Ireland’s top breeders will be exhibiting both ewes and rams at the Zwartbles Eire Premier Show and Sale on Wednesday 7 July in Tullamore Mart, Co Offaly, at 12.30pm.

There will be 40 lots on offer, with 21 females and 19 males entered. All animals will be inspected pre-sale. This year’s event is being sponsored by Billy Comer and family.

There will be a new addition this year, the Zwartcross commercial sale for crossbred ewe lambs.

Breed secretary Mary Jo Comer said: “Over the years, we have seen a huge demand from commercial breeders looking to use the pedigree rams to produce their own replacements.

“They pass on the very desirable traits of easy lambing, a great mothering instinct and high milk yield. They are quick finishers and have minimal feet problems. The docility of the breed makes them easy to handle and also fantastic for younger breeders, an ideal investment for communion money.”

The Zwartbles breed originated in Holland and, being used for their milk and meat, they were kept alongside dairy cattle herds.

They were listed as a rare breed in the 1970s and first imported to the UK and Ireland in the 1990s. The breed has grown in popularity in recent years.

The wool is medium to fine and is popular with spinners and felters because of the crimp and fibre length.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will only be 30 buyers allowed ringside so pre-booking is advised. The sale will be run under strict COVID-19 compliance conditions.

Online bidding will be available, through LSL Livestock, but buyers must pre-register to bid online. Enquiries to Mary Jo Comer on 085-127 7602.