Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeder's Association

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Ballymena Sale 2014

Premier Demand for Dorset Sheep at Ballymena Sale

One of the largest crowds of prospective purchasers, witnessed at a Northern Ireland Dorset Club Sale turned out for the new show and sale format for the 42nd Premier Show and Sale in McClellands' Ballymena mart last week, which was once again very kindly sponsored by Norbrook Pharmaceuticals and represented at the show by Jacqueline Hamilton.

The task of sorting through the thirteen show classes was in the very capable judging hands of Mr David Rossiter, Huish flock, Glampton, Kingsbridge, Devon, the Association's immediate past Chairman and former President, who chose as the 42nd Sale Supreme Champion, a powerful ram lamb who won the single Poll Class, from Ben Lamb's Richhill flock, Co Armagh.

The attention that the Dorset breed has received in recent times from commercial lamb producers led to a real robust ram trade from the out set and continued throughout the evening sale, resulting in 30% more rams being sold and recording a higher average than before, balancing at £425 (up £15) on the year.

Topping the ram section and lead price of the sale was a 900gns bid for a January born ram lamb from Gary and Gareth Henderson, Sandelford flock, Bushmills, Co Antrim. This Sandelford Shender son from the father and son team sold to Ben Lamb, Richhill, for his ever expanding Poll Dorset flock. On the flip side, Ben Lamb received the next highest sale price of 820gns for his Supreme Champion, a Ballytaggart Puma son who sold to M. Grant, kilcoo, Newry, Co Down.

Other leading prices in this section went to Richard Currie, Ballymena, 620gns to Richard & Rob Hole, Sherborne, Dorset. W. & K. Carson, Ballymena, 580gns to Karen Hodgson, Seascale, Cumbria and Alex Steff, Chorley, Lancashire. G. & G. Henderson, Bushmills, to H. & G. Lyons, Dunloy, Ballymena. B. Lamb, Richhill, 550gns, to P. Deeney, Limavady. James & Craig Robson, Doagh, 520gns to J. McFetridge, Glenarm, Ballymena. Amy McConnell, Templepatrick, 500gns to Paul Crawford, Islandmagee. T. & S. Knox, Armoy, 500gns to H. & G. Lyons, Dunloy, Ballymena.
The Reserve Overall Champion who was also the Best of Opposite Sex to the Champion was a striking Poll ewe lamb belonging to Trevor and Sharron Knox, Armoy, Ballymoney, and by their own homebred Riverview Legend sire. She later sold for 660gns to Gary and Gareth Henderson, Revellagh, Bushmills, who were reinvesting some of the income from the earlier sale of their Sandelford ram lambs.

Top price in the females was 680gns paid by Ken Thompson, Kirlish, Drumquin, Omagh, for the last ewe lamb in a run of ten from the Downkillybegs flock belonging to Ballymena's William and Karson Carson. This half New Zealand bred ewe lamb was placed fourth in the show class but attracted considerable attention and was picked out by Mr Thompson as an addition for his Kirlish flock.

The award for the best Horn Exhibit was awarded to a ewe lamb from Ben Lamb's Richhill flock who later sold for 250gns to Stanley Forbes, Castlederg, Co Tyrone.
Other leading prices in the female section were:- W. & K. Carson, Ballymena, 510gns to P. & M. Knowles, Ahoghill, W. & K. Carson, Ballymena, 380gns to Terry Treanor, Burren, Warrenpoint. T. & S. Knox, Armoy, 340gns to M. Grant, Kilcoo, Newry. W. & K. Carson, Ballymena, 320gns to M. Grant, Kilcoo, Newry. J. & C. Robson, Doagh, 300gns to David Hamilton, Enniskillen.

Average price in the ewe lambs was £230

A small entry of eleven shearling ewes sold to average £253 and five senior ewes averaged out at £247.50 .

The entire sale experienced an excellent clearance rate of 93%.


Judge: Mr David Rossiter

Breed Champion: Mr Ben Lamb
Reserve Breed Champion: T & S Knox
Best Opposite Sex to Champion: T & S Knox
Best Horn Exhibit: Mr Ben Lamb
Most Show Points: Mr Ben Lamb, Richhill Flock

Horn Ram Lamb: 1. G, M & S Wright 2. W & C Johnston
Poll Ram Lamb: 1. Mr B Lamb 2. G & G Henderson 3. Mr R Currie
Pair of Ram Lambs: 1. Master C Carson
Shearling Ram: 1. Mr S P McCarry
Senior Ram: 1. W & C Johnson
Horn Ewe Lamb: 1. Mr B Lamb 2. Mr B Lamb 3. W & C Johnston
Poll Ewe Lamb: 1. T & S Knox 2. W & K Carson 3. Mr R Currie
Pair of Ewe Lambs: 1. T & S Knox 2. W & K Carson 3. Mr R Currie
Shearling Ewe: 1. W & C Johnston 2. T & S Knox 3. Miss L Weir
Pair of Shearling Ewes:
1. W & C Johnston 2. T & S Knox
Senior Ewe: 1. T & S Knox 2. T & S Knox 3. Mr S P McCarry
Novice Breeder Class:
1. Mr T Treanor 2. Mr J Patterson
Progeny Group: 1. Mr R Currie 2. Master C Carson 3. W & K Carson