Commercial producers buoyed with confidence from the continuing strong lamb trade and the premiums earned from Texel sired lambs pushed the averages up at this week’s Northern Ireland National Texel Sale, Ballymena.
A total of 154 ram lambs found new homes, with these selling to average £579.75, a lift of £27.04 on last year, while 71 shearling rams settled the day at £665, up by more than £58 on 2015, with an 80% clearance of the shearlings on offer.
Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the demand for well fleshed, growthy rams had been driven by local commercial buyers looking to ensure their lambs earned the best returns possible.
“While early in the season this sale has once again shown that Northern Irish sheep farmers back the Texel breed as their favoured terminal sire. The breed’s ease of fleshing coupled with the strong demand from both butchers and processors in the province for Texel sired lambs continues to drive demand for tups.
Leading the trade at Ballymena at 3800gns was a ram lamb from the Tullagh flock of Jim and Richard Currie. This was Tullagh Yan, a son of Milnbank Womaniser out of a dam by Glenside Topgun. He sold to James Kane, Castlewellan, Co Down.
Following that at 3400gns was another from the same pen, Tullagh Yogi. Again by Womaniser this one is out of a Fairywater Superstar dam and sold to breeders, Adrian Liggett, Andrew Kennedy, James Wilkinson and Brian Williamson for the Corbo, Maineview, Ballygroogan and Farmhill flocks, respectively.
After that came an 1800gns call for Drumderg Yoshi from Alistair Breen. This one is by Strathbogie Uno and is out of Cornerstone Tin Tin sired dam. He was knocked down to C Gregg, Ballymena, Co Antrim, James Adams and Ken Wilson, in a three way split.
Then making 1600gns was Frank Clewer’s Bluehill Yogi. Sired by Ballydesland Thunder King he is out of a Springhill Shergar daughter. Taking this one home was John Foster, Castlederg, Co Tyrone.
Also at this price late in the day was James Wilkinson’s best of the sale, Ballygroogan Yorkie. This lamb had stood in the second prize pen of three and is by Corskie Whopper and out of a dam by Braehead The Real McCoy. He found a new home with Peter Boyd, Ballyclare, Co Antrim.
Just shy of that at 1500gns was the pre-sale champion, Tamnamoney Yankee from Roger Strawbridge. This son of Knap Wot A Nut is out of a dam bred by the Kermode family, Isle of Man, and by Tamnamoney Stallone, which was first prize ewe lamb at the Highland and female champion at Yorkshire in the same year. He sold to his dam’s breeders, Messrs Kermode.
Selling at 1450gns was Ballyhivistock Yardstick from Messrs Simpson and Calvin. This lamb is by Drummillar Wizard and out of a Forkins Umar sired dam. He was the choice of G McFarland, Trillick, Co Tyrone.
Then making 1400gns was Gary Rankin’s Garvetagh Hill Yankee, a son of Strathbogie Uno out of a dam by Cornerstone Tin Tin. This one was bought by M McMeel, Corry Emyvale, Co Monaghan.
And a trio then sold at 1300gns, with the first of these being Milestonehill Young Buck from Messrs Annett. This son of Speenogue Weaver is out of a dam by Kelso Oxygen and sold to Leonard Linton, Armoy, Co Antrim.
Second to make this money was Tullagh Yukon from the Currie family’s successful pen. This is a son of Milnbank Womaniser out of a dam by Fairywater Superstar and is a full brother to the family’s 3400gns lamb Tullagh Yogi. Taking this one home was James Owens, Broughshane, Ballymena.
The last at 1300gns was Ballygroogan Yankee from James Wilkinson. He’s a Glenside Willy Nilly daughter out of a dam by Strathbogie Untouchable and was bought by P and A Brown, Newry, Co Down.
And John Foster took 1200gns early in the sale for Springhill Young Farmer, a son of Springhill Vegas out of a dam by Halley Pathfinder. He was bought by Robert Walker, Manistercroon, Co Limerick.
Average; 154 ram lambs £579.75 (J A McClelland and Son).
Leading ram lamb pen averages
J and R Currie - £2975 for three sold, A Breen - £1207.33 for three sold, James Wilkinson - £1029 for five sold, Simpson and Calvin - £875 for two sold, Gary Rankin - £829.50 for two sold, Murray Annett - £770 for three sold, John Foster - £766.50 for four sold, M and J Watson - £761.25 for two sold, F Clewer - £757.50 for three sold, Andrew Fyffe - £707.70 for five sold.
Shearling ram trade peaked at 1800gns, with this price paid for John Watson’s Duvarren Whizz-Kid. This son of the homebred sire Duvarren Texan is out of a dam by Kilcoan Pele and sold to M and J Watson, Dundonald, Belfast for the Hillhead flock.
Then making 1500gns was Paul and Baillie O’Connor’s Drumgooland Winterfell, the first prize shearling tup and reserve male champion. Sired by Oberstown Usain Bolt he is out of a Sandelford Premier daughter and was bought by Keith, Alan and Roy Campbell for the Cowal flock, Lochgoilhead, Argyll.
Roger Strawbridge’s Tamnamoney Wimbledon, the second prize shearling tup from the pre-sale show then sold at 1450gns. He is sired by Duncryne Uber Cool and is out of a dam by Knock Trident. This one was bought by Patrick Sharkey, Claudy.
