Star rams command big prices in Tullamore
Two sales rings were kept busy at the Sheep Ireland Autumn Sale, writes Martin Ryan
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.