The 51st Premier Show & Sale took place in Roscommon Mart on August 6th.

The standard and quality of sheep presented on the day was top class and the judge, Mr Alaister Barclay of the renowned Northern Ireland Flock, Redbrae Suffolks was faced with a difficult task in judging the classes.

Judging commenced with the Young Handler Class where a large group of enthusiastic young breeders took to the show ring. It was Harry Graham of the Westside Flock, Sligo, which he founded in 2019 who emerged as the winner. This was Harry’s third young handler win of 2022, having previously picked up the title at the National Suffolk Championships in Charleville and the Club Championship title in Claremorris.

It was the turn of the ewe lamb class next where it was the Volac Ireland Perpetual Plate which was up for grabs. There was a very stylish show of lambs but the judge tapped out a smart and breedy ewe lamb, from the Summerhill Flock of Mattie & Kevin Kelly in Galway as his Champion. The ewe was sired by Howgillfoot Batman and caught the eye of many attending the show. This interest was reflected in the price she achieved when she entered the sale ring in the afternoon.

In the Novice Ram Class, competition was fierce with a great display of strong ram lambs from almost 20 Club members. It was a super carcassed ram lamb, sired by Stratbogie Joel which caught the eye of the judge and claimed the red rosette. This lamb was bred by new breeder, Caillin Joyce of the Ballintleva Flock in Westport and he went on the claim 4th in the Open Ram class.

In the Gigot Class, it was the turn of the Ballygarris Flock of Michael & Marie Jennings, Mayo to claim the top spot with a strong Windyhill Magic sired lamb. The Jennings’ winning run continued in the Open Class where they claimed the top spot with a powerful Strathbogie Joel son which was born to a Ballygarris Ewe.

The Pairs Class saw seven flocks competing for the top honours and it was the Loughrynn Flock of Coote & Trevor Geelan who took first place in a superb class of strong, even sheep.

In the final Championship line-up it was the Ewe Lamb of Kevin & Mattie Kelly who received the top accolade of Supreme Champion of the Show. Reserve Champion was awarded to the Jennings ram lamb which had taken the top spot in the Open. The Club would like to extend their sincere thanks to Alaister Barclay for travelling to Roscommon to judge the Premier Show.

When the sale commenced to a packed ring, bidding started with the ewe lambs. The bidding set the tone for the sale with the Reserve Female selling for €950. It was the Female & Supreme Champion who stole the show though when she was eventually knocked down to Suffolk Breeder Michael McDonagh for €2250. The ewe lambs finished up with a fantastic 100% clearance.

When the ram sale commenced, bidding was steady and competition was fierce for good quality commercial lambs. With over 85% of ram lambs heading into the commercial sector it was plain to see that the appetite for a quality Suffolk ram was strong. It makes perfect financial sense to introduce quality Suffolk genetics into Commercial flocks. The Suffolk’s ability to finish fast in a grass based system leading to less input costs and higher farm gate returns is exactly what the commercial breeder is looking for in these times of rising farm expenses. This desire for top quality rams was reflected in the prices with Eurostar rams selling to an average of €1125.

Overall, prices for the sale were excellent but it was the Reserve Champion of Michael & Marie Jennings’ Ballygarris flock who took the top price of €2500, equalling the 2021 record price of the Windfield Flock of JP Screene & Sons. This Strathbogie Joel sired son sold to the well known Kells and Milldam Flocks of Eamon Duffy and Shane Brady.

Other top prices achieved in the ring were €1360, Ballygarris, €1300 Ballygarris, €1000 Higgins, €1000 Hughes, €950 Geelan

Average prices for the day held up well with the final sale average finishing at €820.

The Club would like to thank our sponsors for the event, Roscommon Mart and auctioneer, Mr Tom Cox.

The Club’s next sale take place in Athenry Mart on Friday Evening August 19th. Show commences at 6pm with the sale at 7pm.

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