ideal crossing sire for most breeds. The Suffolk cross Cheviot is sought after for breeding replacement ewes and rams;
  • Producing stock that are ideally suited to graze both upland and lowland pastures;
  • Good feet that are not prone to footrot and strong-boned, leading to a long productive breeding life.

“Some of the top prices from last year’s show ranged from €1,000/head up to €3,000/head for the prize-winning shearling Cheviot rams.

“The breeding sales are continuing weekly, with a very strong demand for Cheviot breeding ewes and hoggets and Suffolk cross hoggets. This type of stock is commanding a top price of up to €200/head.

“This clearly shows the high demand for Wicklow Cheviot sheep and their importance for the breeding sector,” John concluded.