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 between €100 and €150 on 2020 levels.

The sale, which was held in Stranorlar Mart last week, 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.

The top three champion rams at the Donegal Wicklow Cheviot Breeders show and sale in Stranorlar Mart on Wednesday last from left are; Michael Geeney, third place, Seamus Gallagher, first place and Shane McHugh, second place. \ Clive Wasson

Top hogget

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 placed first, with his second-prizewinning ram in the singles class also in this group. This trio of rams averaged €1,446 per head.

Michael Geaney and Seamus Gallagher from Falcarragh with the first prize Cheviot hogget ram. \ Clive Wasson

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 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.

Sean McHugh, Sean McHugh Snr and Michael McHugh from Falcarragh with their first prize-winning ewe lambs, which were also judged the overall champion females. \ Clive Wasson

Time and hard work

“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.

Manus McHugh, Shane McHugh and Lorcan McDaid from Falcarragh with their champion hoggets. \Clive Wasson

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.