Dorset Diamonds Sale Report 2024

The annual Dorset Diamonds sale organised by the Northern Ireland Dorset Club was held on Saturday 23rd March 2024 in Ballymena Livestock Market. Known for its elite quality, the sale attracts the ‘cream of the crop’ with a strong entry of shearlings and first pick of autumn born lambs on offer, providing buyers with the opportunity to purchase rams ready for spring breeding. A strong entry of 87 sheep attracted a large crowd from far and wide, with breeders making the journey from across the UK and Southern Ireland to avail of the quality on offer.

The presale show was as always well supported by a large turnout of sheep in all classes as well as spectators keen to support the breed. Judge for the day was Mr Sam Driver of the Sandy Lane Flock, Derbyshire, the current holder of the National flock competition, bringing a wealth of experience to the job. His supreme champion of the day was found in lot 57 “Ballymaconnelly Game Boy” from Samuel and Elaine Caldwell. Standing top in a class of over 30 ram lambs, this lamb showed excellent power and style. Sired by Lisnafillan Dylan out of Donard D1524, he caught the eye of Bolton breeder, Richard Fitton of the Dynamite flock, selling to a top price of the day of 4800gns. Reserve champion of the day was awarded to lot 71 “Maineview Garnacho” from Andrew and Caroline Kennedy. Placed second in the ram lamb class, he displayed excellent character and conformation, selling for 1900gns to Essex based breeder, Jeremy Durant of the Hydes Flock.

Tremendous trade was a theme throughout the day with strong averages across the sale. Ballymoney breeder Ryan Quinn achieved 3100gns for lot 59 from the Money Cannon flock. Sired by by Ballytaggart Epic out of Ballytaggart D18, this smart lamb caught the eye of Laura Weir, joining the Lisnafillan Flock. In close succession was lot 29 from Steven Lyons with his shearling ram, lot 29 “Bencran Ferrari”. This Ballymaconnelly Ducati son out of Bencran A950 stood first in the shearling ram class, exhibiting tremendous power and outlook. He joined the Ballymaconnelly flock of Samuel and Elaine Caldwell for 3000gns. Interest from across the water was evident with the next top three prices all finding their new homes on the mainland. Amy McConnell achieved a price of 2600gns for lot 54 “Beechmount Gryffindor” a superb Kilvaddy Bolt son out of homebred ewe Bellatrix who found his new home in Scotland with Newtonstewart breeder, Maud Walker of the Dupin flock.

Ellen McClure achieved prices of 2300gns and 1900gns for penmates “Mountdale Gusto” and “Mountdale Giovani”, lots 82 and 81. Mountdale Gusto heads to Suffolk to join the Deben Flock of Tim Pratt whilst Giovani heads to Wales to join the Pembroke flock of David Lewis.

Other leading prices are as follows: R Currie 1600gns to G & S Miller, S Caldwell 1300gns to K O’Connell, B Lamb 1200gns to R Fitton, L Weir 950gns to J Durrant, L Weir 850gns to T Pratt, M & C Maybin 850gns to R Fitton, J & C Robson 800gns to S Lyons, E & H Kennedy 800gns to O & S Jones.

Sale averages

Ram lamb: 1103.05

Shearling ram: 1201.20

Ewe lamb: 457.80

The Northern Ireland Dorset club would like to extend its thanks to breeders, purchasers, sponsors and market staff for their continued support in making the sale a success. Attention now turns to show season with this years national show being held at Ballymoney Show on Saturday 2nd June 2024, kindly sponsored by Lisnafillan Farm Vets.



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