The sixth spring Dorset Diamonds sale of the Northern Ireland (NI) horn and poll sheep breeders club took place in Ballymena over the weekend, smashing all previous price records.

With the top ram price at an NI sale previously standing at 2,200gns and the national record at 6,000gns, this latter price was exceeded twice last Saturday.

Top price went to the reserve champion Downkillybegs Dazzler, which sold for a massive 6,600gns. Bred and exhibited by William and Karen Carson, this September 2020-born ram lamb ticked all the boxes for English breeder Stephen Cobbald, who paid the top price.

This super ram displayed excellent breed character and was out of the homebred sire Cola.

Just behind this and also breaking the previous national record was the ram lamb D2485, which sold for 6,500gns. This young ram was bred by Thomas Wright and is a son of stock ram Olivertree Archie. This one also heads across the water, this time with Essex breeder Jeremy Durrant.

These top prices helped to boost the overall sale average for ram lambs to 1,469gns, again exceeding the previous record average.

Taking the overall championship was a ewe from Laura Weir, Lisnafilian. This young ewe later went on to top the female section at 1,500gns.

Overall champion and top price female from Laura Weir sold for 1,500gns \ Graham Cubitt Photography

Ewe lambs recorded an average of 748gns, while a smaller number of shearling ewes and rams were offered, with averages hitting between 623gns and 718gns. Marked as the club’s most successful sale to date, it now looks forward to 26 July when it hosts its premier sale, again at Ballymena Livestock Mart.

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