January 2013: Beltex breeders stepping up performance recording
Beltex breeders are stepping up Signet performance recording with a 60% increase in ewes and lambs evaluated on the year and an additional 50% more flocks. Furthermore, the breed is continuing to make strides in improved genetic gain.
Since the Beltex-specific pilot performance recording system was launched in 2008, the average genetic merit of the recorded Beltex population is 0.6kg heavier at weaning and gigot depth has increased by 0.62mm, without any real significant rise in backfat depth. Mature size EBV has remained fairly static.
“This breed information is particularly exciting, demonstrating to pedigree breeders that performance recording will support their flock objectives and allow them to make more targeted selection decisions and speed up the rate of positive change they bring about in their flock,” says Signet breed specialist, Alison Glasgow. “It also demonstrates to buyers of Beltex sheep that recorded animals are available within the breed with identified genetics that will match a range of selection criteria.”
Beltex Sheep Society chairman, Maimie Paterson comments: “Overall, the results suggest that Beltex breeders are selecting breeding animals demonstrating both better lamb growth and better muscularity, but without changing the mature size of the breed to any extreme, one way or another.
We are also pleased that more breeders are performance recording their flocks. Performance recording will not only to help them to make more informed selection decisions but also help meet demand from an increasing number of commercial sheep producers keen to invest in performance recorded Beltex whose genetic merit has already been identified.
“Furthermore, we are optimistic that providing commercial producers with new opportunities to invest in Signet performance recorded rams will inject new and significant demand for the Beltex, in particular from the mainstream market in central and southern England and also Wales where the society’s new long-term marketing drive is focused.”
For details of all animals and breeders involved in the Beltex evaluation scheme see www.signetfbc.co.uk EBV Search.
December 2012: Beltex cross lambs leading the marketplace
Beltex and Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme selection day
Commercial sheep producers using a registered Beltex ram are eligible for 50p/kg premium from Dunbia, if their lamb meets the specification for export to Belgium.
This year’s Beltex and Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme is offering a specific grid bonus for 15kg to 21kg lambs of +40p/kg for U2/U3L worth up to £8.40 a head, while + 50p/kg is being paid for lambs grading E2/E3L worth up to £10.50 a head. All lambs must be sourced from a Farm Assured unit.
“This marketing arrangement is giving producers the opportunity to receive a substantial premium for top quality Beltex cross lambs which meet this specification,” Dunbia’s Glynne Jones told an EBLEX led live dead selection day at the processor’s Preston plant. “Dunbia is offering a very competitive package for these lambs which are exported to high end customers in the Belgium market.
“So far this season, approximately 50% of Beltex cross lambs forward for the scheme have been within the specification, consequently there is a huge opportunity for more,” he said. “Farmers need to improve time of sale – that could mean feeding lean lambs for another seven days to improve conformation, or drawing thicker lambs seven days earlier to improve fat class.”
Beltex Sheep Society secretary, Rachel Buckle comments: “We are pleased that commercial producers who have invested in a registered Beltex ram have the opportunity to receive premium payments in what is a proving to be a very challenging year. In fact Beltex crosses are among the only lambs currently being marketed which are turning in real money.” She adds: “In order to fully exploit the premiums which Dunbia is offering, we would urge all producers to select their Beltex cross lambs with care to ensure they meet the precise specification.”
Beltex cross lambs are sourced weekly for the scheme via a network of field officers and collection centres throughout England, Scotland and north Wales for processing at the Preston plant. Dunbia offers a free fieldsman service and haulage can be arranged; the company operates an open door policy with MLC weight and grades which can be faxed or e-mailed on day of slaughter.
November 2012: Final winners of Central Beltex Club’s prime lamb competition revealed
Beltex cross lambs are dependably amongst the top 5% of prices at markets and have received their just rewards from a venture launched by the Central Beltex Club, which awarded a £50 prize to commercial producers for a pen of five or more lambs by a registered Beltex ram and achieving the highest p/kg price at six of the region’s leading marts throughout the summer.
Central Club secretary Rachel Sharp commented: “We have received positive feedback from all the marts involved that are looking to run the competition again in 2013 as well as some new markets that would like to be involved. The competition has also been well received by producers that are pleased to be in the running for an extra premium on top of that which is already paid for Beltex lambs, which are favoured for their excellent conformation, double muscling and high killing out percentage.”
