Cheviot sheep grabbed the headlines in the Aughrim Sheep Breeders 55th annual show and sale held in Carnew Mart on Saturday.

Cheviot ewe lambs and Cheviot hoggets were judged overall champions of the show in the ewe lamb and ewe classes, with the breed also recording the highest prices ahead of their Suffolk x Cheviot-cross counterparts.

An entry of just over 100 Cheviot ewe lambs recorded an average price of €152 each. This included €195 paid for the first prize-winning and overall champion ewe lambs weighing 52.6kg, while a top price of €222 was paid for the fourth prize-winning ewe lambs weighing 49.4kg.

Heavier lambs weighing 44kg to 49kg sold in general from €130 to €174, with a few lighter lots weighing 34kg to 39kg, selling from €112 to €122.

An entry of approximately 180 Cheviot hoggets averaged €205. There was a wide differential in price, with three lots of hoggets selling from €200 to €240, while another three batches sold from €300 to a height of €320 for the second prize-winning sheep.

Excellent quality

Mart manager David Quinn reported that the quality of Cheviot hoggets was excellent, and commented that the trade in general was helped by tighter numbers and a continued sharp cull ewe trade.

Lighter Cheviot hoggets reared on harder hills sold on average from €150 to €185. Cheviot ewes were also a strong trade, with two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half year old sheep selling from €150 to €235, and back to €100 for a couple of lots of aged sheep.

Suffolk x Cheviot-cross ewe lambs accounted for the largest entry of almost 400 head. Prices averaged €137 for lambs weighing in the region of 43kg on average. About 10 of the 40 lots sold upwards of €150 to a top of €200 for 61.2kg lambs.

Another 20 lots sold within a tight price range of €120 to €150, with a dozen lighter lots selling from €90 to €120.

Suffolk x Cheviot-cross hoggets averaged just shy of €200 per head. Good-quality and stronger hoggets sold from €185 to €220, with a couple of lots exceeding this price range. Plainer-quality and lighter hoggets sold from €150 to €175.

The second prize-winning Suffolk x Cheviot cross ewe lambs weighed 48kg and sold for €188 each.

These second prize-winning Cheviot ewe lambs weighing 46kg, which sold for €174 each.

The first prize-winning pen of Cheviot ewe hoggets and overall champion pen of ewes sold for €300 each.

This batch of nice-quality Cheviot ewe lambs weighing 47kg sold for €158 each.