The trade at the annual Donegal Pedigree Wicklow Cheviot Breeders show and sale of Cheviot rams, ewe hoggets and ewe lambs was buoyant, with average prices increasing by €100 to €150 on 2020 levels.
The sale, which was held in Stranorlar Mart on Wednesday evening, recorded a 100% clearance rate, with demand exceeding supplies and a number of buyers going home empty-handed.
The entry of 46 hogget rams recorded a fine average of €788 per head. With this, 14 rams exceeded €1,000 per head to average €1,313.
A further 24 rams sold from €500 to €999, with an average price of €639 per head, while eight rams sold for less than €500 and an average price of €352.50 per head.
A ram presented by Geaney Brothers, Ballynass, Falcarragh, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, was judged the top hogget in the single competition class and went on to sell for €660.
Second in the single class was a ram from the flock of Shane McHugh, Figart, Dunfanaghy, which sold for €1,460, while the third-placed ram presented by Michael Geaney, Falcarragh, sold for €1,220.
There was also a show class for the best pen of three hogget rams.
Shane McHugh was placed first with his second-prizewinning ram in the singles class, also in this group. This trio of rams averaged €1,446 per head.
Manus McHugh, Burt, Lifford, Co Donegal, was second in this class, with the three rams averaging €1,066, while Michael Geaney was third and recorded an average of €1,106 for his three rams.
The top price on the night of €1,960 per head was received by Sean McHugh. The large-framed hogget was purchased by group member Warren Boyd, Kilchasel, Loughros Point, Ardara, Co Donegal.
Sean is also chair of the group and explained that the group's decision to start a performance recording programme with Sheep Ireland in 2020 is now delivering in generating greater interest for sheep with verified parentage data.
“Members have committed a lot of time and hard work and it is heartening to see that this paid off tonight.
"There were a number of customers who attended the sale on the back of this data being available, while the fact that this was an export-approved sale with high numbers of export-eligible sheep on offer also helped, with customers from Northern Ireland adding another welcome source of competition to the trade.”
There was a small entry of 15 ewe hoggets and 27 ewe lambs on offer, with supplies again failing to satisfy buyer appetite.
Hoggets ranged in price from €220 to €640, with an average price of €387 per head.
Ewe lambs ranged in price from €155 to €400 and recorded an average price of €261 per head.