At Foscote B Reynolds, Olney, Buckinghamshire, took 234p/kg for his pen of five 34kg lambs sired by Freckleton Lambada, bred by V J and M L Roots, Wormleighton, Warwickshire.
Rugby Market saw a leading price of 229p/kg for a pen of five lambs from J Paul, Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire. These weighed 34.9kg and were sired by Burroway Noteable, bred by M Walker and S Taylor, Witney, Oxfordshire. Also amongst the top prices were 219p/kg and 211p/kg for pens of five lambs weighing in at 36.5kg and 38.5kg respectively. Both were sired by Ashfield Norman, a ram bred by Messrs G Pamplin, Ringstead, Northamptonshire. These pens came from P Batchelor, Rugby, Warwickshire.
Seven Freckleton Lambada sired lambs were also the top pen at Thrapston. Weighing in at 35kg they realised 217p/kg for T E Payne and Son, Crick, Northamptonshire.
At Melton a pen of 14 lambs weighing 44kg realised 208.33p/kg for vendor J H Griffin and Son, Egleton, Rutland. The same vendor also sold 11 lambs weighing 42kg at 206p/kg as well as a pen of 12 42kg lambs for 200p/kg. These were all sired by Charndon Nobby, bred by P Hodges, Bicester, Oxfordshire.
September 2012: Beltex lamb winners kill out at 60%
The annual Beltex crossbred carcass competition was held recently, kindly hosted by Dunbia, Dungannon.
The competition was for pairs of Beltex cross lambs. With an increased entry again this year we were delighted to so see international interest in the whole process. Mr Roger Morris from Grand Cayman, Cayman island, British West Indies currently on vacation visiting the Carten family from Limavady, spent a most enjoyable day with club members, producers and Dunbia staff. Read more >>>
August 2012: Beltex and Dunbia Elgin Butchers Lamb Scheme launched
The Beltex Sheep Society and Dunbia have introduced a new marketing scheme in the north of Scotland where, during the coming season, the processor will be offering an enhanced premium on Beltex-sired lambs killed at its Elgin plant for a new initiative supplying quality butchers and foodservice.
Dunbia will offer an attractive bid price with an additional bonus of 20p/kg on U2 and U3L lamb carcasses and 30p/kg bonus on the extreme E2 and E3L lamb carcasses. To be eligible, lambs must be sired by a registered Beltex ram, finish between 19kg to 21kg deadweight and be sourced from a Farm Assured unit.
Dunbia Elgin’s Raymond Wight comments: “We are pleased to provide Scottish producers with an opportunity to contribute to our required year round supply of over 200 top quality Beltex cross lambs per month and this new initiative will help us to achieve our goal. Dunbia operates an open door policy, with weight and grades which can be faxed or e-mailed on day of slaughter and we make prompt payment.”
Beltex Sheep Society chairman, Maimie Paterson comments: “We welcome the opportunity to further develop the society’s partnership with Dunbia and this new opportunity for a premium Beltex lamb scheme run by Dunbia Elgin. It will reward those using a registered Beltex ram to produce high-spec premium lambs required by a high quality market, especially since lamb prices, in general, are continuing to come under increasing pressure.We are confident that Dunbia’s attractive offer will achieve a positive response from producers already producing Beltex cross lambs, but also encourage other commercial producers to make a first time purchase of a registered Beltex ram to supply the Elgin plant.”
August 2012: Farm Stock (Scotland) takes up new collaborative arrangement
Dunbia and Beltex have extended their export marketing scheme to Scotland where, during the coming season, farmer owned lamb marketing co-operative, Farm Stock (Scotland) Ltd, will be active in procuring Beltex-sired lambs for the Dunbia Beltex Lamb Export Scheme. Dunbia will offer a competitive bid price as well as a bonus of up to 30p/kg throughout 2012 on selected lambs destined for top end European markets which, according to the processor, are more sheltered from the current European trading conditions.
The Beltex and Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme 2012 is for an all year round supply of up to 1,200 Beltex cross lambs per week for the Belgian market. To be eligible, lambs must be sired by a registered Beltex ram, finish between 15kg to 21kg deadweight and be sourced from a Farm Assured unit.
The scheme will pay co-op members an attractive bid price on R2 and R3L lambs, with an additional bonus of 20p/kg on U2 and U3L and 30p/kg bonus on the extreme lamb carcass of E2 and E3L.
