There were buyers from all over the country at Leinster Marts in Borris, Co Carlow, on Saturday. With 700 ewe lambs, 1,300 hogget ewe lambs and several pens of two- and three-year-old ewes under the hammer, the sale saw a 98% a clearance rate.
Ewe lambs were a steady trade, with the best lots weighing between 42kg and 46kg making €130 to €155. Lambs between 38kg and 42kg made from €95 to €120, with lighter lambs going for around €100.
Hoggets saw a full clearance and were a good trade with 30% of those on offer making between €210 and €250. Another 30% made €190 to €210 and the balance of the hoggets made on average €165 to €185. The two- and three-year-old ewes made between €170 and €230.
Prize hoggets: 1st, Thomas McCarthy; 2nd, Jim Kavanagh; 3rd, Padraig Doyle; 4th, Martin Hayden; and 5th, Remmi Dalton.
Prize two- and three-year-old ewes: 1st, Martin Doyle; 2nd, Thomas McCarthy.
Prize ewe lambs: 1st, Thomas Carthy; 2nd, Jim Lennon; 3rd, Sean Ryan; 4th, Padraig Joyce; and 5th, Paul Stacey.
Jimmy Walsh: “Today has been a brightness in a time of gloom. It was a wonderful day and wonderful sale. It is great to see the up-lift and the confidence that has emerged in sheep farming. We thought we were taking a bit of a risk moving the sale to a Saturday but the breeders insisted that we give it a chance. I can safely say that it has been 100% a success with a huge attendance of people, especially people from all over the country. There was no dominant buyer of the sale, customers were buying two or three pens of ewes. This has been one of the happiest days of the year so far.”
Arian Hayden: “It was a very good sale today. The ewe lambs were slow getting off the ground but when they got going they were selling well. The top prices were from around €130 to €150 for the best of the ewe lambs. The handy hoggets were making between €170 and €190, and from €190 to €230 for the higher-end hoggets. The two- and three-year-old ewes were making between €180 to €210. There was a lot of happy farmers here today, it is one of the best sales that has been here in years. This is the first time that the Borris Ewe Breeders held the sale on a Saturday in 56 years. It has been the biggest sale that I have seen here in 15 to 20 years. ”
Thomas McCarthy: “There has been a great trade here today. Sheep went to all counties. We are very happy with how it went. I had a pen of prize-winning hoggets which made €240 and a pen of ewe lambs that made €147. The Borris ewe is bred with a Cheviot ewe crossed with a Suffolk ram, the first cross is a Borris ewe, which is a speckled white-faced sheep with good tight wool and a good hardy sheep. The Cheviot ewes come down from the Blackstairs Mountain along the area from Ballymurphy, Kiltealy, Rathanna and up along the breeders are known to have Cheviot ewes crossed with a black ram and that’s how they started this Borris Ewe Breeders' Society 56 years ago. The Borris ewe is known in every county in Ireland. Breeders often try other breeds but they always seem to come back to the Borris ewe eventually. It’s their mothering ability and they always end up being worth between €130 to €150 as a cull ewe, which makes them easy to replace.”
Jimmy Dalton: “ I had four pens of breeding hogget ewes here today. It was a good sale, prices were up a bit. On average anywhere from €190 to €215 was the run of a good hogget. The sale was up on last year, there has been a big success with the day of the sale being changed from a Thursday to a Saturday. A lot of people came from all over the country which doesn’t normally happen, but a lot of the hoggets have gone up to Monaghan, Donegal and Sligo.” The Borris Ewe Breeders' Association is holding its next sale on Thursday 12 September in Leinter Marts, Borris, Co Carlow.