SOCIETY CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL THREE DAYS AT NATIONAL PLOUGHING CHAMPIONSHIPS

SOCIETY CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL THREE DAYS AT NATIONAL PLOUGHING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The best of Irish Suffolk Sheep showcased at Ratheniska

The National Ploughing Championships returned after an absence of three years due to the pandemic and Suffolk Sheep Society – South of Ireland were delighted to once again be a part of such a great event.

Situated just inside the door of the NSBA Pavillion, the stand drew a huge amount of attention from attendees. Live Sheep are always popular and the stand showcased the best of Irish Suffolk Sheep breeding with both Pedigree and cross bred sheep on display. The Shearling Pedigree Ram, Muff Paddy, bred by his namesake, Paddy Carolan of Muff Suffolks was hugely popular with visitors to the stand – young and old alike. He was greatly admired and made impressive viewing on the stand.

The Society would like to express our gratitude to the Borris Ewe Breeders Association for loaning the Suffolk/Cheviot Cross ewes for the display. They were a great example of the superb breeding ewes which result from crossing the Irish Suffolk with a Cheviot Ewe. They make superb replacement ewes, who are easily lambed, milky and great mothers, who in turn produce fast finishing lambs ready to hit the premium Spring market at twelve weeks.

The hugely popular ‘Guess the Weight of the Lambs’ competition was back and saw an entry of well over 1000 over the three days. These were put in the draw for a €250 Society Voucher towards the price of a Suffolk Ram at any Society sale as well as second and third prizes kindly sponsored by Mayo Healthcare. We would like to thank Cormac Sheep Equipment for providing the scales on which the lambs were weighed on the final day.

Overall the Ploughing Championships proved to be a very successful three days for the Suffolk Sheep Society – South of Ireland, allowing us to reacquaint with old friends and meet many new ones. We were delighted to see such a large interest in the breeding of Irish Suffolk Sheep among so many farmers and we look forward to welcoming many of them into the Society in due course. With confidence in the Society at an all time high, the future is looking very bright for Irish Suffolk Sheep.

PREMIER SHOW & SALE 2022 REPORT

PREMIER SHOW & SALE 2022 REPORT

25th July 2022, Blessington Mart

The Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland held their Premier Show & Sale on Monday July 25th at Blessington Mart.

A large selection of top quality sheep were placed before the judge, Mr John Gibb, of the renowned Cairnton Flock in Scotland while commercial breeder, Mr.Jim Corrigan, was on hand to judge the Gigot Class.

Taking Supreme Champion of the Show was the Finnvale Flock, of Andrew & Jonathan Lucas, Co.Donegal. This stylish son of Salopian Pure Gold (brother to the record breaking 200K gns Solid Gold) and a Shannagh Ewe, had been previously tapped out by John Gibb as winner of the Open Class before lining up in the Championship. While the champion was unsold, Lucas went on to sell his first prize Pen of Three ram lambs for €2800, €2600 and €2600 respectively. Taking Reserve Champion in the pre-sale show was a Rookery Rebel sired ram lamb from Darragh McMenamin’s Mullinvale Flock. Darragh sold another Rookery Rebel sired ram lamb for €2500 to Italy.

Topping the sale was local breeder, Colin Watchorn’s Beechbrook Flock, when his Limestone Gold Rush sired ram lamb was snapped up by Alistair Barkley for €5200. This ram will join his Blackbrae Flock in Northern Ireland. He had been placed second in the Novice Class behind the Donegal based Doherty Bros who had claimed the red rosette with their Malinhead Rossi sired lamb.

Other top prices on the day included Richard Wilson’s Shannagh lamb who was second in the Ram Sired by a South of Ireland Bred Ram class. Sired by Kells T-Rex (the 2020 Premier Champion) this ram was purchased by Richard Thompson at €3700 while another ET brother sold to Mark Priestley for €2700. First in this class was a Ballinatone BT Buddy sired ram from Patrick O Keeffe’s Blackwater Flock who was knocked down at €2000 to the Walker Family. In the Errigal pen, a January born The Views Unknown Legend sired lamb topped the prices at €2000. Westport based Michael Hastings flock, Western Suffolks, had his Strathbogie Joel sired lamb knocked down in the ring at €2100 after he had placed 4th in the Novice Class. In the Shearling Class John Hanly’s Oakbridge Oscar sired ram took the top spot going on to sell for €900

In the female classes it was Andrew Smith’s stylish Cloontagh Chieftan sired ewe which took the red rosette in the Shearling Class. She went on to sell in the ring for €1200. Top honours in the Ewe Lamb Class went to Colin Watchorn’s Beechbrook Flock. This breedy Limestone Gold Rush Ewe Lamb went on to take Female Champion of the show with Andrew Smith’s Shearling claiming the reserve spot.