And then trading at 1200gns was Arkle Wildfire from Owen and Liam Donohoe. He’s a Milnbank Vantastic daughter out of a dam by Cambwell Rob Roy and sold to K McAfee, Aghadowey, Coleraine.
Following him at 1020gns was Duvarren Washington from John Watson. Sired by Duvarren Ultra, he is out of a dam by Garngour Patriot and was bought by P L McKeag, Newtownards, Co Down.
And making 1000gns was Kiltariff Wise Guy from Barclay Bell and Sons. This son of Cowal Viceroy is out of a dam by Fairywater Superstar and was taken by James Fegan, Hilltown, Newry.
Average; 71 shearling rams £665 (J A McClelland and Son).
Gimmers sold to a high of 3200gns at the first National Texel Sale of the season, the Northern Ireland National, Ballymena, saw a top call of 3200gns, with 35 gimmers selling to level at £661.80 and buyers selective in their purchases.
Heading the prices was the second prize gimmer and reserve female champion from Paul and Baillie O’Connor’s Drumgooland flock. This was OCP1500430, a daughter of Killyvolgan Veejay out of a dam by Millcomb Ronaldo. This one had stood first at Castlewellan as a lamb and was well fought for before finally selling to Ryan Brolly, Greysteel, Eglinton.
Nest best at 2400gns was the first prize gimmer and female champion from Andrew Kennedy, KMR1500402. She’s by Crailloch Victor and out of a Derryvore Ranger daughter bred in the Springwell flock. Buying this one were Messrs McConville.
Then making 1250gns was the penultimate gimmer of the sale from Mark Breen’s Ballygreenan flock. This was the Garngour Vertigo daughter BXO1500516. She’s out of an Ettrick dam by Milnbank Sgt Pepper. She sold to Messrs Brown
Following her at 1000gns was one from Richard Henderson, Ballynahone. This was HBR1500738, an ET bred daughter of Duncryne Uber Cool out of a dam by Knock Travis. Taking her home was L McPolin, Mayobridge Newry.
Two then traded at 900gns, with the first being TGA1500506 from Gareth Tumelty’s Aideshill flock. She’s by Oberstown Usain Bolt and out of a Milestonehill Samuel bred dam. She found a new home with Messrs Brown.
Also at this money was another of Richard Henderson’s pen, HBR1500709. This Tamnamoney Tuborg Gold daughter is out of a Braehead Touch of Class daughter and is the same way bred as Ballynahone Wild Child. She was the choice of John Foster, Springhill.
A pair then also sold at 800gns, with the first of these being Andrew Kennedy’s second of the evening, KMR1500428. She’s by Clara Vegas and out is out of a dam by Mossknowe Pudsey. This one was bought by Messrs Cathcart.
And the second 800gns call came for another from Richard Henderson, HBR1500727. Sired by Tuborg Gold again she is out of another Touch of Class daughter which was first at Balmoral as a ewe lamb in 2013. This one was knocked down to Mesrs McCauley.
Average; 35 gimmers £661.80 (J A McClelland and Son).
Leading the way in the pre-sale show at the Northern Ireland National Sale, Ballymena, today was the winner of the open ram lamb class, Tamnamoney Yankee.
This son of Knap Wot A Nut is out of a dam by the homebred Tamnamoney Stallone.
Standing reserve male and reserve overall champion was the leader from the shearling ram class from Paul and Baillie O’Connor, Drumgooland Winterfell, an Oberstown Usain Bolt son out of a dam by Sandelford Premier.
In the female championship the leader was Andrew Kennedy’s gimmer KMR1500402 from the Maineview flock, with this one being by Crailloch Victor and out of a dam by Derryvore Ranger.
Reserve here was the second prize gimmer from Paul and Baillie O’Connor, OCP1500430, a Killyvolgan Veejay daughter.
1 – Andrew Kennedy’s KMR1500402
2 – Paul and Baillie O’Connor’s OCP1500430
3 – Alastair Gault’s GAF1501385
4 – D McKay’s YMK1500508
5 – Andrew Fyffe’s FAO1500648
1 – Paul and Baillie O’Connor’s Drumgooland Winterfell
2 – Roger Strawbridge’s Tamnamoney Wimbledon
3 – Alastair Gault’s Forkins Wise Guy
4 – Owen and Liam Donahoe’s Arkle Wildfire
5 – Richard Henderson’s Ballynahone Wexford
NITYB Ram Lambs
1 – James Wilkinson’s Ballygroogan Yankee
2 – Andrew Fyffe’s Fairywater Yardsman
3 – Naomis Ardis’ Millburn Yahoo
4 – David Chestnutt’s Bushmills Yogibear
5 – Adrian Liggett’s Corbo Y Man
Open Ram Lambs
PRT Ram Lambs
1 – Messrs Millar’s Millar’s VMG1601374
2 – Henry Gamble’s Springwell Yogi
3 – Barclay Bell and Son’s Kiltariff Yogee
4 – Messrs Price’s Loanends Yellowman
5 – Fraser Tweed’s Ballycoose Yosemite
Group of Three
1 – Messrs Millar
2 – James Wilkinson
3 – Henry Gamble