The arrangement follows on from a pilot scheme launched by the Beltex Sheep Society and Dunbia south of the Border in November 2011. Sheep farmers producing Beltex cross lambs demonstrated they were able to deliver a high percentage of carcasses within the scheme specification required by Belgian lamb buyers.
Dunbia’s Wyn Williams says: “We are pleased to provide Scottish producers with an opportunity to contribute to our required year round supply of up to 1,200 Beltex cross lambs per week and this new collaborative venture with Farm Stock (Scotland) is one means of achieving our goal. We have collection centres throughout central and southern Scotland and we will arrange haulage to our Preston processing plant. Dunbia operates an open door policy, with MLC weight and grades which can be faxed or e-mailed on day of slaughter and we make prompt payment terms.”
Beltex Sheep Society chairman, Maimie Paterson comments: “We welcome Farm Stock’s involvement and the extension of our exclusive arrangement with a leading processor to Scottish commercial producers. We are confident that it will reward those using a registered Beltex ram to achieve the premium lambs required by a very specific and expanding high quality market, particularly at a time when lamb prices, in general, are coming under pressure. We are confident that Dunbia’s attractive offer will not only achieve a positive response from Farm Stock members already producing Beltex cross lambs, but also encourage other commercial producers to make a first time purchase of a registered Beltex ram to supply the co-op.”
Farm Stock (Scotland)’s chairman, Ian Watson adds: “We are delighted to participate in this joint marketing initiative which offers a great opportunity for farmers to achieve higher prices for lambs that meet the specification. We already have an established track record with Dunbia and along with our geographical coverage and experienced fieldsman team, we are ideally placed to ensure that farmers benefit from the scheme.”
Dunbia’s export sales manager, Michael Dundon comments: “European economic conditions are impacting on demand for lamb this season, in particular from the middle end consumer bracket. However I am confident that Beltex cross lambs will be able to defend themselves better than ordinary standard lamb simply because they are targeted at the quality market – high end butchers and chefs trading with more affluent customers who will remain less affected by the economic downturn.”
July 2012: NSA Sheep Event, Malvern
The Sheep Event at Malvern was a huge success for the continual promotion of the Beltex breed, which displayed all aspects of what the breed can offer the commercial producer.
The livestock on the stand consisted of a Scotch Mule ewe with twin lambs, 4 Beltex cross ewe lambs and for the stockjudging, a pen of 4 lambs out of Suffolk Cross and BFL x Easycare ewes. To complement the live stockjudging, two carcases were displayed in a chilled cabinet which were examples of first cross Beltex out of Mule ewes, visitors to the stand had to classify them using the EUROP grid.
Also on display was the new breed promotional and butchery video comparing Beltex carcases with other breeds.
Thanks to Dunbia (Preston) for their sponsorship of the chiller cabinet and the carcases within as well as help on the stand, to Andrew Bishop and Wallace Parker for supplying the stock and to the Central Club for helping throughout the day.
Pen of 4 Beltex sired ewe lambs
The busy Beltex stand at the Sheep event
Promoting the Beltex & Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme, l to r, Adrian Roberts, Rachel Buckle, Maimie Paterson, Glynne Jone
June 2012: Successful event for Beltex society at Scotsheep
Scotsheep proved to be a great success for Beltex. The stand was kept busy all day with constant enquiries about Beltex sheep. With the first public viewing of the Beltex promotional video this proved very popular and a large crowd stood to watch the TV. The video will be also on view at the NSA Sheep event at Malvern and the Royal Welsh Show.
A popular attraction at Scotsheep was the trimming demonstration provided by John Barclay with quality Beltex lambs on show for the large crowd.
Thanks to John Guild, Jim Kennedy and John Barclay for providing the greatly admired sheep on the stand and to everyone who helped to make Scotsheep an excellent event.
Adam Henson pays a visit to the beltex stand at Scotsheep
November 2011: Welsh commercial farmer wins Beltex Stockjudging Competition
Powys-based commercial producer, Richard Jones has won the Beltex Sheep Society stockjudging prize draw after entering the competition at the Royal Welsh Show in July.
The stockjudging competition ran throughout the summer and Richard was selected as the winner at the Society’s AGM last week. He wins the top prize of a weekend away up to the value of £500.
Richard farms at Gelli, Llanbrynmair, Powys, where he uses Beltex rams across his 200 Texel cross and Welsh Mountain ewes. “I was absolutely delighted to win and it came as a real surprise,” he said. “We have used Beltex as a terminal sire for eight years and found there are many benefits to using the breed.