Topping the Shearling prices at €1400, was the Co Leitrim based Loughrynn Flock of Coote and Trevor Geelan with their January born Crewelands Drifter sired gimmer who was placed third in her class. Andrew Smith’s second prize ewe lamb by Kells Wingman, topped the females selling for €2000 to Northern Ireland breeder Dennis Taylor.

A number of sheep were exported to Northern Ireland and Europe from the sale but the export trade was down significantly on the record breaking 2021 figures and this was put down to a number of factors, with increased transportation costs topping the list playing a major part in the decreased trade.

Commercial trade accounted for 50% of all ram sales and these animals recorded an average of €706, marginally down on last years prices. Although the amount of rams sold into the commercial sector was down slightly on 2021, which was due in part to the early date of the sale, a number of buyers were filling their orders early to avail of the large selection on offer.  The overall average for the sale was €1030.

The Society feel that Zootechnical Certification and approval of their Pedigree Breeding Program is playing a large part in its growing membership. Many new breeders took part in this year’s sale and it is encouraging to see so many younger breeders getting involved in pedigree breeding.

The remaining Society Sales will be held in Cahir on Friday 2nd September, Carnew on Wednesday 7th September, Ballyjamesduff on Friday 16th September and Ballina on Tuesday October 4th.

Hall of Fame Awards 2022

Hall of Fame Awards 2022

Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland Branch

Arthur O’Keeffe, Annakisha Flock

The Suffolk Sheep Society, South of Ireland were delighted to see Mr Arthur O’Keefe of the Annakisha Flock, have his accomplishments and contributions over many years in the Suffolk World acknowledged at the National Hall of Fame Awards which were held in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone on Sunday May 1st. The National Hall of Fame Awards, Axknowledges people in the Ovine, Equine and Bovine Industries who have contributed over their lifetime to breeding, showing, adjudicating and promoting various breeds. Each breed society nominates a person who in their opinion is deserving of such an award.

The awards on the night were presented by Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister for state for Land Use and Bio Diversity in the Department of Agriculture.

Pippa Hackett Presenting the Award to Arthur O’Keeffe

Arthur O’Keeffe’s name is synonymous with the South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society for over forty years. During this time Arthur not alone worked hard to improve the Annakisha Suffolk Flock, founded 70 years ago by his late father, but also was actively involved in making the South of Ireland Branch one of the most successful branches in the society while on its committee of which he was chairman for two years.

He was appointed to the Judges Panel of the Suffolk Sheep Society in 1982 and has judged at numerous shows throughout Ireland and the UK including the Royal Highland, Royal Show, Royal Ulster, the National S&S, Edinburgh S&S, the Northern Ireland Branch Premier and the National Flock Competition.

In 2009, Arthur was honoured to be elected President of the Suffolk Sheep Society covering England, Scotland and Wales as well as the island of Ireland. His presidency saw him travel to all of the branches in these countries and he had the honour of judging the National Flock Competition of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

While dairying is the main farm enterprise Arthur has had a keen interest in the Suffolk breed since childhood. He believes that the Suffolk’s ability to reach target weights in a shorter time frame combined with good fleshing ability makes them the ideal sire for the commercial flock. The Suffolks also enjoy greater length than most of their counterparts while in recent years the Suffolk x ewe is in great demand for breeding and also commands a premium price from the butcher. 

The Annakisha Flock has consistently enjoyed great success in both the show and sales ring. While Arthur was fortunate to win the Supreme champion on 10 occasions at the RDS/National Championships and Female of the Year 7 times, he places great emphasis on the local shows as he feels that they are a great shop window to promote the breed and encourages all breeders to participate. At the Premier Show and Sale he has successfully claimed the championship 5 times while taking Reserve Champion 8 times selling to all corners of Ireland, UK and Europe. In recent years he has seen a large number of his Suffolk ewes and rams being exported to Europe and believes that this is testament to the high standard of sheep attained by the South of Ireland Branch members.

Arthur would like to thank the committee of the South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society for nominating him to receive the Hall of Fame Award and also his family who have helped and supported him through the years.

South of Ireland Branch Premier Show and Sale – Blessington 2019

South of Ireland Branch Premier Show and Sale – Blessington 2019

Top Price 3,000gns for Limepark Ram

Date: 2nd – 3rd August 2019

Sponsor: Lamlac

Auctioneers: JP and M Doyle

Judge: Ron Grieg, Tillydesk Flock

Standing room only at Blessington Mart on Saturday as both commercial farmers and pedigree breeders flocked to the Lamlac sponsored South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society’s Premier Sale. Over half the ram lambs sold on Saturday went to commercial farmers typically buying in the €400 to €900 price range. Ram lambs overall achieved an excellent 75% clearance with an average of €931.

