Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset Sheep Breeder's Association

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47th NI Ballymena Annual Premier Show 2019 Report

“Dorsets in demand at 47th Annual Premier sale in Ballymena”

The 47th Annual Premier Show & Sale of NI Dorset Horn & Poll Dorset Sheep Breeders’ Club, kindly sponsored by Norbrook Laboratories, represented by Noel Gill, was held in J.A.McClelland & Sons Livestock Mart, Ballymena on Monday 29th July 2019.

This Premier Show & Sale attracted an entry of 204 top quality sheep, and the popularity of the Breed was reflected in the interest shown by the large number of buyers present and eager to do business. These also included breeders from further afield given this event’s GB Export Sale status.

The first part of the day consisted of the show for which the task of judging was attributed to Mr Tim Pratt, owner of the Deben Poll Dorset flock and manager of Staverton Dorset Horn flock, Suffolk.


From left, Noel Gill, representing Sponsors, Norbrook, Samuel Caldwell, Elaine Caldwell & Judge, Tim Pratt

Mr Pratt had a mammoth task with an abundance of first class sheep put forward in each class.

Following the selection of the first prize winners, Mr Pratt found his champion which was the first prize ewe lamb, lot 118 owned and presented by Samuel and Elaine Caldwell, Ballymaconnelly Flock.

This outstanding ewe lamb sired by Kirlish Armour showed excellent confirmation, displaying an abundance of outstanding breed characteristics.

She went on to achieve the joint top price of the day at 750gns being purchased by James and Craig Robson to join their Ballyhamage Flock in Doagh, Co.Antrim.

Sharing the top price of 750gns was lot 15, a Richill ram lamb bred by Ben lamb that was snapped up by Richard Fitton, Dynamite flock , Bolton, Lancashire.

From left, Noel Gill, representing Sponsors, Norbrook, Ben Lamb, & Judge, Tim Pratt

Reserve Champion and best opposite sex to champion was awarded to the outstanding first prize ram lamb, lot 14, also owned by Ben Lamb, Richill Flock.

This lamb went on to sell for 650gns finding its new home with Willy McCracken in Loughgall.

From left, Noel Gill, representing Sponsors, Norbrook, Cameron Carson, & Judge, Tim Pratt

In the Horn section, it was lot 79, a tremendous ewe lamb brought out by Cameron Carson, Mainevalley Flock that was awarded best horn exhibit.

She later went on to achieve 500gns purchased by Andrew & Josh Baxter, Omagh.

There was considerable demand for sheep across all classes with other leading prices including: A Moore 720gns (Shearling ram to Raymond Hill) ; T Wright, 560gns (Shearling ram to RJ Watters) ; T Wright 550gns (Ram lamb to Kyle Bradshaw); T Wright 550gns (Ram lamb to Willy McCracken) ; S Lyons 520gns (Ewe lamb to Richard Hall) ; G Henderson 490gns (Ram lamb to Willy McCracken) ; L Weir 480gns (Shearling ewe to P & M Knowles)

Sale averages:

Class One: Ram Lambs: £369.06 Class Two: Shearling Rams: £476.25 Class Three: Senior Rams: £367.50 Class Four: Ewe Lambs: £299.36 Class Five: Shearling Ewes: £287.80 The club wishes to express its appreciation to Mr Tim Pratt for his judging of the event and to Norbrook for sponsoring the annual premier show and sale prizes, as well as Noel Gill, area manager for his representation on the day. Thanks must also go to J.A McClelland & Sons for their professional and efficient management of the sale.

The next sale organised by NI Dorset Club members will be held in Hilltown on Friday 9th August with the show at noon and sale commencing at 1.30pm.

This is an EU Export Sale and will offer new and established breeders the opportunity to purchase top quality stock.

Following Hilltown, the next sale held by the NI Dorset Club will be on the 16th August and will be held in Omagh Mart, with the show at 5pm and sale at 7pm.