Sheep sales are riding high at the moment, with particular strong demand for breeding stock at sales up and down the country.
This was evident at Friday night’s special sale of 45 lots of Spotted Dutch, Blue Texel and other breeds of sheep at Beatties Pedigree Centre outside Omagh, Co Tyrone.
It ended up being a spectacular first ever Springtime Sparklers sale.
There was a super start, when lot number one, an Allen Shortt-bred Spotted Dutch ewe with two ewe lambs at foot, sold for the top price of 5,700gns.
Similar to the cattle scene, colour seems to pay, with Spotted Dutch sheep leading the way throughout the sale. The breed average settled at 4,320gns, with all of these bar one lot being bred by Allen Shortt’s Diamond flock. Chris Johnston’s ram lamb sired by Drumhirk Decider sold for 3,200gns.
An unbelievable atmosphere ringside helped drive the trade for the rest of the sheep, with a super batch of Sufftex ewe lambs shown by Jack Smyth averaging 975gns/head.
A strong online presence as well as good competition ringside drove the prices all night.
Every lot of pedigree Charollais was exhibited by Graham Foster from the Springhill Flock. These sheep sold for an average of 1,190gns/head. The small show of Beltex sheep on the night averaged 715gns/head.
Speaking on behalf of the sale organisers, Allen Shortt said: “All the exhibitors were blown away with the trade tonight, it was tremendous from start to finish.”
Allen said that after the success of the first ever Springtime Sparklers sale, the organisers are planning to run the event on the same weekend next year.
He added: “We got huge support from Richard and all the crew at Beattie Livestock sales and most importantly our sponsors on the night Strabane Mills Ltd.”
Allen also commented on selling in Britain post-Brexit: “I suppose this is why the trade here tonight was so buoyant with the prospect of no Carlisle for some breeders this year.
“The demand is still there and that’s why we saw the good trade tonight.”