A female breed record was set at the inaugural Zwartbles Sheep Breeders of Ireland (ZSBI) sale held at Tullow Mart last weekend.

The group’s first sale, which took place on Saturday (November 19), resulted in the new female breed record set at €1,500.

The price was paid for a very stylish hogget, Brandon Josephine, from the flock of Nesta Fitzgerald. This hogget ewe joins the Oakvale Zwartbles flock in Co. Cavan.

Other quality lots on the day were also met with a strong trade.

Leading prices were €850 for a ewe lamb from the Cummerhill Zwartbles flock and €800 for a lamb from the Woodfield flock.

Zwartbles Sheep Breeders of Ireland

Saturday’s sale was the first from the Zwartbles Sheep Breeders of Ireland.

The new society was just launched at the 2022 National Ploughing Championships back in September.

Up until this point, there had been two Zwartbles societies. Speaking to Agriland, at the Ploughing, Tom McCann from the society explained:

“In 2005 the sheep breed arrived into Ireland as part of the UK society branch. However, in 2018, a few of the members were worried about Brexit looming and as a result broke away and formed Zwartbles Éire.

“While in 2019, the southern branch formed its own group, called the Irish Zwartbles Sheep Association.

“This meant there were two Zwartbles entities in Ireland. However, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine would only recognise one Zwartbles breed.

“Therefore, a lot of talking, some head bashing, and just listening to people’s opinions between the two Zwartbles groups eventually led to getting the two groups together and form as one.”

The group wished to thank all who supported the sale and to Tullow Livestock Sales for hosting the sale on the day.