Glory days as O'Keeffes pull off Cillin Hill clean sweep
Showing champions in two breeds on the same day, and landing an overall Inter Breed Supreme Championship double, is something dreams are made of.
For generations the O'Keeffe family have been breeding sheep at Annakisha House, Mallow, Co Cork and scooping up prizes across the country.
Arthur, Patrick and Susan are among the best known breeders in the industry, but their clean sweep of the top awards in Texel and Suffolk breeds at the National Sheep Breeders Championships at Cillin Hill on Saturday was perhaps their finest achievement.
They showed the winners of five of the eight Suffolk Sheep Society (South of Ireland Branch) classes in the championships, with Arthur showing the top in the Aged Ewe, Shearling Ewe, and Ewe Lamb classes, and Susan exhibiting the winners of the Open Lamb Class and Ewe Lamb (Trimmed) classes.
Arthur landed the Female Championship for his Shearling Ewe, while Susan won the Reserve Championship for her Ewe Lamb.
The Shearling Ewe went on to be judged Overall Champion of the breed for Arthur, while Susan's winner of the Open Lamb Class was judged Overall Reserve Champion of the breed.
In the Texel classes Arthur and Patrick's Shearling Ewe was judged Female Champion of the breed and went on be awarded the Overall Supreme Texel Championship.
Arthur's two Female Champions, the Overall Supreme Texel Champion and Overall Suffolk Champion, were judged the Inter-Breed Supreme Champion and Reserve Champions.
The success comes on the back of Susan's recent election as president of the Suffolk Sheep Society.
She founded her Clyda flock over three decades ago, following in the tradition of her late father.
Appointed to the breed judges panel a quarter of a century ago, she has judged shows in Ireland, UK and on the continent.
Results from the National Sheep Breeders Championships
Two Shear Ram and upwards
1. John & Neil Kidd, Cranemore, Kildavin, Bunclody, Co Wexford
2. Aidan & David Craig, Ballybogan, Clonard, Co Meath
3. Ciaran Heraghty, Clooney Ramelton Letterkenny, Co Donegal
4. Martin Walsh, Carnaculla, Swinford, Co Mayo
5. Mary Gallagher, Ballinamongree
Glanworth, Co Cork
Two Shear Ewe and upwards
1. Thomas Kenny, Hillswood, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Co Galway
2 & 3. J, C& M McHugh, Cnoc Glas, Lisnashannagh, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan
4. Mary Gallagher
5. Paddy Morrissey, Ballintaggart, Callan, Co Kilkenny
1. Clarke Bailey, Donohoe and Ryan
2. D & E McManamon, Derrlahan, Newport, Co Mayo
3. Johnny Ryan, Lawn Downings North, Prosperous, Co Kildare
4. Liam Dillon, Kilclammon, Newross, Co Wexford
5. Clive Rothwell, 3 Park Green, Phelim Wood, Tu|low, Co Carlow
1. A & P O'Keeffe, Annakisha House, Mallow, Co Cork
2 & 4. Jimmy Garrivan, Belclare, Westport, Co Mayo
3. Padraic Niland, Chessy, Kinvara, Co Galway
5. J, C& M McHugh
Ram lamb born after March 1
1. Anthony Donnelly, Ballyglass, Scarduane Claremorris, Co Mayo
2. Patrick Joyce, Cahir, Recess, Co Galway
3. A & P O'Keeffe
4. John Neville, Brownstown, Murrintown, Co Wexford
5. D & E McManamon
Ewe lamb born before March 1
1. John & Neil Kidd
2. A & P O'Keeffe
3. Anthony Donnelly
4. Fergal ó Sé, Ard A'Bhothair, Ceann Tra, Tralee, Co Kerry
5. J, C & M McHugh
Ewe lamb born after Mar 1
1. Anthony Donnelly
2. D & E McManamon
3. Not catalogued
4. John McGloin, 3 Dun Ard, Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon
5. J, C & M McHugh
1&2. TJ Duffy, Lanmore Liscarney Westport Co Mayo
3. Noel P Walsh, Ballintlea, Lemybrien, Co Waterford
4&5. Patrick Whyte, Mountain Breeze, Cutteen, Kilrossonty Co Waterford
1&2. TJ Duffy
3. John Redmond, Knockindrane, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow
4. Ciaran Heraghty, Clooney Ramelton Letterkenny, Co Donegal
5. E&S McCarthy, Ballybeg Buttevant, Co Cork
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