“One of the most important traits that it brings to the lambs is a low birth weight and smaller head, meaning that we have very easy lambings with minimal intervention. This makes for a more vigorous lamb that is quick to get up and suckle and start growing. They then grow on to have superb conformation - something that is reflected in the market prices.”
He adds: “This season we achieved the top average of £62 in Welshpool for 16 week old Beltex cross lambs straight off their dams and weighing 28kg. While the lambs were a low weight they have a good killing out percentage and are also uniform, which always appeals to buyers.”
Runner-up Sam Jones Humphreys, Abergele, Conwy, won free membership to the Beltex Sheep Society.
November 2011: Wales and Borders Flock Competition winners 2011
The 2011 AGM saw family, friends and members enjoy an excellent Sunday Lunch at the Marine Hotel Aberystwyth on the 13th November 2011. The AGM was well supported and it was reassuring to see such strong support for the Club.
The 2011 Flock Competition winners were announced during the day. An excellent quality of flocks were entered for the competition with Mrs. Heulwen Owen having the very difficult task of judging the competition. The Competition was carried out over a number of days and thanks must go to all those who helped with the organisation.
The Large Flock winners Hefin Hughes & Ruth Jenkins-Hughes were presented with their winning tankard, with H Williams, Taldrym taking second place.
The Small Flock and Overall Flock Competition Winners were the Gwynne Boys from Rhos-Ddu, taking the small flock winner title for the 4th year in a row, with Dylan Ff Hughes taking, second place.
Well done to all those who took part and it was very encouraging to see so many members supporting the competition.
Flock Competition - Large Flock Winners - Ilan and Seren Hughes, son and daughter of Ruth and Hefin. receiving Tankard from Heulwen Owen
Small flock & Overall Flock competition winners - Young Gwynne Boys receiving the Trophy from Heulwen Owen
November 2011: Beltex and Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme launched
The Beltex Sheep Society and Dunbia have launched a new export marketing arrangement for an all year round supply of up to 1200 Beltex cross lambs a week for the Belgium marketplace with premium prices paid for the highest quality lambs.
The Beltex and Dunbia Lamb Export Scheme requires all lambs to be sired by a registered Beltex ram and weigh between 15kg to 21kg deadweight. The scheme will pay an attractive bid price, plus an additional bonus of 10p/kg over and above the 10p/kg which Dunbia already pays for lambs grading U2 and U3L and 20p/kg for those within the E2 and E3L specification.
The arrangement which officially commences on Monday 14 November will source Beltex cross lambs from Farm Assured units throughout Britain to Dunbia Preston for an agreed Belgium purchaser supplying both retail and foodservice sectors.
“Belgian lamb buyers are seeking a consistent supply of the premium lamb and Beltex cross lambs have proven to deliver,” explained Dunbia’s group lamb procurement manager, Glynne Jones. “We are pleased to launch this new collaboration with the Beltex Sheep Society which will provide an opportunity for a year round supply of up to 1200 Beltex cross lambs a week sourced via a network of field officers and collection centres throughout England, Scotland and Wales for processing at our Preston plant.”
Beltex Sheep Society chairman, Maimie Paterson commented: “We welcome this new opportunity to work with a leading processor which will reward commercial producers using a registered Beltex ram to achieve the premium lambs required by a very specific and expanding market.”
She added: “We are confident that Dunbia’s attractive offer will not only achieve a positive response from farmers already producing Beltex cross lambs, but will also encourage other commercial producers to make a first time purchase of a registered Beltex ram to supply the new arrangement.”
Dunbia’s export sales manager, Michael Dundon commented: “We are looking forward to a new stream of consistently high quality lambs to supply top end high street butchers. Belgian butchers are very discerning, they are seeking the best shape carcasses and Beltex cross lambs match their requirements. In return, British producers deserve the best price for their stock, and it’s one we are prepared to pay.”
He added: “We firmly believe there is potential to build on the current export target of 1200 lambs a week both in Belgium and to commence penetrating the French market.”
Cumbria farmer Ian Knight who runs a 520 Texel cross ewe flock at Low Broadleys Farm, Calderbridge, Seascale is among the first to join the marketing initiative. “I’ve been using Beltex as our flock’s terminal sire for more than 14 years simply because it leaves small born lambs which are quick to grow, are vigorous and quick to stand and suckle. Equally important, the Beltex leaves great carcass lambs hitting the top end of the market.”
