The West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club held its inaugural ‘Western Stars’ in-lamb female sale at Athenry Mart on Friday, November 4.

Almost 50 lots were on offer on the night, including in-lamb shearling ewes, ewe lambs and recipient ewes carrying pedigree embryos.

With over thirty in-lamb females and thirteen ewe lambs on offer, there was plenty of choice available for bidders.

All stock was veterinary inspected prior to the sale, with sires DNA verified and all pedigree stock carrying Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved zootechnical certification, so buyers could bid with confidence on their chosen lots.

Interest was very high around the pens prior to the sale, which got underway at 7.30p.m, with auctioneer Tom Cox taking bids from a packed ringside as well as online.

The sale got off to a flying start with Paul Morris from Dunmore, Co. Galway, having his first ewe go for at €1,200. This stylish daughter of ‘Errigal Enzo’ was carrying triplets sired by Carragh Atlas.

With interest very high, bidding was brisk for all lots, with the first and second ewes from the pen of the Ballygarris flock of Michael and Marie Jennings going under the hammer at €1,400 and €1,350 respectively.

The top shearling price of the night went to the Lismurtagh flock for a Cairness Cobra-sired ewe which had been shown successfully all summer, while the flock’s second lot was sold for €1,050.

The Loughrynn flock of Coote and Trevor Geelan achieved €1,400 and €1,350 for their first two ewes.

Other leading prices of shearlings were €1,000 to the Inbhear flock of James Cuffe, and €1,050 to the Ballygarris flock.

In the ewe lamb class, the highlight of the night was a ewe lamb from the Summerhill flock of Mattie and Kevin Kelly, sired by the €26,000 Forkins McCoy, which took the top price of the night of €2,000, bought by Suffolk breeder Barney Carroll from Cregcarragh, Co. Galway.

Summerhill’s second lot then sold for €1,600.

With 100% clearance of in-lamb females and 95% clearance overall, the sale was a tremendous success. The club said it is very much looking forward to building on what was a very successful sale in 2023.