Irish Charollais Sheep Society to host 30th anniversary sale

With so many events cancelled around the country, the Irish Charollais Sheep Society (ICSS) is happy to host its 30th anniversary premier sale at Tullow Mart on July 25 at 1:00pm.

“The sale is going ahead and purchasers are welcome. They will be accommodated ringside, with online bidding also available,” said Joe Nolan, ICSS secretary.

“Covid-19 has had an impact in terms of the social aspect, and the show mainly. The show was originally to be held on Friday evening around a social barbecue. This has had to be cancelled and the show is now being held behind closed doors early on Saturday morning,” commented Joe.

“It will be strange having a show with only vendors and the judge with no spectators in attendance. The other impact is that vendors will not be around the pens during viewing times for purchasers which is from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Friday 24, and 10:00am until 1:00pm on Saturday,” he said.

“A further impact is the change of judge. Originally we had a judge traveling from Wales. Due to Covid-19, that judge is unable to travel and Andrew Duncan of the Snugborough flock in Kildare has agreed to step in,” stated the ICSS secretary.

‘Excellent venue’

Andrew of the long-established A84 Snugborough flock in Kildare is a successful breeder and judge who adjudicated the All-Ireland in 2012.

The society is very excited to be back in the home of Charollais sheep – Tullow Mart – for the 30th anniversary sale. Tullow has been a mainstay of Charollais sales for 30 years, with three sales held annually and four in certain years.

“The farmers in the area tend to lamb earlier than other parts of the country and timing of the sale suits them. This commercial aspect helps underpin the trade annually.

“The move to Tullamore last year was an experiment aimed at seeing if a more central area for the mart would work better,” Joe said.

“While Tullamore showed itself to be an excellent venue, and the sale worked well for the pedigree aspect of the sale, the society felt that the commercial trade required to underpin the sale was missing; but the society continues to support Tullamore Mart with our female premier being held there on the Saturday of the October bank holiday weekend.”

There will be approximately 200 sheep on offer at the 30th anniversary premier sale. This will include a mix of rams; ram lambs; shearling ewes and ewe lambs. The senior and shearling rams will be sold first, followed by the ram lambs. The females will be sold at the end of the sale.

“The Charollais breed has been massively successful with commercial farmers in the last 30 years. The ease of lambing, vigour and growth rates of lambs sired by Charollais rams has proved to be hugely popular with commercial farmers, making them one of the most popular breeds in the country,” Joe said.

Advantages of the breed, he said, include:

  • Less intervention needed at lambing;
  • Hardy lambs at birth and vigorous to suck;
  • ‘Real rams’ ready to work immediately – are not pushed;
  • Lambs grow rapidly and are quicker to finish;
  • Superb cross-bred carcasses for excellent conformation with higher kill-out percentages;
  • They make ideal store lambs as their weight is heavier, without excess fat cover – better grades;
  • Low labour maintenance, making them ideal for out-farming;
  • Superior quality replacement ewes.