He feels the new scheme will help him not only secure a guaranteed additional premium which comes as a welcome bonus when margins are increasingly tight, but he and other breeders will also benefit from working direct with a processor. “We are looking forward to Dunbia providing feedback on every lamb which will enable us to determine if there are any potential improvements to be made to feed rate and management which will in turn bring savings and further enhance our Beltex cross lambs’ carcase value.”
Dunbia’s Glynne Jones, Beltex Sheep Society’s chairman, Maimie Paterson and launch host farmer, Ian Knight
October 2011: Beltex member Sally Lloyd wins Solway Recycling Lamb Warming Box
Sally Lloyd has benefited from entering a Beltex Sheep Society competition sponsored by Solway Recycling by winning the prize of a Lamb Warming Box which was recently featured on BBC’s Lambing Live. Beltex Sheep Society members had to answer questions connected to recycling, they could send their answers in by post, or via the Solway Recycling website.
Sally farms at Stonycroft Farm, Luston, Leominster and established her Beltex flock with the purchase of a ewe at the Chelford sale from Peter Kenyon. Sally plans to increase her Beltex flock as she describes the Beltex as a “great breed for crossing with any hill or lowland breed to produce lambs that buyers look to purchase for the export and home market.” Sally would also like to establish a flock of crossbred Beltex ewes as she considers that “Beltex bloodlines in the female breeding flock produces fantastic lambs.” Sally produces lambs for the spring market and sells her lambs in Ludlow Mart.
Sally was pleased she did not need her Lamb Warming box for the recent addition of a tup lamb to her Beltex flock – but considered the lamb warmer an excellent product which is easily cleaned and works really well. After taking delivery of her prize Sally viewed the Solway Recycling web site and found numerous products of interest for use on the farm.
Chris Mellon from Solway Recycling said “Solway were pleased to sponsor the competition with the Beltex Sheep Society and recognised the impact and influence the Beltex has on todays sheep industry, Solway Recycling always listens to our customers feedback so working alongside sheep breeders allows us to continually improve our products year in year out and we look forward to providing many more new products to Beltex Sheep Society members in the future.”
Sally Lloyd with the Solway Lamb Warming Box
July 2011: Central Beltex Club Flock Competition Results 2011
Congratulations to all the club members who took part in this year’s flock competition.
Champion Large Flock – A Bishop (Bishops)
Reserve Champion Large Flock - D Thornley (Dooley)
Champion Small Flock – D Prince (Stonedge)
Reserve Champion Small Flock – R & R Sharp (Belvoir View)
Overall Champion and winner of the David Gardiner Trophy – A Bishop (Bishops)
Reserve Champion Flock - David Thornley (Dooley)
Progeny Group Champion & winner of the Highlander Trophy – A Bishop (Dooley Nutter)
Shearling Ewes Champion & winner of the D & W Livestock Trophy – C Roots (Freckleton)
Aged Ram (Small Flock)
Aged Ram (Large Flock)
Shearing Ram (Small Flock)
R & R Sharp
Shearling Rams (Large Flock)
Ram Lambs (Small Flock)
R & R Sharp
Ram Lambs (Large Flock)
Flock Ewes (Small Flock)
R & RSharp
Flock Ewes (Large Flock)
Shearling Ewes (Small Flock)
R & R Sharp
Shearling Ewes (Large Flock)
Ewe Lambs (Small Flock)
R & R Sharp
Ewe Lambs (Large Flock)
Progeny Group (Small Flock)
R & R Sharp
Progeny Group (Large Flock)
July 2011: Irish Carcass Competition
The Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders’ Club held their annual carcass competition at Dunbia, Dungannon on Friday 29th July, 2011. This was sponsored by Dunbia, Innovis and The Beltex Sheep Society and attracted an outstanding entry of 64 top quality carcass lambs selected and presented as pairs by the producers. One competitor with an entry of twenty lambs gained 19 E3’s.
