The 11th annual Sheep Ireland multi-breed ram sale took place in Kilkenny Mart last Saturday.

A regular date in sheep breeders’ diaries, the sale is the largest ram sale in the country, with over 400 rams catalogued.

Strong demand throughout meant the sale recorded a clearance rate of 84% across the breeds, with average price rising by €31 to settle at €618.

Top price on the day went to the Texel breed, which saw rams reach €3,300. This was paid by Clive Rothwell and David and Michelle Power for Greenhill Eagle Eye from John, Colm and Michael McHugh. This ram was in the top 3% of the breed for both terminal and replacement indices.

The same breeders also sold the second- and third-highest-priced rams, with Greenhill El Paso and Greenhill Einstein selling for €1,360 and €1,280 respectively.

All these three were sired by stock ram Procters Class Act.

Largest entry

Overall, the Texel breed had the largest entry at 149 rams. Clearance rate for the breed hit 86%, with the average resting at €651.

The Suffolk breed recorded the highest average price, which settled at €714, with a clearance rate of just shy of 90%.

Top lot here came from Jim and Frampton Jeffrey, who sold their ram lamb by Logie Durno New Direction at €1,220. This makes it the third year running that a New Direction son has topped the Suffolk section.

The second-largest breed at the sale was Charollais, which achieved a clearance rate of 74% and an average price of €573. Prices for the breed were led with a call of €980 for a hogget ram from Gerry and Dympna Grogan by Ballyhibben Talisman, which was in the top 5% of the breed on replacement index.

The Lleyn breed was met with a 100% clearance rate, with average price this year settling at €520. Brian Matthews of the Quarrymount flock secured the top price for the breed when he sold a hogget ram in the top 2% of the breed on terminal index for €820.

Matthews also secured the top price of €580 in the Rouge de l’Quest section with Quarrymount Masterpiece. This February-born ram lamb was a son of Townhill Laurence and ranked in the top 2% for both terminal and replacement indices. Overall, the breed saw an 80% clearance rate, with an average of €443.

A total of 33 Belclare rams were catalogued, with 88% of those through the ring selling to average €611. Securing top price here was Edwina Gottstein with Coolkellure Hse Garcia. This Coolgarragh Enzo son was in the top 14% on replacement index and sold for €820.

Cheryl O’Brien secured the top three prices in the Vendéen section. Top of these was €740 for Quitrent Watson. This December-born ram is a son of the homebred Quitrent Watson and was in the top 5% of the breed on replacement index. Overall, the breed had a 92% clearance rate, with average price resting at €518.

Hampshire Downs average price hit €434, with an 88% clearance rate. Top price was a call of €500 for Coolkellure Braveheart bred by Michael Gottstein. This Treworthal Brexit son was in the top 4% of the breed in days to slaughter.

Finally, the Border Leicester breed had the smallest entry, with three catalogued and all three selling to average €520. These three came from the flock of Coote Geelan and saw prices top at €660.