“this has been an excellent sale showcasing the best of Irish bred suffolks. The Society has been keeping the pedigree Suffolk flock book in Ireland since 1893 with the first registered flocks in Counties Roscommon and Derry and our members are still to the fore. The success of today’s sale demonstrates that Suffolks are not only number one for finishing and taste, they are also a major player in the commercial sheep world. We have seen today that registered suffolk lambs are not only attractive to the pedigree breeder, but also to the commercial farmer and even into mainland Europe with lambs bought at Blessington going to Belgium and France”

Suffolk Sheep Society Chief Executive Robin McIlrath

Patrick O’Connor (Co Kerry) paid the top price of €3150 for Philip Byrne’s (Co Kilkenny) Burnview One for Arthur sired ram lamb (TJW:19:00013)out of a Shannagh Knockout sired Annakisha dam. Click here to view pedigree. The dam’s maternal sister bred the 2018 female Champion and Supreme Champion of the Year.

The hammer fell to B Fenton (Co Wicklow) €2940 for Ronan McLaughlin’s (Co Donegal) Novice Class winner (UPX:19:00024). Sired by Limestone Aston Martin (purchased for 40,000gns at Stirling in 2018), this lamb is out of the Ballynacannon gimmer purchased for 9500gns in 2018.

P J Howard paid €2730 for Young Donegal breeder Darragh McMenamin’s Rookery Rodeo sired lot 113 (UJU:19:01440) out of a Cairness Cyclone sired Lakeview dam. For the same money, Northern Ireland breeder Adam Porter (Maghera) purchased Gerry Killilea’s (Co Galway) Lakeview Harbinger sired lamb out of a Newwells dam.

Ballymena breeder R H Barclay bought Richard Wilson’s (Donegal) Supreme Champion (78A:19:06468) for €2310 and Belgium breeder F Collard paid €2625 for the Open Ram Lamb Class Reserve (78A:19:06468). Three ram lambs went for €2310, Andrew Smith from Co Cavan bought Andrew Lucas’s (Co Donegal) lot 49. O & G Deane (Co Kildare) also bought a Lucas ram lamb (lot 126) at the same money for their Mountford flock. The third at €2310 was Susan O’Keeffe’s Recorded Class 1st Place ram lamb (lot 124) which went North to W and S Tait (Co Tyrone).

The three top pen averages were R Wilson (Co Donegal) with €1300 with 5 sheep through the ring, E Duffy (Co Meath) with €1062 for 8 sheep and S O’Keeffe (Co Cork) with €1058 for 8 sheep.

Top female price was K Bailey’s (Co Roscommon) reserve female champion ewe lamb (HDC:19:00075) going to James Cuffe’s pedigree Inbhear flock in Co Mayo for €1470. Colin Watchorn paid €1207 for J and E Gahan’s ewe lamb (Co Wicklow) to add to his Irish Flock of the Year Beechbrook flock. Colin’s flock viewing day is Saturday (10th August) at 4:40pm at his farm in Newcastle, Co Wicklow.

