Sheep Ireland’s 11th Annual Multi-Breed Ram sale took place on Saturday 28th in Kilkenny mart. This was the largest catalogued ram sale in Ireland with the highest entry criteria ever set for an Irish ram sale. The sale had an overall clearance of 84% which was similar to 2020 at 88%. The average price on the day was €618, up €31 on the 2020 average of €587. Rams went back to 23 different counties making it a truly national sale.
The level of engagement from the breeders who entered this elite sale was fantastic. Breeders really did have a lot of hurdles to cross before they could enter a ram in this sale and commercial farmers are rewarding them for this. More and more commercial farmers are demanding top-quality physically correct rams with excellent breeding values (€Stars) to back it up. Each year the number of pedigree breeders performance recording is increasing. Each year the number of commercial farmers searching for Eurostar values before they purchase is rising. All this bodes well for the sheep industry and Sheep Ireland intends to keep this positive trend on the rise for next year.
Sheep Ireland are very happy with the average clearance and prices, as this shows a good balance between the supply of rams at the sale and the demand available to buy them.
This years sale had the highest levels of entry criteria ever needed to enter a ram sale, making the collection of rams and breeders on the day amongst the most elite in the country.
- Every breeder was required to have a Data Quality Index (DQI) above 70%.
- Every flock in the sale needed to be genetically linked.
- Every ram must have passed a thorough physical inspection (7% of rams were rejected on the morning of the sale based on physical inspections).
- Every Ram in the sale must be ranked in a 5 Star (Top 20% of the breed) on either the Replacement or Terminal Index.
- Every Ram in the sale must have had an Accuracy above 50% on the qualifying index (Up from 35% in 2020).
- Every ram was DNA sire verified to give confidence to potential buyers (New in 2021), and 54% were also Dam verified.
- Every ram in the sale must have a Genomic Evaluation (New in 2021).
To see the catalogue from the sale click here.
The Charollais were the first into Ring one with 128 rams catalogued, the second-largest breed at the sale. The Charollais had the toughest day in terms of clearance rates with a 74% clearance rate. The average sale price was €573 with the range from €340 to €980. The Charollais breed had the best average Terminal Index, with an average Terminal index of €1.99.
Next up was the Vendeens. They had 16 rams catalogued with a great clearance of 92%. The average price for a Vendeen was €518 with a range from €400 to €740. The Vendeens were leading the way in terms of DNA Parentage Verification, with 94% of rams entered fully parentage verified. This will no doubt stand well to the breed in the years ahead.
Cheryl O’Brien took the three top prices for the Vendeens, with the top price of €740 going to Quitrent Watson. He was in the Top 5% and 11% of the breed for Replacement and Terminal indexes respectively and fully parentage verified.
The Hampshire Downs had 9 rams entered this year from three different breeders. They managed an impressive clearance of 87.5% with an average price of €434 with prices ranging from €400-€500. These rams had an impressive average Terminal Index value of €1.60.
A triplet ram (Coolkellure Braveheart) from Michael Gottstein’s flock with a DQI of 99% snatched the top price of €500. This ram had an impressive Days to Slaughter in the Top 4% of the breed at -12.5 days and he was fully parentage verified.
Rouge de l’Ouest
Rouge de l’Ouest had 6 rams catalogued from 3 different flocks. With 80% sold and an average price of €443. These rams were very strong on the Replacement index with an average value of €4.19.
Quarrymount Masterpiece bred by Brian Mathews went under the hammer at €580, securing the top price for the Rouge de l’Ouest. This ram was in the Top 2% of the Replacement and Terminal index, with excellent Lamb survival of 2.04%.
Next up was the Border Leicester who had the smallest consignment in the sale with three rams from Coote Geelan’s flock. The three rams average €520, with the top price of €660 going to 65Z2101469 who had the best Terminal index of the three at €1.57, putting him in the Top 1% of the breed.
The Lleyn’s were in demand at the sale with a 100% clearance on the day with a very impressive average price of €520, ranging from €820 to €340. There was 9 Lleyns catalogued in Ring one on the day. The Lleyns were the second-highest ranked breed in the sale on the Replacement index, with an average value of €4.72.
For the second time, the Quarrymount flock from Brian Mathews produced the top price. This time for a hogget ram (18792009326) who was ranked in the Top 2% of the breed on the Terminal Index. This rams maternal grandsire was tested in the central progeny test (CPT), helping to increase the accuracy and confidence behind this rams evaluation.
The final breed through Ring one was the Belclares with 33 rams catalogued. The Belclares had the highest Replacement Index at the sale with a remarkable average of €7.03. They also had 88% of their entries fully parentage verified, all helping to their 100% clearance and an average price of €611. Prices for the Belclares ranged from €400 to €820.
First-time exhibitor Edwina Gottstein from the Coolkellure Hse flock was last into the Ring one. However, that did not stop her from selling the top-priced Belclare Coolkellure Hse Garcia for €820. He was fully parentage verified with a Replacement and Terminal Index in the Top 14% and 13% respectively.
First into ring two was the Suffolks with 58 animals catalogued, making them the third-largest breed in the sale. The Suffolks achieved the highest average price at the sale with each ram selling for an average of €714, however, the price range was wide, going from €360 to €1,220 and a clearance rate was 88.5%. The Suffolks had the highest average accuracy at the sale, with an average Terminal Index accuracy of 76%.
Jim & Frampton Jeffery claimed the top spot in the Suffolks, selling ram lamb 9002105962 for €1220. This is the third year running that Logie Durno New Direction has sired the top-priced Suffolk ram at the sale. Logie Durno New Direction is a CPT sire in 2018 and 2019 and will have been extensively tested. It is great to see these top index rams consistently producing top quality rams.
The Texels had the largest number of entries in the sale with 149 rams catalogued. This didn’t affect their clearance much as they still achieved a clearance of 86% with an average price of €651. The average Texel ram in the sale had a notable Terminal Index of €1.50. The prices in the Texels ranged from €250 to a staggering €3,300.
The top price went to Greenhill Eagle Eye, bred by John, Colm And Michael McHugh and was sold jointly to fellow Texel breeders Clive Rothwell and David & Michelle Power. He is in the Top 3% of the Replacement and Terminal Index with an accuracy of 71%. This ram is a double threat as he is strong on both the Terminal and maternal traits. The same breeders also sold the second and third highest priced rams at the sale with Greenhill El Paso and Greenhill Einstein both going under the hammer for €1,360 and €1,280 respectively. All three rams are by Procters Class Act who has semen available. See the link for more info.
Finally, Sheep Ireland would like to thank everyone else who contributed to the running of the sale, including the auctioneers, the mart staff, ram inspectors, breeders and buyers.
Sheep Ireland looks forward to another successful sale next year.