NSA Sheep Northern Ireland
- Event Info
A farm venue with a historic past attracted record crowds to this years National Sheep Association (NSA) Sheep Northern Ireland event on Tuesday 4th July 2023 after an absence of four years.
Taking place at Tynan Abbey Estate, County Armagh this was the first time the event had been held on farm and was a new venture for the organising committee. Willing, enthusiastic and cooperative hosts Kate Kingan and Peter Mant, and an estate in a beautiful setting helped turn the event into a new experience for both exhibitors and visitors and was welcomed by the many visitors who enjoyed the day. Due to the close proximity to the Republic of Ireland border visitors from Southern Ireland helped to swell the record numbers who attended.
The idyllic setting added a new dimension to the usual attractions with keen competition in all of the varied contests that took place throughout the day.
NSA Northern Ireland Development Officer and Event Organiser Edward Adamson says: “It has been a fantastic event. So many visitors have commented what a relaxing, enjoyable day it has been, enquiring at trade stands and meeting with old friends not seen for a long time.”
NSA Chairman Dan Phipps accompanied by NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker judged the various trade stands whilst the Galloway & Macleod NSA Next Generation Shepherd Competition saw a good turnout of competitors keenly watched by their supporters throughout the various heats. After some tough competition Alexander Boyd from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim (pictured), secured first place, defending the title he previously won two years ago. Liam Doyle from Ballyward, Castlewellan was awarded second place. Both Alexander and Liam now progress to the national finals of the competition to be held next year at NSA Sheep Event 2024. Jack Maxwell from Upperlands, Maghera took the title of highest placed under 18 competitor.
The event farm tour proved to be one of the most popular attractions on the day keeping those involved busy all day even though an unexpected cloudburst temporarily dampened spirits. Farm manager Peter Mant took a break from accompanying the farm tours to give a historical tour to those interested. The tours were enhanced by CAFRE advisors who provided farm benchmark figures and statistics and environmental advisors were also available to answer queries.
The ever-popular sheepdog sale did also not disappoint, and a crowded field saw a top price of 2000 gns paid for a two year old dog, Castlewood Twig, sold by R. Johnston of Cookstown, County Tyrone to Sandy and Robert Magee of Kilwaughter, County Antrim.
Mr Adamson concludes: “As the dust settles after the event the local NSA Committee feel very satisfied and relieved that the decision to find a farm venue was successful and are indebted to hosts, sponsors, trade, and the sheep farming community for all the support they received. We are already looking forward to the next event!”
NSA Sheep NI 2023 competition results:
Next Generation Shepherd:
1st - Alexander Boyd.
2nd - Liam Doyle.
Joint 3rd - Stephen McConnell & Jack Maxwell (highest placed under 18).
Breed society stands:
1st - Bluefaced Leicester
2nd - Hampshire Down
3rd - Blackface
1st - Cotter Crate
2nd - Shepherds Mate and Gary Sproule Sheep Slats
3rd - Clipex
1st - CAFRE
2nd - AFBI
3rd - Parklands Vets 4 Ewe
NSA Sheep Dog Sale
The top price sheepdog was sold by R. Johnston of Cookstown, County Tyrone, for 2,000gns to Sandy and Robert McGee of Kilwaughter, County Antrim. The dog called Castlewood Twig was a June 2021-born dog. The sale was conducted by Ballymena Livestock Market.
- Part of the Tynan Abbey Estate, Co Armagh.
- 550 acres (222ha) of grassland plus woodland.
- Up to 120 acres (48ha) of the farm to be flooded for much of the winter.
- 570 ewes and 100 ewe lamb replacements, mainly
- Suffolk cross and Romney.
- 25 continental cross suckler cows and 50 Dexter cows.
- Breeding, genetics and health planning have helped improve stock quality.
- Moving towards a closed flock to improve flock health.
- Focus on soil health and grassland management has reduced reliance on inputs.
Tynan Abbey Farm has experienced a significant transformation over the past 10 years with soil fertility, grassland management and farm infrastructure all changing drastically.
The 850 acre estate farm has been run by Kate Kingan and Peter Mant Tynan since 2014. While the farm has been in Kate’s family for centuries, it was rented out for decades prior to her return to the farm and in the latter years fell into poor shape.
In recent years the farm participated in the Northern Ireland Sheep Programme and, as part of this, developed a three and five-year farm plan, reviewing the farm’s objectives and setting key performance targets to identify areas for change. This included soil fertility, grassland management, breeding and genetics, health planning and performance recording, all of which will be discussed at NSA Sheep Northern Ireland.
This biennial event provides a platform for the industry representatives, breed societies, breeders and companies to assemble and display their products at a single devoted venue.
To discuss sponsorship options or opportunities to get involved in workshop sessions, contact Event Organiser Edward Adamson on 07711071290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Year's Speakers
11.30am Establishing and maintenance of clover in the sward
Speakers: Robert Patterson CAFRE Technologist
12.30pm Lessons from NI Sheep Programme
Speakers: Darren Carthy Irish Farmers Journal
1.30pm Lessons learned from sheep post mortems throughout the year
Speakers: Shane McGettrick Senior Research Officer at Sligo Regional Veterinary Laboratory
2.20pm A Bank’s view of farm financial sustainability
Speakers: Mark Forsythe Danske Bank
Contact David Elwood
T: 02893 366225