The winning pair were bred by John Armstrong, Pomeroy following on from his success with Beltex cross lambs at the Clogher Valley Show earlier in the week. His pair weighed 42.5kg and 43 kg live both graded E3 and yielded carcasses of 23.4kg and 24kg dead – a kill out of 55.4%. The grader commented that had the special(S) grade still been in existence this pair of lambs merited this award. These lambs were sired by ‘Beechtree Nightrider’. The second placed pair were presented by Patsy Cunningham, Rock – a first time competitor. His lambs weighed 41kg and 46kg live weight both graded E3 and produced carcasses reaching 22.8kg and 24.6kg dead weight with an average kill out of 54.1%. They were by ‘Ballycreelly Notimeleft’ purchased at last year’s premier sale. The 6th placed pair came from the same producer. The third place went to well known Beltex breeder Fergus Harbinson, Limavady with a pair weighing 43.5kg and 43kg live, both graded E3 killing out at 23.7kg and 24.4kg – an average kill out of 55.6%. Fergus also showed the 8th and 9th placed pairs. His lambs were sired by Glenkeen Keady Patrick Brolly, Claudy picked up 4th and 5th places with pairs of E3 lambs averaging 56.3% kill out. 7th place went to another first time entrant K. McCullough.
The summary of the results are – 1st John Armstrong 2nd Patsy Cunningham 3rd Fergus Harbinson 4th Patrick Brolly 5th Patrick Brolly 6th Patsy Cunningham 7th Kathleen McCullough 8th Fergus Harbinson 9th Fergus Harbinson 10th Roy Ferguson.
95.5% of the lambs entered in the competition gained bonus payments for E & U grades of the total group 75% obtained E grades attracting a bonus of up to £4.40 per head paid by dunbia. The Top kill out of 59% was reached with a 40 kg live weight leaving a 23.6kg deadweight carcass. The average kill out across the entire entry was 54.5% - this means that on average a Beltex cross lamb 40.4kg live weight should yield a 22kg carcass fetching the farmer the maximum return per head.
We would like to thank our sponsors who have donated the prize money, Dunbia staff for the use of the facilities and their assistance throughout the competition, Ruth and Colin for their efforts on the day and finally to the producers who buy Beltex rams, breed the lambs and bring them out to the competitions.
Dates for your diary are Premier Sale Hilltown 29th August and second sale Omagh 8th October. Further details are available from the marts or Club Secretary – 07785325028.
The winning Beltex Crossbred Carcasses
John Armstrong with the winning carcasses
Fergus Harbinson with the 3 placed pair of carcasses
John Armstrong with the winning carcasses
July 2010: Flock Competition Results 2010
Congratulations to all the club members who took part in this year’s flock competition.
Champion Large Flock - V & C Roots’ Freckleton Flock
Champion Small Flock - R Sharp’s Belvoir View Flock
OVERALL CHAMPION FLOCK and the winners of the DAVID GARDINER TROPHY - V & C ROOTS
Reserve Champion Flock - D Thornley
Shearling Ewes - V & C Roots - Winner of the D & W LIVESTOCK TROPHY
Progeny Group - A Bishop - Winner of the HIGHLANDER TROPHY
V & C Roots
V & C Roots
V & C Roots
V & C Roots
V & C Roots
V & C Roots
Progeny Group (Five animals of any age or sex by the same ram)
A Bishop - Luggsmill Lainey
D Thornley - Clovis V/H Groentenhof
V & C Roots - Fann Van’t Zaubekedal
Progeny Group - (Five animals of any age or sex by the same ram)
November 2009: Welsh flock competition results
The large flock and overall winners prize was shared between the two flocks of David and Ivy Bishop Luggsmill Flock and Andrew and Becky Bishop, Pitfield Farm, Eldersfield, Glos.
Winners of the 2009 Welsh small flock competition were the young Gwynne boys from Rhos-Ddu, Crymych, Pembs, who took the small flock winners title for the second year in a row.
July 2009: Irish Beltex Breeders Celebrate
Another successful year was celebrated by the Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders at their Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards at the Ross Park Hotel, Kells on Saturday 7th November 2009.
Club Chairman, Kevin McCarthy welcomed everyone to the celebration, and congratulated the breeders who had been successful at the local shows, club show, carcase competition, Society Premier Show & Sale, and Club Shows & Sales during the year, paying tribute to everyone who had once again helped to raise the profile of the breed in 2009.
The Club’s Show Flock competition was extended this year to include new awards for the Reserve Champion and Novice Show Flocks. The Champion honours once again went to the Artnagullion flock of Elizabeth McAllister, Kells who attained a tremendous 784 points from 10 shows; Reserve Champion went to Colin Barnes, Rock, Dungannon with 425 points, and the Novice Show Flock title went to Martina & Patrick McNeill, Banbridge with 175 points.
