Sligo breeder scores on the double at Suffolk show

Rosettes: A superb line-out of the winners in the Open Ram class, in order of merit, at the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society Show and Sale at Roscrea
Rosettes: A superb line-out of the winners in the Open Ram class, in order of merit, at the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society Show and Sale at Roscrea
Winner: Anne Mitchell, secretary, presenting the Supreme Champion of Show trophy to James Rooney from Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo at the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society Show and Sale at Roscrea.

Martin Ryan

Topping both the honours in the show ring and the prices in the sales ring added up to a very successful outing for a well-known West of Ireland breeder at the inaugural Premier Show and Sale of the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society at Roscrea Mart on Saturday.

James Rooney's seven-month-old ram came out on top for the red rosette from a strong line-out of quality rams in the Open Ram class, which had the largest entry in the show, while a second entry from the flock was awarded third place in the very competitive class.

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With a breeding line of Finnvale Three and Benwiskin, the ram from the flock at Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo went on to become the Male Champion of the Show and continued his trail of success to take the overall Supreme Championship title.

Sale topper

However, the favoured choice of Galwayman Padraig Niland from Kinvara in the judging ring failed to reach his reserve before auctioneer George Candler in the sales ring and was retained for another day to find a new home.

Winner: Anne Mitchell, secretary, presenting the Supreme Champion of Show trophy to James Rooney from Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo at the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society Show and Sale at Roscrea.
Winner: Anne Mitchell, secretary, presenting the Supreme Champion of Show trophy to James Rooney from Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo at the Irish Suffolk Sheep Society Show and Sale at Roscrea.

However, the sun shone again for James shortly afterwards when his ram, placed third in the Open Ram class, topped the sale at €1,100 for the eight-month-old by the sire, Malinhead Jackpot 2, a gene line that has become a force in the Suffolk breed. Another ram from the flock, by the same sire, placed second in the Sheep Ireland Recorded Class at the show, sold for the third highest price of the day at €780.

The absence of the commercial farmer breeders from the sales ring - with many farmer breeders obviously holding off to purchase rams at a later point in the season - did effect the outcome of the sale.

Second in the Open Ram class, exhibited by Michael Murphy from Moneen, Cummer, Tuam, Co Galway went on to become Reserve Male Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion, but failed to reach his reserve at the sale. The Female Champion was awarded to the winner of the Ewe Lamb class from the flock of Matthew Pearse from Cappakee, O'Brien's Bridge, Co Clare, a January 2019-born ewe by the sire Ballynacanon Olympic Star.

She sold for €825, the top price female and the second highest overall price at the sale, going to the same new home as the leading price ram.

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The Reserve Female Championship went to a January 2019-born from the flock of Charles Reilly from Drumhass, Mohill, Co Leitrim with the ewe failing to reach her reserve at the sale. There was a clearance of 49pc at an average price of €561 with 41 entries going through the sale.

First sale

The first sale under the new Irish Suffolk Sheep Society formed earlier this year, secretary Anne Mitchell said that they were pleased with the success of the day and look forward to building on a good beginning in future sales.

She said that EU trading recognition had been received by the society.

"We were granted our licence for recognition for EU trading this week, under article 8 of CR 2016/1012. This is a great boost to our growth," she said.

The only other breeds in Ireland with this status are the Vendéens and the Galway sheep breeders, she added.

 

Irish Suffolk Society show results

Ewe Lamb

1. Matthew Pearse, Cappakee, O'Brien's Bridge, Co Clare

2. Charles Reilly, Drumhass, Mohill, Co Leitrim

Shearling Ram

1. John Martin, Ballymagyr, Duncormick, Co Wexford

2. Richard Moore, Smithstown, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny

3. William J Hutchinson, Chapelizod, Kells, Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny

4. William J Hutchinson

Recorded Class

1. Michael Murphy, Moneen, Cummer, Tuam, Co Galway

2. James Rooney, Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo

3. Mark Grealy, Middlethird, Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway

4. Marian Murphy, Boleybeg, Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare

5. Gregory Rossiter, Bannow, Co Wexford

6. Matthew Pearse, Co Clare

Open Ram

1. James Rooney, Gortnaderry, Grange, Co Sligo

2. Michael Murphy, Moneen, Cummer, Tuam, Co Galway

3. James Rooney

4. Denis Lynch and Sons, Moatfarrell, Ballinalee, Co Longford

5. Matthew Pearse, Cappakee, O'Brien's Bridge, Co Clare

6. Mark Grealy, Middlethird, Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway

Pair of Ram Lambs

1. James Rooney, Co Sligo

2. Mark Grealy, Middlethird, Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway

3. Marian Murphy, Boleybeg, Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare

4. Michael Murphy, Moneen, Cummer, Tuam, Co Galway

5. Matthew Pearse, Cappakee, O'Brien's Bridge, Co Clare

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