Celebrity ram lives up to star billing with €4,200 sale
Lakeview Heart of Gold's progeny miss out on top prizes at Suffolk Show but top the trade, reports Martin Ryan
Ireland's celebrity Suffolk ram, Lakeview Heart of Gold, is delivering handsome dividends for his Donegal-based owner Seamus Browne.
The famous ram, which became one of the most expensive in the country's history when purchased for €15,000 - and made an appearance on The Late Late Show - bred the top-price ram at the Suffolk Sheep Society Premier Show and Sale at Roscrea Mart on Saturday.
Exhibited by Seamus, of Park House, Listillion, Letterkenny, the ram was edged into second place in the Open Ram Class by the Champion Male and Overall Supreme Show Champion, but sold to Tyrone breeder Pat Donnellan at €4,200.
When Lakeview Heart of Gold was purchased, Seamus purred "while most rams have some faults, he has none" and the thronged ringside of breeders at Roscrea justified his faith as they competed strongly for his progeny on Saturday.
Three more of his progeny sold for €2,800, €2,000 and €1,900, with eight sons of Heart of Gold averaging €1,710 at the sale.
Second highest price was €3,200, which Susan O'Keeffe, president-elect of the Suffolk Sheep Society (UK and Ireland) received for one of three sold at an average of €1,800 for the in-demand Baile Na Bpaorach, Annakisha, Mallow flock.
The overall championship of the show was awarded by judge James Rooney to the Male Champion from the flock of AJ & JA Lucas, Cavan House, Killygordon, Co Donegal and sold under the hammer of auctioneer Myles Lambert for €2,000.
The 'group of three rams' went to three 'identical' rams from the Shannagh flock of the Wilson family at Lifford which recorded an average of €1,687 for four rams, including twins, at the sale, all bred by the sire, Lakeview Armani.