The highlight of the evening was the announcing of the results of the Club’s 4th Annual Flock Competition. The judge for 2009 was Mr John Howieson from Watchet, Somerset, Farm Manager for Marshall Farms who also runs his own Beltex flock. John, together with his wife Jill, spent 4 days at the beginning of the week visiting the increased number of flocks entered this year. Unfortunately due to a prior engagement, they were unable to attend the presentation on Saturday night but had instructed last year’s judge, Mr David Findlay, North Yorkshire who was attending the event, with the results and comments.
John found his Champion Beltex Flock for 2009 at Glenarm where the honours went once again to the small Burnside Flock of Thomas and Hester Palmer, Small Flock winners in the competition since 2006. As well as receiving 1st prize for their Flock of Ewes, the Palmers took the 1st prize for their Ewe Lambs, 2nd prize for their Stock Rams, and the Bonecastle Trophy for the overall Best Flock of Ewes in the competition.
Reserve Champion Beltex Flock 2009 went to the Bonecastle flock of Dermot Murray, Downpatrick, a first time entrant in the competition and winner of the Large Flock section. As well as taking 1st prize with his Ewe Lambs and his Stock Rams, Dermot also received the Inveresk Trophy for overall Best Ewe Lambs in the competition
Runner up with Reserve Champion in the Large Flock section was another first time entrant, Colin Barnes, Rock, Dungannon, with his Beechtree Flock, whilst Reserve Champion in the Small Flock section went to Kevin and Anna McCarthy’s Ballycreelly Flock at Comber. The McCarthy’s also took 1st prize in the Stock Ram class, whilst 1st place in the Large Flock of Ewes went to the Ardstewart flock of Wade McCrabbe, Raphoe, Donegal.
John Howieson stated that he had been honoured to be invited by the Club to do the judging, and thanked everyone who had participated in the Flock Competition and provided hospitality during their visit which was their first time in Ireland. He also stated he had seen some ‘very fine’ Beltex sheep during his flock visits and that his task had been a very difficult one, ‘I was splitting hairs at the last, the competition was so tight’ was one of John’s many comments.
A special charity presentation took place on the evening, with a cheque for £540 handed over to representatives of the Children’s Comfort Fund at Antrim Area Hospital where young Ciaran O’Neill had spent several days earlier in the year. The money raised was mainly from the proceeds of the sale of a ewe lamb at the Club’s Premier Sale in September which had been donated by Ciaran’s grandfather, Hugh O’Neill, Glenarm.
Flock Competition Results Large Flock Flock of Ewes: 1st – Wade McCrabbe; 2nd – Colin Barnes; 3rd – Dermot Murray Stock Rams: 1st – D Murray; 2nd – C Barnes; 3rd – W McCrabbe Ewe Lambs: 1st – D Murray; 2nd – Hugh O’Neill; 3rd – C Barnes Champion Large Flock – D Murray (Bonecastle) Reserve Champion – C Barnes (Beechtree)
Small Flock Flock of Ewes: 1st – Thomas & Hester Palmer; 2nd – Brendan McQuaid; 3rd – Kevin & Anna McCarthy Stock Rams: 1st – K & A McCarthy; 2nd – T & H Palmer; 3rd – Paul Barnes Ewe Lambs: 1st – T & H Palmer; 2nd – Martina & Patrick McNeill; 3rd – David Brown Champion Small Flock – T & H Palmer (Burnside) Reserve Champion – K & A McCarthy (Ballycreelly)
Best Flock of Ewes: T & H Palmer (Burnside) Best Ewe Lambs: D Murray (Bonecastle)
Champion Beltex Flock 2009: T & H Palmer (Burnside) Reserve Champion Beltex Flock 2009: D Murray (Bonecastle)
David Findlay with Thomas Palmer, Champion Small Flock, and Kevin McCarthy, Reserve Champion Small Flock.
The O’Neill Family present the cheque on behalf of the Club to the Children’s Comfort Fund, Antrim Area Hospital.
David & James Fullerton, collecting Elizabeth McAllister’s Champion Show Flock Trophy, are congratulated by Colin Barnes, Reserve Champion Show Flock winner
David & Diane Findlay present Martina McNeill with the Novice Show Flock Trophy
David & Diane Findlay present the Champion Irish Beltex Flock awards to Stephen, Thomas and Beverley Palmer.
Dermot & Cynthia Murray, Reserve Champion Irish Beltex Flock with their array of trophies, and David & Diane Findlay.
Dermot Murray, Champion Large Flock and Colin Barnes, Reserve Champion Large Flock.
