Tullow Sheep Breeders Association held its annual pairs night in Tullow Mart on Monday evening.

With four classes on the night and a large number of entries in each class, judges Myles Lambert and Thomas Tutty had a difficult task in selecting first to fourth place.

The classes consisted of over 20 pairs of Suffolk Cheviot x ewe lambs and over 18 pairs of Suffolk Cheviot x hogget ewes, with a fine example of 10 pairs of Cheviot ewe lambs and 10 pairs of Cheviot hogget ewes.

Judge Myles Lambert: “Tullow pairs sheep judging is always held before the first show and sale. Tonight, we had approximately 20 different lots in each category, with a lot of high-quality sheep. Last year was tough with the weather. This year, there is a bit more grass and sheep are thriving very well, with weather conditions in their favour."

Myles told us what he was looking for in a winner: “Good-quality heads, good bone, wool must be good and tight, most importantly. If a coat doesn’t fit right then don’t wear it. It is the same with wool on a sheep; you need good-quality wool. I like a good bit of structure to a sheep, a bit of shape. You don’t want a thin, narrow sheep; you want a sheep with a bit of shape to it.”

Best pair of Suffolk Cheviot x hogget ewes

From right: Patrick McEvoy, first; Charles Fenton, second; Thomas McCarthy, third; and Trevor Deacon, fourth.

Best pair of Cheviot ewe lambs

David and Dylan Leybourne, first; Peter Behan, second; Charles Fenton, third; and Tom Dunne, fourth.

Best pair of hogget Cheviot ewes

Charles Fenton, first; Tom Dunne, second; and Charles Fenton, third.

Dylan Leybourne: "I had a Suffolk Cheviot pair of ewe lambs that came second and a pair of pure Cheviot ewe lambs that came first in their class. I wasn’t expecting it to be honest as there was serious quality in both classes. I suppose any time you get a prize in a class, it is a good day."

Dylan Leybourne.

"The rest of the summer will be busy in terms of farming. I will be preparing ewe lambs for the show and sale here in Tullow on 7 August. I will have ewe lambs and hogget ewes for sale."

Mart manager Eric Driver: "We use this evening to showcase all that is good and correct about the Tullow ewe, a smart Suffolk Cheviot x sheep, that oozes length and prolificacy from the Suffolk and muscle, with great mothering ability, milk yield and pure style and stamina that comes from the Cheviot ewe. With all those being correct, we really had to showcase it."

Tullow Mart manager Eric Driver.

"This evening was one of the larger entries that we have had in recent years. We were delighted to see so many here tonight."

The 32nd annual show and sale of the Tullow Sheep Breeders Association will take place on Wednesday 7 August 2019 with the ewe lambs commencing at 11am and the hogget ewes commencing at 1pm in ring three.

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