Northern Ireland Lleyn Sheep Breeders Club
Chairman: Andrew Kennedy
Crosby Cleland, Brookmount Farm, 21 Greens Road, Saintfield, Ballynahinch, Co Down, BT24 7EE
Tel. 028 9751 0289 07860 610987
O'Reillys Bar & Restaurant in Dromara was the setting for the NI Lleyn Breeders Club to enjoy a well earned night out before lambing kicks off. The new club chairman, Andrew Kennedy started the evening off by welcoming one and all to the dinner and thanking all the members for their help and support throughout the year. A special mention was given to Roly and Fiona Cunningham for their hospitality while providing a venue for the club to have their meetings.
Andrew went on to thank the past chairman, Martin Scott for the excellent job he had done for the last two years and a big thanks went to Adrian Fitzsimons stepping down from the position of secretary which he held for longer than he cared to remember.
Andrew finished off by thanking all our sponsors for the year including Crystalyx for the new cup for 'Best Shearling Ram' and Thompsons Feeds for their continued sponsorship for the sale in Ballymena.
Looking back thru 2011, the club had a very industrious year, promoting the Lleyn breed harder than ever. The fruits of this labour were evident at the annual show and sale in Ballymena with ever increasing numbers of sheep being brought forward for sale and being sold to buyers from all four corners of Ireland.
A lot of that promotion work began at Balmoral Show where the club had a stand supported by the Lleyn Society and in particular the society promotions officer, Heather Stony. It was a good event that generated a lot of interest in the breed through the hard work of Heather and members of the club.
This led on to Tyrone Farming Society's, Omagh Show, with a nice turnout of breeders for Judge Mr. Ivan Belton from Co. Wicklow. The McClintock Cup for Overall Champion was given to a joint effort from R&F Cunningham (Woodlawn Lleyn) and C&A Kennedy. C&A Kennedy (Mileview Lleyns) went on to take reserve champion as well.
Just 2 days later the NSA Sheep 2011 event was held in Ballymena Mart. The event was a great success with the Lleyn stand being so impressive that it took 2nd place in the Exhibitors Competition.
A fortnight later led us to Castlewellan Show. A large turnout of breeders made it a tough job for judge, Dr. Gwyn Evans from Caernarfon, Gwynedd to pick out his winners through the odd shower of rain. C&A Kennedy again took both the Overall Champion and Reserve receiving the Newell & Fitzsimmons Cups for their efforts.
Another week seen us at the last of the summer shows and this time the sun shone strong, making it a lovely day for Mr Robin Darker from Blessington, Co. Wicklow to judge another good turnout of sheep. This time R&E Edwards (Carrowdore Lleyns) took Overall Champion, earning them the Kennedy Family Cup, with the combined R&F Cunningham and C&A Kennedy ram taking reserve.
With the show season over everyone had time for breath before the Annual Show & Sale took place in Ballymena Mart. The show judged by Mr. Jim Mc Bride from Kells, Co. Antrim, left R&E Edwards taking home the new Crystalyx Cup for Best Shearling. It was another lively sale with a ringside full of confident buyers. The top priced females were the first prize shearling ewes from Aubrey Bothwell, Derryvree House, which sold for £270 to Aiden McConville, Jerrettspass. Seamus Killen of Rostrevor sold his first prize ewe lambs for the top price of £205 to Ivan Belton, Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow.
The top priced ram came from C&A Kennedy, Ballyclare with their second prize lot selling for 1000gns to Alex Hegan, Comber. The first prize ram from R & E Edwards sold for 920gns.
Which brings us almost up to date, with the Bi-Annual Flock competition having been judged at the start of December by Mr Adam Cheesmur from North Chailey in East Sussex. Mr Cheesmur had a very busy weekend travelling the length and breadth of N. Ireland to view all the flocks entered. Afterwards Mr. Cheesmur stated that he had enjoyed his visit and was impressed with the standard of the flocks and thanked those involved for the hospitality. He judged the Large Flock winners as Mr. Aubrey Bothwell from Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh. The Small Flock winners were named as C&A Kennedy from Ballyclare, Co. Antrim.
Andrew finished the evening by thanking the staff of O'Reilly's for the splendid dinner, and wishing all who attended a prosperous and successful 2012.