Springhill flock claims top prices as Northern Irish National Texel Sale averages rise
The first of the Texel Sheep Society's National Sales, the Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena, saw strong demand and averages rising on the year in all the main sections, with the shearling ram average notably rising by more than £230 on last year's fixture.
Commenting on the sale Texel Sheep Society chief executive said it had been an encouraging start to the sales season and boded well for the forthcoming sales at Lanark, Welshpool and Worcester. "It is still early in the season, but this sale has a solid commercial demand for well fleshed, balanced sheep. Commercial producers are clearly keen to secure the best rams they can this year to add value to next year's lamb crop and are willing to invest well in Texel rams to do that for them."
Leading the trade at Ballymena was the male champion and reserve overall champion from the pre-sale show, John Foster's shearling ram Springhill Uppercut. This son of Teiglum Target is out of a dam by homebred sire Springhill Ronaldo and was a clear favourite of the ringside. Having been bid to 2800gns in the ring he was turned away unsold, but later sold for 5600gns in a two-way split to Alex Gray, Langside, and Peter Gray, Scrogtonhead, both noted shearling ram producers from Scotland.
John Foster also took the day's second best price when he sold his ram lamb, Springhill V Tech, at 4500gns. This one is by Springwell Ustinoff and is out of a dam by Ballynadrenta Nicefella which is also dam of the 1800gns Springhill Unstoppable. He was the choice of Jim Wilson, Blackstown, with a share retained by Mr Foster.
Following that at 4200gns was Messrs Millar and McComb's lamb Millcomb Vindicator, a son of Knock Ursus out of a 4800gns Forkins dam by Watchknowe Rustic Boy. This lamb was knocked down to Christopher and Martin Mullan, Drumsurn, Limavady, for the Bluegates flock, with a half share selling to David and James Boyd, Ballyclare for their Crawfordsland flock.
Colin Gregg took the next best price after than of 3200gns when selling Kildowney Victorious, a Killyvolgan Ulsterman son out of a homebred dam by Kerryhill Rocketman. This lamb had been first at Ballymena show and first at Ballymoney and sold to for export to Eire with B Kirkham, Drumcondrath, Navan, Co Meath.
Two lambs then followed that at 3000gns, with the first of these being from the Society chairman Henry Gamble's Springwell flock. This was Springwell Viera, a son of the noted Oberstown Usain Bolt out of a dam by Derryvore Ranger which was the Northern Ireland gimmer of the year in 2012. This lamb sold to Owen Donohoe for the Derryvore flock, Enniskillen.
Second to take a 3000gns call was young breeder Mark Breen with his first prize winning lamb from the Texel Young Breeders class. This lamb, Ballygreenan Victor was much fancied before the sale came good late in the day, being in the sale's penultimate pen. Sired by Auchencairn Tello and out of a dam by Duncryne Ringmaster he was bought by Cyril and Martin Millar for their Millar's flock, with half of this lamb taken by Andrew Kennedy for the Maineview flock.
John Foster was then back in the money again on a great day for the Springhill flock when selling Springhill Vegas at 2900gns to James Thompson for the Livery flock, Ballymoney. Sired by Derryhoney Unbeatable this lamb is ET bred out of a Cullion Prince daughter.
The very last lamb in the sale then took the next best price of the day of 2800gns for Robert Herdman. This was Marbleton Vantastic, a son of the consistently breeding Oberstown Usian Bolt out of a dam by Ballydonaghy Nijinsky. This one was bought by John Foster, reinvesting some of his earlier takings.
And making 2600gns was Andrew Fyffe's best lamb of the day from the Fairywater flock. His best, Fairywater Voodoo, was the pick of J McGee, Creeslough, Co Donegal, and is a son of Knock Trident out of a dam by Strathbogie Python.
Following that came two at 2300gns, with the first of these being Alastair Gault's Forkins Vidal, a Duncryne Uber Cool son out of a dam by Douganhill McFly which also bred last year's Ballymena champion gimmer which sold for 4200gns. This one was picked out by the Beacom family for the Castleknowe flock, Newtownards.
Also at this money was Cynthia Aiken's ram lamb, Carnew Vagabond. This son of Braehead Touch of Class is out of a dam by Cornerstone Ordained and James and Jack Wilson, Crumlin, for the Blackstown flock.
Mary Clarke then took the next best call when selling Ballyrussell Vectra at 2200gns. Sired by Derryvore U2 this lamb is out of a Heathmount Revelation sired dam and was bought by Stewart Ferris, Dromore, Co Down.
The first of the day from Andrew Fyffe, Fairywater Valhalla, also sold at this money when bought by John Owen, Holyhead, for the Hen Gapel flock. Sired by the noted Strathbogie Terminator he is out of a dam by Waen Maraddona which has bred gimmers to 1000gns.
Taking 2100gns was Brian Hanthorn when selling Mullan Van Winkle, another by the prolific Oberstown Usain Bolt. He is out of a Ballynahone Rissoto daughter and sold with an index of 239. Buying this one was A Donnelly, Ballygrass, Claremorris.
It was back to the shearling ring for the next best prices when two sold at 1900gns. The first of these was Drumgooland Ucal from Paul O’Connor. This is a Strathbogie Smokey Blue son out of a dam by Kelso Pavarotti and sold to Mary Gallagher, Glanworth, Co Cork.
At the same money was Henry Gamble’s shearling Springwell Update, a Cornerstone Temple Mount son out of a dam by Knock Oregano. He found a new home T Hynes, Rathriland, Newry.
