Sheep 2018 held at the Teagasc Campus in Athenry was selected as the location of the 2018 Belclare Sheep National Championships. Breeders travelled from all over the country to ensure there was a strong representation of the breed and fierce competition in the classes.
Rathkenty Caesar, a Rathkenty Alabama son took the 2018 National Belclare Supreme Champion title back to Co Tipperary for brothers Richard and John Lalor. Judge Sheena McCarthy had earlier tapped this outstanding ram forward as her first placed hogget ram. Second place in the hogget ram class went to Rathkenty Calypso a son of last year’s All-Ireland Champion hogget ram Rathkenty Beethoven, who was exhibited by new Belclare breeder John Murphy, while the third prize went to Rathkenty Columbus a son of LB141678 exhibited by breeders Richard and John Lalor.
The Reserve Champion title also went back to Co Tipperary with Rathkenty Cleopatra a daughter of Rathkenty Beethoven taking the award. This super ewe had been selected as the first prize hogget ewe earlier in the day at the expense of another Rathkenty ewe, this time sired by Rathkenty Alabama, who took the second prize. Third prize in the hogget ewe class went to Co Donegal breeder Conor McDonough with a sharp homebred daughter of Rathkenty Anthony.
Proceedings for the day kicked off with the ewe lamb class. A competitive class guaranteed that splitting these ewe lambs was no easy job. However, after much deliberation Rathkenty Dolly a January born daughter of Rathkenty Chopin was selected as the winner. Second prize also went to the Lalor brothers this time with a twin born daughter of Rathkenty Alabama. Third prize went to the Letterorr flock of Conor McDonough with a daughter of Rathkenty Anthony.
The Lalors fourth winner of the day came in the ram lamb class. This class attracted the biggest entry of the day and it was Rathkenty Diesis who took home the red rosette. This smart lamb is a son of Rathkenty Caesar and out of a previous All-Ireland winning ewe lamb and was taking his second red rosette of the season after already being successful at Athlone Show. Second place went the way of Richard and John Lalors Rathkenty Dominator a son of Rathkenty Alabama. This tight skinned ram had taken the All-Ireland Champion Ram Lamb title earlier in the year. Third prize went back to Donegal with Conor McDonoughs Letterorr Dakota a smart son of Rathkenty Anthony. Connections indicated that these three prize winning ram lambs will be presented for sale at the Premier Sale in Kilkenny on August 7th.
Liam and Eoin Dunne got on the score board for the day in the aged ram class with JR148203 a son of TF131634. This huge ram who has taken many red rosettes over the last number of years was defending his 2017 National Champion title. The Dunnes Tubber flock also supplied the winner of the aged ewe class with a smashing five-year-old ewe who again has been shown successfully for a number of years.