Star rams com­mand big prices in Tul­lam­ore

Two sales rings were kept busy at the Sheep Ire­land Au­tumn Sale, writes Martin Ryan

Irish Independent - Farming - - PEDIGREE AND SALES -

THERE was a very steady trade across all breeds through­out the day for the en­try of over 300 rams at the Sheep Ire­land Au­tumn Sale of com­mer­cial rams at GVM Mart, Tul­lam­ore on Satur­day.

Breed av­er­ages ap­proach­ing €600 were recorded for some of the smaller (breed) en­tries with clear­ances across the six breeds on of­fer rang­ing be­tween 85pc and 100pc.

The high­est price of the day was paid for a Jan­uary 2017 born Suf­folk ram, from the flock of Su­san O’Ke­effe, An­nak­isha, Mal­low. He sold for €940 to Michael McKier­nan, The Pi­geons, Athlone.

The top price ram was one of four en­tries from the well­known Co Cork flock, which net­ted a to­tal of €2,720.

Sec­ond high­est price went for a Ven­deen ram, Fe­bru­ary 2017 born, Nog­gus Robben, from the flock of Ciaran Cough­lan, Nog­gus, Fer­bane, Co Of­faly.

He was bought by Michael McGrath, Monelia, Mullingar for €910.

The half twin, which was Cham­pion of breed at Tul­lam­ore Show, is by the reign­ing All Ire­land Male Cham­pion and win­ner of nu­mer­ous other show awards.

Two sales rings op­er­ated si­mul­ta­ne­ously, to cater for the large en­try within a rea­son­able time­frame. Ven­deen, Suf­folk, Rouge, and Texel came un­der the ham­mer of Cashel-based auc­tion­eer, Robert Hunt, while Charol­lais and Bel­clare in Ring 2 were un­der the ham­mer of well-known, Kilkenny based pedi­gree sales­man and auc­tion­eer, Ge­orge Chan­dler.

He re­ceived a very warm wel­come back to the rostrum, fol­low­ing a full re­cov­ery from his re­cent ill­ness, and re­ceived many good wishes for his fu­ture.

“The qual­ity sold very well and there was a lot of in­ter­est in the Bel­clare, which seems to be grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity — over­all there was a very con­sis­tent trade through­out,” said Mr Chan­dler.

“The stars have be­come very im­por­tant and breed­ers are buy­ing on the strength of the stars. They are hav­ing a big im­pact,” he added.

The qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria for the sale re­quired all rams be­ing of­fered to be five star on ei­ther the Ter­mi­nal or Re­place­ment In­dex, with at least 35pc ac­cu­racy on the rel­e­vant five star In­dex.

Breed­ers were also re­quired to a flock Data Qual­ity In­dex (DQI) in ex­cess of 60pc.

In ad­di­tion, breed­ers had to carry out ul­tra­sound mus­cle and back­fat scan­ning in­volv­ing Sheep Ire­land tech­ni­cians vis­it­ing a breed­ers flock to scan and weigh lambs prior to sale.

Rouge achieved a full clear­ance for a very small en­try at prices be­tween €380 and €480. There was a 96pc clear­ance in Suf­folks, with 51 rams on of­fer, with most lots sell­ing be­tween €600 and €750.

Bel­clare achieved 87pc clear­ance at an av­er­age of €585, with Texel and Charol­lais also record­ing very high clear­ances.

Darragh Cun­niffe, Horse­leap, Tuam with his Texel rams at the Sheep Ire­land sale at GVM, Tul­lam­ore; (left) Alex Clarke, Boy­er­stown, Na­van with his Texel ram in the ring be­fore he was sold for €580.

Sonny Jen­nings, Ca­her­gal, Tuam, with his Bel­clare ram, Ca­her­gal Curro, which sold for €820, the sec­ond high­est price paid for a Bel­clare ram at the sale; (left) Ann Mur­phy, Bel­carig, Gorey, with her Texel ram, Foundry Amadeus which sold for €780, the top price in Tex­els.

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