Back in the ram lambs the next best call was 1800gns, with this paid by C McIlwaine, Newtonstewart, for the second best of the day from the Millcomb flock of Messrs Millar and McComb. This was Millcombe Volvo, a Knock Ursus son out of a Forkins bred dam by Douganhill McFly.
A few lots before that Henry Gamble took 1700gns for Springwell Valuable, the second prize ram lamb from the performance recorded class in the pre-sale show. Another sired by Oberstown Usain Bolt he's out of a dam by Derryvore Ranger and was bought by Bushvalley Texels, Strnocum, Co Antrim.
Selling at 1550gns was Philip Hammond's Tullylagan Volvo, a Tophill U Cracker son out of a dam by Logie Durno Proclaimer, with this lamb selling to W T Watson, Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
Averages; 180 ram lambs £732.49 (+£8.71), 80 shearling rams £812.04 (+£233.24) ( J A McLelland and Son).
Leading the female trade at 4000gns on the first day of the sale, was the champion from the pre-sale show, a gimmer from the McKay family's Rohan flock, YMK1300256. This gimmer by Glenside Topgun had caught the eye of Carol Anne Warnock in the pre-sale show and is out of a dam by Tullagh Legend. After some strong bidding she was knocked down to Paul and Baillie O'Connor for the Drumgooland flock.
Following that, on a trade which saw 39 gimmers average £693, was a 2100gns bid for a full ET bred sister to the champion from the McKays, YMK1300230, with this one selling to Adrian Liggett for the Corbo flock.
Close behind at 1200gns was Andrew Fyffe's third prize gimmer, FAO1300447, from his Fairywater flock. This is a daughter of the noted Glenside Razzle Dazzle out of a dam by Cornerstone Isaac and is a full sister to a 2500gns gimmer. She was knocked down to to James Kane, Castlewellan.
Then making 980gns was the best from Richard Henderson's Ballynahone pen, HBR1300535. This is a Braehead Touch of Class daughter out of a Douganhill McFly sired dam and sold to Ryan Brolly, Greysteel, Eglinton.
And following that at 900gns was a gimmer from the Currie family's Tullagh flock, this was CJT1300567, an ET bred daughter of Glenside Topgun out of adam by Gruig Outlaw. She headed back to Newry, Co Down, with Declan Byrne.
In the Northern Irish Young Breeders ewe lambs the top price of the night went to David Chestnutt's lamb from his Bushmills flock. This lamb, CBU1400190, which had stood third in the pre-sale show is a daughter of Oberstown Usain Bolt and out of a dam by Fairmount Seven O Seven and sold to John Foster, Springill.
And, at 700gns was Baillie O'Connor's first prize winning lamb, an Oberstown Usain Bolt daughter, OCP1400311. She's out of a dam by Douganhill Navajoe and sold to P Donnelly, Rathkenny, Ballymena.
Following her at 500gns was the Wilson family's lamb, WWB1400582 from their Blackstown flock, with this being a Livery Ultimatum daughter out of a dam by Millcomb Powerhouse. This one was bought by R McNabney, Broughshane, Ballymena.
Averages; 39 shearling ewes £693.81 (+£7.43), three ewe lambs £945 (+£32) (J A McLelland and Son).
Rohan Gimmer takes Ballymena championship
Taking the championship in the pre-sale show at the Northern Irish National Sale was the female champion and winner of the gimmer class from Donny McKay. This was a Rohan gimmer, YMK1300256, sired by Glenside Topgun and out of a dam by Tullagh Legend.
She stood overall champion ahead of the male champion, John Foster's shearling tup class winner Springhill Uppercut. This one is by Teiglum Target and out of a Springhill Ronaldo dam.
Reserve championship honours in the females went to the second prize gimmer from Brian Hanthorn's Mullan flock, HBN1300743, a Slieveroe Titanic daughter out of a dam by Brague Nixon.
Meanwhile, reserve male champion was Gary Rankin's tup lamb from the open class Garvetagh Hill Valtra, a son of Douganhill McFly out of a dam by Cairness Perfection.
YDP Ewe Lambs
1 - Baillie O'Connor's OCP1400311
2 - Jack Gault's GCN1401258
3 - David Chestnutt's CBU1400190
4 - James Wilson's WWB1400582
5 - Mark Breen's BXO1400381
1 - D McKay's YMK1300256
2 - B Hanthorn's HBN1300743
3 - Andrew Fyffe's FAO1300432
4 -R Henderson's HBR1300520
5 - David and James Boyd's BOY1300710
1 - John Foster's Springhill Uppercut
2 - Henry's Gamble's Springwell Update
3 - Richard Henderson's Ballynahone Uther
4 - M and J Watson's HillheadUlysses
5 - Michael Tumelty's Castlecor Universe
YDP Ram Lambs
1 - Mark Breen's Ballygreenan Vito
2 - Robert and Andrew Kennedy's Maineview Vanarama
3 - Andrew Fyffe's Fairywater Vendetta
4 - John Foster's Sprinhill V Tech
5 - Martin McConville's Glenhone Van The Man
Open Ram Lambs
1 -Gary Rankin's Garvetagh Hill Valtra
2 - James Wilson's Blackstown Vlad
3 - Simpson and Calvin's Ballyhivistock Viper
4 - Alastair Gault's Forkins Vespa
5 - Henry Gamble's Springwell Viera
Performance Recorded Ram Lambs
1 - Simpson and Calvin's Ballyhivistock Valiant
2 - Henry Gamble's Springwell Valuable
3 - Brian Hanthorn's Mullan Van Winkle
4 - Messrs Price's Loanends Vanquish
5 - Martin and Cyril Millar's Millar's Vandyke