Male and Supreme Champion

Lot 65 R Wilson

78A:19:06468 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

Reserve Male and Overall Reserve Champion

Lot 61 A O’Keeffe

R15:19:05248 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

Female Champion

Lot 4 J Durcan

PXA:18:00188 by Malinhead Gold

Reserve Female Champion

Lot 28 K Bailey

HDC:19:00075 by Cairness Foremost

Class 1 Single Shearling Ewe

1 Lot 4 J Durcan

PXA:18:00188 by Malinhead Gold

2 Lot 11 J&E Gahan

SKW:18:00494 by Malinhead Gold

3 Lot 1 M O’Connell

DBJ:18:02051 by Ballygarvanstud Bullseye

Class 2 Single Ewe Lamb

1 Lot 28 K Bailey

HDC:19:00075 by Cairness Foremost

2 Lot 20 M O’Connell

DBJ:19:02102 by Shannagh Synergy

3 Lot 24 J and E Gahan

SKW:19:00515 by Limestone Aston Martin

Class 3 Shearling Ram

1 Lot 32 D Quinlan

UHZ:18:01485 by Monefelim Major

Class 4 Ram Lamb Sired by a SOI Bred Ram

1 Lot 123 S O’Keeffe

BYD:19:02113 by Castleisle Golden Miller

2 Lot 43 S O’Keeffe

BYD:19:02115 by Castleisle Golden Miller

3 Lot 115 A Wilson

DDX:19:01150 by Limepark Las Vegas

Class 5 Recorded Ram Lamb Class

1 Lot 124 S O’Keeffe

BYD:19:02125 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

2 Lot 81 J Doherty

CFN:19:02857 by Rookery Ace Of Hearts

3 Lot 122 S O’Keeffe

BYD:19:02099 by Burnview One For Arthur

Class 6 Novice Ram Lamb

1 Lot 98 R McLaughlin

UPX:19:00024 by Limestone Aston Martin

2 Lot 113 D McMenamin

UJU:19:01450 by Mullanboy Thunder Bolt

3 Lot 76 R Thompson

TDL:19:02640 by Limepark Las Vegas

Class 7 Open Ram Lamb

1 Lot 61 A O’Keeffe

R15:19:05248 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

2 Lot 66 R Wilson

78A:19:06470 by Limestone Aston Martin

3 Lot 58 P O’Keeffe

NBK:19:05940 by Burnview One For Arthur

Class 8 Giggot Class

1 Lot 65 R Wilson

78A:19:06468 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

2 Lot 41 S’OKeeffe

BYD:19:02137 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

3 Lot 38 E Duffy

C46:19:02846 by Limestone Aston Martin

Class 9 Pen Of Three

1 Lots 124, 43, 41 S O’keeffe

BYD:19:02125, BYD:19:02115, BYD:19:02137

2 Lots 65, 66, 67 R Wilson

78A:19:06468, 78A:19:06470, 78A:19:06471

3 Lots 49, 130, 47 AandJ Lucas

DWT:19:01147, DWT:19:01121, DWT:19:01146

Irish Championships – Kilkenny 2018

Irish Championships – Kilkenny 2018

Shannagh Resolve from A O’Keeffe claims 2018 Supreme Champion Title

Date: 9th June 2018

Judge: Iain Barbour, Solwaybank Flock

The 1st NSBA Championships was the chosen venue for the South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep
Society’s National championships 2018. Blessed with celestial sunshine over 80 of the highest quality
Suffolks were lined out before Judge Iain Barbour from the “Solwaybank” Flock. Some classes boasted
Suffolks from over ten counties. The venue was perfect.


Supreme Champion, Female Champion & 1st prize Shearling Ewe owned by Arthur O’Keeffe
Sired by Shannagh Resolve; her dam by Cairness Galastar. This same ewe was reserve female of the year at the same event as last year.


Reserve Supreme Champion owned by Patrick O’Keeffe (son of Arthur)
This Shearling Ewe also captured Reserve Supreme Champion & Reserve Female Champion 2nd Prize
Shearling Ewe sired by Clyda Dreamcatcher: Dam by Rookery Classic


Male Champion owned by Susan O’Keeffe (president elect of the Suffolk Sheep Society)
Male Champion & First Prize Ram Lamb sired by Muirton One Direction: Dam by Rookery Classic


Reserve Male Champion owned by Seamus Browne sired by Lakeview Heart of Gold: Dam by Rhaeadr Ron.


Female Champion owned by Arthur O’Keeffe sired by Shannagh Resolve: Dam by Cairness Galastar


Reserve female Champion owned by Patrick O’Keeffe sired by Clyda Dreamcatcher: Dam by Rookery Classic


Class Prize winners were as follows-

Class 1 Shearling Ram
1st Philip Lynch Castlebellingham, Co Louth ( Burnview The Duke sired by Birness Murray: Dam by Cairness
Liam)
2nd Sean & Valerie Tiffin Kilgarvin, Co. Kerry
3rd Coote Geelan Carrick on Shannon,


Class 2 Aged Ewe
1st Philip Lynch Castlebellingham, Co. Louth (Sire Burnview Gin &Tonic: Dam by Cairnton the Cracker)
2nd Susan O’Keeffe Mallow, Co. Cork
3rd Kenneth Bailey Tulsk Co. Roscommon.


Class 3 Shearling Ewe
1st Arthur O’Keeffe Mallow, Co. Cork (Sire by Shannagh Resolve: Dam by Cairness Galastar)
2nd Patrick O’Keeffe Mallow, Co. Cork
3rd Susan O’Keeffe Mallow, Co. Cork


Class 4 Novice Ram Lamb
1st John Stacey Bunclody, Co. Wexford (Sire by Strathbogie Dynamite: Dam by Rhaeadr Johnny)
2nd Garth Graham Ballygawley, Co. Sligo
3rd David Quinlan Gowran, Co. Kilkenny


Class 5 Open Ram Class
1st Susan O’Keeffe Mallow, Co. Cork (Sire by Muirton One Direction: Dam by Rookery Classic)
2nd Seamus Browne Letterkenny, Co. Cork
3rd John Stacey Bunclody, Co. Wexford


Class 6 Novice Ewe Lamb
1st Aaron Kealy Dunshauglin, Co. Meath
2nd Colin Watchorn Newcastle Co. Wicklow
3rd David Quinlan Gowran, Co. Kilkenny

Class 7 Ewe Lamb
1st Philip Lynch Castlebellingham, Co. Louth,(Sire by Rookery Rodeo: Dam by Caireness Achievement)
2nd Seamus Browne Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
3rd Patrick O’Keeffe, Mallow, Co. Cork.