The West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club held its premier show and sale last weekend, where prices topped €2,500.
At Roscommon Mart, judge Alaister Barclay of the renowned Northern Ireland Flock, Redbrae Suffolks, was faced with a difficult task in judging the classes.
Judging commenced with the young handler class. It was Harry Graham of the Westside Flock, Co. Sligo who emerged as the winner. This was Harry’s third young-handler win of 2022.
After this, the ewe lamb class was up for judging. There was a very stylish show of Suffolk lambs on the day, but the judge tapped out a smart and breedy ewe lamb from the Summerhill Flock of Mattie and Kevin Kelly in Galway as his champion. The ewe was sired by Howgillfoot Batman.
In the novice ram class, competition, a ram lamb sired by Stratbogie Joel, caught the eye of the judge and claimed the red rosette. This lamb was bred by new breeder Caillin Joyce of the Ballintleva Flock in Westport, who went on the claim fourth place in the open ram class too.
Michael and Marie Jennings from Co. Mayo, who run the Ballygarris flock, claimed the top spot in the gigot class with a strong Windyhill Magic-sired lamb. The Jennings’ winning streak continued in the open class, where they claimed the top spot with a Strathbogie Joel son which was born to a Ballygarris Ewe.
The pairs class saw seven flocks competing for the top honours and it was the Loughrynn Flock of Coote and Trevor Geelan that took first place.
In the final championship line-up, a ewe lamb from Kevin and Mattie Kelly received the top accolade of supreme champion of the show. Reserve champion was awarded to the Jennings’ ram lamb which had taken the top spot in the open.
When the sale commenced – with a packed ring – bidding started with the ewe lambs. This set the tone for the sale as the reserve female sold for €950.
It was the female and supreme champion who stole the show however, when she was eventually knocked down to Suffolk breeder Michael McDonagh for €2,250.
The ewe lambs finished up with a 100% clearance.
When the ram sale commenced, bidding was steady and competition was fierce, with over 85% of ram lambs heading into the commercial sector and Euro-Star rams selling to an average of €1,125.
Reserve champion from Michael and Marie Jennings’ Ballygarris flock took the top price of €2,500, equalling the 2021 record price of the Windfield Flock of JP Screene & Sons.
This Strathbogie Joel-sired son sold to the Kells and Milldam Flocks of Eamon Duffy and Shane Brady.
Other top prices achieved in the ring were €1,360, €1,300 and €1,000, twice.
Average prices for the day held up well, with the final sale average finishing at €820.
The club’s next sale takes place at Athenry Mart on Friday, August 19.