Saturday’s Cooley Sheep Breeders Association sale of almost 4,000 ewe lambs and ewe hoggets was a memorable occasion for the 120 members of the group.
This year marks 20 years since these same farmers saw their flocks decimated by foot-and-mouth disease and, as such, it was fitting that the group’s 11th annual sale was the largest since it was formed.
The trade on the day was firm, with Scottish Blackface sheep of Lanark type meeting a particularly brisk trade.
This saw a selection of ewe hoggets selling from €200 to a top of €278 for the first prize-winning pen, which were also judged reserve champions of the show.
These excellent-quality Scottish Blackface hoggets sold for €242 each.
These first prize-winning large-framed Suffolk hoggets sold for €208.
This pen of medium-sized Hiltex hoggets sold for €158 each.
These lighter-boned and plainer-quality Mule hoggets sold for €160 each.
These smaller-framed Hiltex hoggets (Texel x Scottish Blackface) sold for €146 each.
There was a large differential in prices, with lighter and plainer quality lots selling back to €120 to €140 per head.
There was a similar trend for Mule ewe hoggets. A large percentage traded from €170 to €210, with a selection exceeding this level and rising to a top of €290 for the first prizewinning pen and overall champions of the show. A small selection of plainer-quality hoggets sold back to €170 per head.
Suffolk hoggets met a steady trade, with top-quality large-framed lots selling from €190 to €225 while medium-sized lots sold back to €165 to €170.
This pen of strong white speckled Suffolk-Cheviot cross hoggets sold for €196.
This pen of good-quality Mule hoggets sold for €190 each.
These good-quality Mule hoggets sold for €210 each.
These Mule hoggets which were awarded first prize in the Mule show and judged overall champions sold for €290.
These quality Bluefaced Leicester cross large-framed hoggets sold for €244 each.
These medium-sized and good-quality Suffolk-cross hoggets sold for €188.
This pen of large-framed Suffolk-cross hoggets sold for €198.
This batch of light but well-bred Cheviot ewe lambs sold for €118.
This pen of uniform Suffolk cross ewe lambs sold for €114 each.
This pen of light Suffolk-cross ewe lambs sold for €108 each.
These light but nice-quality Suffolk ewe lambs sold for €106 each.
Hiltex hoggets sold anywhere from €140 for light types to €180 to €200, while a selection of Cheviot-cross and Bluefaced Leicester-cross hoggets sold as high as €240.
Ewe lamb trade
Scottish Blackface lambs were a similar trade to their hogget counterparts. Top-quality lambs sold from €140 to €180, with smaller-framed and quality lambs from €110 to €130. A selection of lesser-quality lots sold from €90 upwards.
These nice-quality Suffolk-cross ewe lambs sold for €128.
This pen of lighter Suffolk-cross ewe lambs sold for €116.
These brown-headed medium-sized Suffolk-cross hoggets, including a few crossbred types, sold for €170.
This batch of Texel ewe lambs were second in their class and sold for €124.
These Suffolk-cross hoggets including some crossbred types sold for €188.
These Suffolk-Cheviot cross ewe lambs sold for €130.
This batch of mixed-breed ewe lambs sold for 130 each.
This pen of super-quality Suffolk-Cheviot cross ewe lambs were judged first in their class and sold for €162.
These top-quality Suffolk-Cheviot ewe lambs sold for €160.
The first-prizewinning Texel-cross ewe lambs sold for €138.
These Greyface-and-Mule-type ewe lambs sold for €120 each.
These quality Bluefaced Leicester x Cheviot-cross ewe lambs sold for €166.
These light and average-quality Mule ewe lambs sold for €100 each.
The first-prizewinning Mule ewe lambs sold for €154.
This pen of mixed-quality Mule ewe lambs sold for €122.
This pen of well-grown and nice-quality Mule ewe lambs sold for €170.
These top-quality Scottish Blackface ewe lambs with great length sold for €184.
These super-quality Scottish Blackface ewe lambs sold for €158.
These looser-wooled Scottish Blackface ewe lambs sold for €92.
This pen of light but well-bred Scottish Blackface ewe lambs sold for €128.
These lighter Scottish Blackface hoggets sold for €122.
These well-bred Suffolk hoggets sold for €194.
The general run of prices for Mule ewe lambs was from €120 to €140, with a selection of better-quality types and prizewinner selling to a high of €150 to €165. At the other end of the quality spectrum, light Mule ewe lambs sold back to €100.
Crossbred lambs and lighter continental crosses sold from €100 to €116 on average while better-quality Suffolk lambs sold to €130 and the tops of Suffolk-Cheviot cross ewe lambs sold to €160 to €165.