One of Ireland’s newest sheep societies, the Irish Dutch Spotted Sheep Association, is set for its first premier sale on 7 August.
The sale will take place at the Showgrounds, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, with a behind-closed-doors show in the morning and public viewing from 12pm ahead of the sale at 2pm.
Included in the sale will be 42 females and 27 rams. The breed is the most recent import to Ireland, so may be new to most, but are very memorable due to their striking markings.
The Dutch Spotted breed dates back to around 1880 and they were originally kept in the western part of Holland.
During the 1950s, farmers started making use of the specific qualities of the original Dutch Spotted sheep by crossing them with other breeds, such as Texel or Zwartbles, to breed a sheep with greater profitability.
Some of the main attributes for the breed include high milk yield, easy lambing, hard feet, mobility, easy temperament and high-quality carcase.
In last December’s RUAS Beef and Lamb in Balmoral, champion butchers pair went to a set of Dutch Spotted lambs which further highlighted their carcase quality for commercial breeders.
Since their introduction to the UK over five years ago, the breed has been met with a buoyant trade whenever offered for sale.
The Irish society hopes this trend will be replicated on 7 August for the inagural premier sale.