On the back of what can only be described as an exceptional season of in-lamb ewe sales across the country, it is with great anticipation we look forward to our 2018 shows and sales. The five society sales were met with exceptional demand and an exciting trade to match, with 300 in-lamb hogget ewes finding almost 100% clearance throughout. The ewes on offer were a credit to all venders and as a society we are both confident and excited as to what the future holds. These sales proved an excellent opportunity for existing breeders to add quality to their flock, while also providing the opportunity for many new breeders to establish flocks, bringing the society to over 360 registered breeders. Four breeders also very kindly donated a Pedigree female each with all proceeds going to their chosen charity. A total sum of €4,558 was donated from the sales.
Some of the highlights and top prices from the five sales:

Blessington

Blessington Mart kicked off the in-lamb sales on Saturday December 2nd. This proved a huge success with a full clearance on the day and a total sale average of 750gns.
Arthur & Patrick O'Keeffe topped the sale at 2700gns for Lot 17, a Claybury Warrior daughter. This ewe was only shown once this year where she was placed 2nd in the Growvite National Texel Championships, an exceptional well bodied gimmer she sold scanned carrying twins to Arkle You star.
Next best on the day was from Anthony Donnelly when he received 2400gns for Lot 45. A full sister to this year’s 1st prize shearling ewe at the Growvite National Championships, sired by Knock Ursus this one sold carrying twins to the fantastic breeding Knock Yazoo.
The O'Keeffe's were back up again with lot 19 for the third best price of the day at 2000gns. This ewe was also a prolific show winner this year where she was Reserve champion at Tullamore Show. Sired by Knock Trident, she sold carrying twins to the sire of the top priced ewe on the day.
The ewe kindly donated by the Ryan's for Cancer Awareness Charity sold for 950gns.

Western Region

Next stop was Roscommon mart for the Western Region Texel sale on the 8th of December. This proved another exciting sale with almost full clearance and a very lively trade.
A full ringside watched as Eric Cambell’s lot 11 fetched to top price of 1500gns. A Kiltarriff Vigilante daughter and out of the flocks best ewe, noted for winning Western Region Overall champion twice, this flashy ewe sold carrying twins to Kilcurley Ace.
John Brookes then took the next two best prices with the first and last ewe into the ring. Lot 1 set the pace and got the sale of to a flyer when she was finally knocked down at 1000gns. Sired by the 40000gns Mullan Vivaldi and carrying twins to Mullan Avatar this one will be an exciting prospect for the successful purchaser. John then closed the sale of with the second top price of the day when he sold lot 47 for 1200gns. Another ewe with fantastic back breeding, sired by the former UK sire of the year Glenside Razzle Dazzle and this time carrying twins to Valhalla, she concluded what was an excellent sale for the region.

Donegal Texel Breeders

The sales then headed north to the Raphoe Livestock Mart where the Donegal Texel Society held their annual sale on the 15th of December. Another fantastic sale with 70 ewes on offer, these resulted in almost full clearance and an exceptional trade with both established and new members competing.
A super ewe, lot 24 from Neville Myles secured a top price of 1300gns on the night. An ET sister to three ram lambs sold at Premier Sale 2016, sired by Knock Trident and out of the Annakisha ewe that was purchased at the Premier in 2015. This one sold carrying to Annakisha Yoghurt, 1st prize junior ram lamb at National Championships 2016.
The next two best prices came from John Greene’s pen, ET sister lot 29 and 30, selling for 1020gns and 1080gns respectively, with a third sister Lot 63 also making 1000gns. These three fantastic ewes were by the noted sire Baltier Thunderbird and out of a Redford dam, all selling scanned in lamb to last year’s 11000gns purchase, Strathbogie Yabba Dabba Doo.
Isobel Moore kindly donated a pedigree ewe lamb for Children’s Cancer Ireland; she sold for 500gns with the Donegal Texel Society matching this to bring the total to €1,000 donated to the worthy cause.

Christmas Belles

Carrick-on-Shannon was the venue for the Christmas Belles sale on the 28th of December for what turned out to be another fantastic sale of in lamb females. The sale included 54 ewes from the flocks of Ronan Gallagher and Jimmy Garrivan, and sold to 100% clearance averaging at 785gns.
A flying trade from the off was topped by lot 29 from Ronan Gallagher, when, after a flurry of bidding the hammer fell at 3400gns. A member of the Enniscrone 2017 show team, sired by the phenomenal breeding Shannagh Won-O-Won which had been purchased at the Premier Sale at Blessington in 2015, and has gone on to breed females to 10000gns in the UK, this excellent bodied ewe sold carrying twins to Plasucha A Class.
The next two best prices came from the same home, firstly, lot 17 was sold for 2800gns, again out of Won-O-Won and carrying twins to A Class, this powerful ewe was out of a very successful flush that saw her sister winning numerous shows this summer and two brothers sold to pedigree flocks in Ireland. Then came lot 20 at 2000gns, sired by Stainton Vantage II and one of the only ewes offered in lamb, carrying twins to the exciting Garngour Aerosmith purchased in Lanark this year.
A ewe carrying an embryo was offered up for charity by Ronan Gallagher; she sold for 420gns and along with raffle tickets sold brought the total raised to €1,215 for the North West Hospice.

Cootehill

The Twilight sale in Cootehill Livestock Mart on the 29th of December wrapped up the year on a high note when a large crowd attended the second annual sale, and the high demand continued with another great sale averaging 737gns per head.
Pat and Barry Farrell produced the top three priced females of the sale this year to give them an average of 1650gns for 6 sold. Topping the sale was lot 30 when she was knocked down for 2200gns, sired by the 85000 Cornmore Velvet Jacket, this sparkey ewe sold carrying to Arkle A1. Next from the Farrell’s was the 2000gns call for lot 61, sired by Procters Ventura and selling scanned with Twins to Strathbogie Yabba Dabba Doo. They continued their exceptional trade on the evening with the third best price when the secured 1720gns for lot 59. This one was again sired by Velvet Jacket and carrying twins to Yabba Dabba Doo.
The Farrell’s ended the night by generously offering lot 35, a pedigree ewe lamb, for their chosen charity The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, which raised €1,380.
The Irish Texel Society would like to thank you all for your support in 2017. We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year, and the best of luck for 2018.