A flock reduction sale pedigree Suffolk's from one of Ireland's best known breeders, not only produce the pre-sale champion but also the top price at 3200gns.

William Montgomery (90), established his Smiddiehill flock in Northern Ireland in 1954, and while he has won virtually all the top accolades in the province, the decision to take life slightly easier, saw the sale of 35 females as part of society's NI branch club show and sale at Ballymena Auction Mart.

His champion, selected by the judge, Mark Priestley of the Limestone flock, was a gimmer by Duncans Double Diamond, which sold in lamb to Limestone Bobby Dazzler. The buyer was Stephen Sufferin purchasing for his Crewelands flock, who also went to 1600gns for her full sister.

A successful sale of the 142 ewes and ewe lambs catalogued saw 94% find new homes with many buyers from the South of Ireland in attendance.

Patrick Donnelly of the Donrho flock stood second in her class to the champion and went on to bag the reserve honours before selling to James Alexander of the Jalex flock for 1100gns. She is by Birness Donn and sold due to Lakeview Heart of Gold.

Alastair Gault's third prize gimmer from the Forkins flock made 800gns to H O'Kane, Ballymena.

Mr Gault was back in the tickets amongst the ewe lambs with his first and second prize winners making 800gns and 550gns.

Ewes sold to 650gs for a red ticket holder from Messrs Campbell and Jason Watson with their Burnview Gin and Tonic-sired entry in lamb to Ballynacannon President. Co Down breeder, M

Morton, forked out the cash.

LEADING prices

Ewes – W Montgomery 1600gns, 1200gns, 1000gns, 750gns, 600gns; P McVerry 950gns 700gns;

RC and JC Watson 650gns.

Gimmers – W Montgomery 3200gns, 1400gns, 1300gns, 1100gns, 1000gns 900gns, 800gns, 700gns,

650gns; D Duncan 1300gns; P McVerry 650gns.

Ewe lambs – A Gault 800gns, 550gns; P Donnelly 600gns, 500gns; J Adams 600gns; J McKelvey 500gns.