The Texel breed shone brightest at this year’s NSBA championships, making up nearly a third of all the exhibits present. Over 220 Texel sheep, a record-breaking number, made their way to the Kilkenny mart to compete for the title of supreme Texel national champion 2018.
Exhibitors from 16 countries descended on Cillín Hill for the championships, showing the want and desire that the national title holds among breeders.
Given the task of the judging the show was former chair of the British Texel Sheep Society and recognised breeder Henry Gamble. Henry, from Bangor in Co Down, runs the Springwell flock of both elite pedigree and commercial rams which has sold rams as high as 38,000gns.
Following a strenuous number of hours judging, he eventually found his champion in the form of Mullan You Beauty, HBN1601411. This exceptional ewe, jointly owned by John Neville of Thornville Texels and Malachy McMeel of Corry Hill Texels, had caught the eye of many onlookers of the Growvite national championships throughout the day and ticked all the boxes for judge Gamble.
Lead the way You Beauty
Having secured the aged ewe class and female championship, You Beauty went all the way to be tapped out as overall champion. Originally bred by Brian Hanthorn, this powerful ewe was purchased by the duo at his production sale last December. Sired by the 32,000gns Garngour Upper Class, this stand-out ewe is out of a Haddo Ringleader-bred dam.
A testament to the quality in the ages ewe class, the second prize winner followed the champion all the way to the end, picking up reserve female and reserve overall championship on her way. The reserve champion HUI 16076 was owned by J,C & M McHugh’s Greenhill flock. This homebred first-crop ewe is by Maineview Will-I-Am and out a dam by McArthur Prince of Dance.
Male champion on the day went to Ronan Gallagher and his Enniscrone flock. Although absent himself on the day, his sheep were brought out to an expert standard and duly received their reward. Claiming the championship was the first prize winner from the ram lamb class, GAI1801797, which stood top of a strong line up of over 20 lambs. This stylish tight-skinned lamb is sired by 32,000gns Tophill Wallstreet and out of a ewe by Strathbogie Terminator.
Reserve champion male came from the shearling ram class in the form of UVI1701330 Thornville Alberto. Exhibited by the Greenhill flock, this young ram was purchased from John Neville at last year’s premier sale in Blessington. Breeding of this ewe includes the 20,00gns Knap You’re the Man and Straghbogie Python.
Class 1 Growvite Aged Ram
1 Anne Murphy, HUI 16069 Greenhill Yemen Boy, by Hillcrest Wagner.
2 D& E McManamon and A Donnelly, HAK1601044 Knock Yazoo by Tophill Wallstreet.
3 S&G Rothwell, MKI1600581 Ballinacurra Yukka by Greenhill Victorious.
Class 2 Growvite Aged Ewe
1 John Neville and Malachy McMeel, HBN1601411 Mullan You Beauty by Garngour Upper Class.
2 J,C & M McHugh, HUI 16076 by Maineview Will-I-Am.
3 Anne Murphy, PXI15057 by Oberstown Tuff.
Class 3 Growvite Shearling Ram
1 J,C & M McHugh’s, UVI1701330 Thornville Alberto by Knap You’re the Man.
2 Martin Walsh, GAI1701662 Enniscrone A-Lister by Tophill Union Jack.
3 John Neville, UVI1701384 Thornville Art Attack by Thornville Yogi Bear.
Class 4 Growvite Shearling Ewe
1 Mary Gallagher, YGE1700822 by Urris Wishfull.
2 D&E McManamon, DEE1705542 by Garngour Vintage.
3 D&E McManamon, DEE1705533 by Garngour Vintage.
Class 5 Growvite Ram lamb born before 1 March
1 Ronan Gallagher, GAI1801797 by Tophill Wallstreet.
2 M&P Treacy, PTF1800752 by Teigluim Apache.
3 Fergal O’Se, FSE1801123 by Teigluim Young Gun.
Class 6 Growvite Ram Lamb born after 1 March
1 John Neville, UVI1801373, by Milcomb Axel.
2 D&E McManamon, DEE1805648 by Knock Yazoo.
3 John Neville, UVI1801374 by Midcombe Axel.
Class 7 Growvite Ewe Lamb born before 1 March
1 Anthony Donnelly, DII1801329 by Knock Yazoo.
2 Ronan Gallagher, GAI1801810 by Teiglum Young Gun.
3 Kenneth Bird, BIE1802075 by Mullan Wild Bill.
Class 8 Growvite Ewe lamb born after 1 March
1 A&P O’Keeffe, OKI180631 by Wydden Arbenig.
2 D&E McManamon, DEE1805648 by Knock Yazoo.
3 D&EMcManamon, DEE1805641 by Knock Yazoo.
Class 9 Growvite Novice Ram Lamb
1 John Kidd, ZNE1807508 by Treemore Will.
2 B&D O’Dowd, FGE1800262 by Teiglum Young Gun.
3 B&D O’Dowd, FGE1800267 by Figart Ace.
Class 10 Growvite Novice ewe lamb
1 Dwayne Shiels, SWF1800703, by Stainton Vigilante.
2 Michael Haverty, HHE1802559 by Procters Yabba Dabba Doo.
3 Michael Haverty, HHE1802580 by Procters Yabba Dabba Doo.
Wicklow win at first Zwartbles all-Ireland
Four in a row at Charollais all-Ireland
In pictures: super start for first NSBA championships
Winner of the win a Texel ewe competition announced