With large crowds gathered from early in the morning on Saturday, 15th July, there was an air of optimism in Roscommon Co-operative Livestock Mart ahead of the Irish Vendéen Sheep Society’s Premier Show and Sale. Longford breeder John Lynch (Ballinascraw Vendéens) stole the show, being awarded both the sale champion and reserve champion by judge Mr. Michael Oliver. This is the sixth time the Ballinascraw flock has taken home the Harry Browne Memorial Cup, having won the championship five times in six years between 2014 and 2019. Ballinascraw Ben, sired by Kilbride Warrior - making him a paternal half-brother to last year’s top-priced ram Ballinascraw Armani, was the star of the day, winning the Pat Oliver production cup for five-star rams as well as the Harry Browne Memorial Cup for overall champion. Homebred Ballinascraw Barron, sired by Ballinascraw Aramis, won reserve champion. Both rams went on to fetch the highest prices in the sale; Ballinascraw Barron sold for €1,380 with his new home being the Dunganny Vendéen flock in Co. Meath. However, it was sale champion Ballinascraw Ben’s day as he broke the record for the highest priced Vendéen ram in Ireland. The previous record (held by the Killeen Vendéen flock in Co. Meath) of €1,760 had stood since the premier sale in 2007, but was finally broken, 16 years later, as the hammer fell for Ben at €2,060. The Kiltoome Vendéen flock in Co. Westmeath were the purchasers and the Irish Vendéen Sheep Society wish them the very best with their purchase.
Other high prices include:
Ciaran Coughlan’s Noggus Braveheart (also breaking the €1,000 mark) hit €1,040. Braveheart was sired by French Imported ram, Noggus Whiskey King.
Cheryl O’Brien’s All-Ireland Champion ram lamb, Quitrent Blythe, sold for €900.
Ann Ford’s Kilbride Bowie also sold for €900, to the Windmill View Vendéen flock in Co. Galway.
The top priced female was Sessiagh Alyssandra, originally bred by the Sessiagh Vendéen flock in Co. Donegal, and sold by Andrew Gilmore of the Valley View Vendéen flock in Co. Cavan, selling to the Stonepark Vendéen flock in Co. Roscommon.
Record breaking prices aside, the sale went down as one of the more successful sales in the society’s history. 34 SIS-eligible rams were exhibited on the day, with an average price of €710 (double 5-star rams averaged €800). Clearance for males was 93% and just under 80% for females. Hogget ewes had the higher average price, making €580. Ewe lambs averaged €455.
The Irish Vendéen Sheep Society council and members thank all of the customers and vendors for making the sale a success. They wish the customers all the best with their new sheep and look forward to the remaining sales this year, kicking off with the Sheep Ireland LambPlus sale on August 26th.