The Central Progeny Test (CPT) was set up not as a breed comparison, but rather as a ram and trait comparison. It is focused on identifying our best sheep genetics regardless of breed.  The CPT provides the basis for assessing a large number of rams, and linking this information to an even wider number of animals throughout that breed’s pedigree history.

Genetic links between breeds and breeding groups are critical elements to any genetic evaluation programme. Without genetic linkage the performance of different groups of sheep could not be fairly evaluated. The intention of the CPT is to evaluate as many new sires as possible annually, while genetically linking new bloodlines and strengthening existing ones as best possible throughout Ireland.

What is Genetic Linkage?

To maximise the Genetic linkage that can be delivered by the CPT, Sheep Ireland attempt to locate widely used pedigree sires across different regions around the country. By taking these rams to a single location and using them on the same flocks, this is genetic linkage working at its very best. Environmental influences on lamb performance are largely eliminated as all lambs are subject to the same conditions, be they climatic, feeding, level of management etc. Essentially rams are now truly operating on a level playing field.

 The CPT is set up to:

  • Examine how much industry rams can vary in growth rate to slaughter.
  • Examine how much industry rams vary in maternal merit.
  • Foster links between Breed Societies, Ram Breeding Groups, and the wider Breeding Industry.
  • Identify leading sires and benchmark sires.
  • Demonstrate to the industry the extent to which rams varied in the value they could add to farm returns.
  • With the collection of valuable data, improve our understanding of the genetic control of carcass merit and maternal merit and their relationship with other production traits.

CPT Rams 2009

CPT Launch

CPT Launch in 2009

The CPT was first started in 2009 with 30 Rams from 5 Breeds used through AI across 2100 ewes. In the breeding season of 2016 there was 32 rams successfully used for AI across 6 different breeds and on 5 different flocks (Click here to see the flock profiles). All rams are sourced from active LambPlus Flocks based on the number of relatives the ram has in other LambPlus flocks and their Replacement index along with other criteria. Performance data will be collected on all the resulting lambs & this information will be included in each ram’s individual evaluation along with its relatives evaluations.

Sheep Ireland CPT Rams 2016

BreedYear of BirthPedigree IDNSISNameAddress
Belclare2016LB161879IE041064001879BL. BarrettCarlow
Belclare2016JR169424IE042821309424FN & L O'RourkeRoscommon
Belclare2013TF131634IE042220801634CJ. RenehanKilkenny
Belclare2014DP140959IE042915800959GP. DoyleKildare
Belclare (Link Ram)2013LB131592IE041064001592B M. KellyWicklow
Charollais2013130010P5R. O'HaraKilkenny
Charollais2013F7814008IE043991300411JM. ReganRoscommon
Charollais2015D3215059IE041437804639GT. MurphyKilkenny
Charollais2015A5415021IE044308903005BP. HollandGalway
Charollais2013A9713019IE042235203346JB. CaseyLongford
Charollais (Link Ram)2014A7814032IE041381200472A F. ReynoldsLeitrim
Lleyn201306191302190S. BrownKilkenny
Lleyn2015024021500015BIE045508600015BS. MorrowDonegal
Lleyn201306211306437UK010363506437H. Mc DonaldOffaly
Lleyn2013018791307105IE042890107105AP. MurrayWestmeath
Suffolk2016CFN1602512IE041451302512HJ & E GahanWicklow
Suffolk2016BYD1602014IE041406602014AP. NilandGalway
Suffolk2014SKW1400403IE044701700403DJ DurcanLaois
Suffolk2015LYB1501370IE042200001370AC. HughesMayo
Suffolk (Link Ram)2013HOL13007IE042117702305G P ColleranGalway
Texel2012GAI12073IE044164300981ET. HolmesClare
Texel2015HNI15064IE042811315064HE. TynanKilkenny
Texel2015JBI15006IE043961601555FA. ClarkeMeath
Texel2015HUI15080IE043743104998BA. ClarkeMeath
Texel2016ILF16006IE042805000892BJ. KellyKildare
Texel2015ZEI15054IE041111701554JS. McGeeCavan
Texel2015PNE15065IE042481512576CG. NilandGalway
Texel2016CII16017IE043749315727FG. DelaneyLaois
Texel (Link Ram)2015PXI15004IE044561202494E A. MurphyWexford
Vendeen2015NEL15013IE041413400964FN & A FordCavan
Vendeen2015LJB15011IE043106100811JA. McGraneMeath

For a video of the CPT at mating time click here.

You can find the link to the 2015 CPT Sires here.

Contact Sheep Ireland on 1850 601 901 or at if you have any further questions on the Central Progeny Test.