Farm families from all corners of Ireland descended on Gurteen Agricultural College on Saturday 17 June for Sheep 2023.

The dedicated one-day sheep event treated thousands of visitors to a bounty of attractions from sheep showing, technical demonstrations and commercial exhibits to masterclasses in cooking and much more.

After a challenging 18-month period and a five-year interval since the last event due to COVID-19 restrictions, Sheep 2023 was a welcome opportunity for the industry to get back to some level of normality.

The appetite displayed by sheep breeders was particularly strong, with almost 800 sheep on display across 30 breed societies.

Breed championships

Within this, eight breeds were holding national or all-Ireland breeding championships, with the Irish Texel Sheep Society recording a massive entry of over 260 head.

Other breeds showing on the day included the Belclare Sheep Society, the Irish Blue Texel Sheep Society and Dassenkop Sheep, the Irish Charollais Sheep Society, the Irish Vendeén Sheep Society, the Irish Rouge Sheep Society, the South of Ireland Hampshire Down Breeders and the South of Ireland Branch Irish Suffolk Sheep Society.

Industry backing

Chair of the organising committee Michael Gottstein commended the commitment shown by all sectors of the sheep industry to make the event a success.

“Five original partners from such sheep events - namely the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia, the Irish Farmers Journal, Sheep Ireland and Teagasc - all had the same common goal of providing a platform for the industry to showcase its positive attributes.

“We received excellent support once again from Irish Country Meats as title sponsors of the event and are also extremely thankful to our main sponsors including Cormac Sheep Equipment, Elanco, FBD Insurance and MSD Animal Health.

"Special thanks should also be paid to every breeder, exhibitor and organisation who attended and helped in any way. The event is one that the entire industry can be proud of.”