Here is a photographic essay of my day at the Ballymena mart.

For those of you who have never been to a special sheep breed auction you might find this interesting. To my farming shepherd friends I hope you just enjoy seeing what you know oh so very well.

The day starts with the arrival of stock which are first inspected where health and bad deformities are looked for. They are then trot through alleyways between pens till they get to their allotted numbered pen.

Zwartbles in the Inspecting Pen

Zwartbles in the Inspecting Pen

 Pushed in Tight to Read Tags

Pushed in Tight to Read Tags

First Tags Are Read By Hand to Match Catalog Numbers

First Tags Are Read By Hand to Match Catalog Numbers

Then the Mart Reads the Electronic Tags

Then the Mart Reads the Electronic Tags

This Round Tag is an Electronic Tag

This Round Tag is an Electronic Tag

All Tagged Sheep That Enter the Mart Are Recorded by the Mart

All Tagged Sheep That Enter the Mart Are Recorded by the Mart

After all the sheep have arrived have been inspected and recorded it is time for the judging to begin. There where 6 different classes all together, ewe lamb, ram lamb, ewe shearling, ram shearling, older ewes, & older rams at the end the class for the over all champion and reserve champion.

Class Ribbons

Class Ribbons

Championship Ribbons

Championship Ribbons

The Sheep are First Held for the Judge to Inspect Standing Conformation

The Sheep are First Held for the Judge to Inspect Standing Conformation

This Young Lady Protested Loads

This Young Lady Protested Loads

Sheep Are Then Released to See How They Move

Sheep Are Then Released to See How They Move

When the Sheep Are Free You Can See Their Natural Stance

When the Sheep Are Free You Can See Their Natural Stance

The Handlers Have to Keep the Sheep From Running Back to Their Friends in the Pens

The Handlers Have to Keep the Sheep From Running Back to Their Friends in the Pens

The Judge Matthew Simpson From Ayrshire Inspecting Loose Sheep

The Judge Matthew Simpson From Ayrshire Inspecting Loose Sheep

Finally we get to the judging for the overall Champion and Reserved Champion of this show and sale. The winning sheep from each class is entered and compete with each other to see who is the best of the best.

Judging for Championship

Judging for Championship

I was very pleased with my own judging when the Ewe lamb lot number 74 got the Championship.

Overall Show & Sale Champion Ewe Lamb Glencoy 00280-0016A Held by Her Owner Liam Campbell

Overall Show & Sale Champion Ewe Lamb Glencoy 00280-0016A Held by Her Owner Liam Campbell

Overall Show & Sale Champion Ewe Lamb Glencoy 00280-0016A & Reserved Champion Ram Lamb Beechbrook Archie 00681-006A

Overall Show & Sale Champion Ewe Lamb Glencoy 00280-0016A & Overall Reserved Champion Ram Lamb Beechbrook Archie 00681-006A

The photographic crowed was fierce trying to get photographs of the two Champion sheep.

Camera Phone Put to Good Use

Camera Phone Put to Good Use

I do think sheep can be jealous as I spotted this fellow looking longingly at his neighbors ribbons.

Why Can't I have Some of Those to Decorate My Pen?

“Why Can’t I have Some of Those to Decorate My Pen?”

Here is a short video of the Champion ewe lamb being auctioned off.

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