Other winners included Wade & Alison McCrabbe, Brendan McQuaid, Hugh O’Neill, David Brown and Paul Barnes.
July 2008: Results for the first Wales and Border Beltex flock competition
Small Flock - Winner N & N Gwynne, RhosDdu, Crymych, Ceredigion.
Over All Winner Mr & Mrs Owen, Glantre, Pontsian, Llandysul, Ceredigion
Judge of the flock competition, Andrew Bishop, presenting the champion flock trophy to Mrs H Owens, Glantre
July 2008: Central Club Flock Competition Results
Judge: Tom Ashton
Aged Rams, Shearling Rams, Ram Lambs & Progeny Group of 5 animals by one sire (separate classes) 1st D Thornley, 2nd V & C Roots, 3rd P Hodges
Aged Ewes & Shearling Ewes (separate classes) 1st V & C Roots, 2nd D Thornley, 3rd P Hodges
Ewe Lambs 1st P Hodges, 2nd D Thornley, 3rd V & C Roots
Aged Rams & Shearling Rams (separate classes) 1st G & E Pamplin, 2nd J & E Hedley, 3rd R Sharp
Ram Lambs 1st R Sharp, 2nd J & E Hedley, 3rd G & E Pamplin
Aged Ewes, Shearling Ewes, Ewe Lambs & Progeny Group of 5 (separate classes) 1st G & E Pamplin, 2nd J & E Hedley, 3rd R Sharp
David Gardiner Trophy for Champion Flock: D Thornley Reserve Champion Large flock: V & C Roots
September 2007: Central Beltex Club Flock Competition
JUDGE : John Hall, Inglewood Edge, Dalston, Carlise
Class 1 – Flock Ewes 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd G & E Pamplin ASHFIELD, 3rd J McAree SUNDEY
Class 2 – Three Ewe Lambs 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd J McAree SUNDEY, 3rd G & E Pamplin ASHFIELD
Class 3 – Three Shearling Gimmers 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd G & E Pamplin ASHFIELD, 3rd J McAree SUNDEY
Class 4 – One Stock Ram 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd R Laban KIMCOTE
Class 5 – Progeny Group 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd G & E Pamplin ASHFIELD, 3rd R Laban KIMCOTE
SMALL FLOCK WINNER 1st J Thomas NORTOFT, 2nd G & E Pamplin ASHFIELD, 3rd R Laban KIMCOTE
Class 6 – Flock Ewes 1st D Thornley DOOLEY, 2nd G Belcher PULESTON, 3rd V & C Roots FRECKLETON
Class 7 – Five Ewe Lambs 1st G Belcher PULESTON, 2nd V & C Roots FRECKLETON, 3rd D & W Livestock
Class 8 – Five Shearling Gimmers 1st G Belcher PULESTON, 2nd D Thornley DOOLEY, 3rd V & C Roots FRECKLETON
Class 9 – One Stock Ram 1st D & W Livestock, 2nd G Belcher PULESTON, 3rd V & C Roots FRECKLETON
Class 10 – Progeny Group 1st G Belcher PULESTON, 2nd D Thornley DOOLEY, 3rd V & C Roots FRECKLETON
LARGE FLOCK WINNER 1st G Belcher PULESTON, 2nd D Thornley DOOLEY, 3rd V & C Roots FRECKLETON
SUPREME CHAMPION & D Gardiner Trophy – G Belcher RESERVE SUPREME CHAMPION – J Thomas
Trophy presented by D & W Livestock to best in Shearling Gimmer Classes – J Thomas
Trophy presented by F & A Robinson to the best progeny group – G Belcher
August 2007 : Messrs Blandford win Worcester prime lamb competition
A prime lamb competition was held at Worcester Auction Mart on 1st August 2007, organised by the Central Beltex Club and McCartneys Auctioneers. A fantastic show of 21 lots of 5 lambs were on display in two classes, under 38kg and 38 kg and above.
The Champion pen, and winners of a voucher to the value of £300 redeemable against the purchase of a Beltex ram at the Worcester Society sale, came from the lightweight class, from Messrs Blandford, which went on to make 220p per kilo.
The reserve champion pen, and winners of another voucher, this time, to the value of £100, again to be used against the purchase of a Beltex ram, came from A D & R M C Bishop, with the winning pen from the heavyweight section.
In all, the 21 pens averaged 148.5 pence per kilo.