A seven-month old ram has been bought at a record-breaking price of €44,000 in Wicklow. This makes it the largest amount ever to have been bid on a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland.
The Suffolk ram was sold by Richard Thompson, a farmer from Ballybofey in Co Donegal.
Until this purchase, the highest amount anyone had paid for a ram in previous sales was €38,000.
A dream come true
Mr Thompson started his flock of Suffolk sheep in 2015 and knew that the black-and-mustard-fleeced ram was special.
But he had no idea just how special it was when he arrived at the sale at Blessington Mart in Co Wicklow on Monday.
Mr Thompson said he was aware of the previous record sale but never imagined he would break it.
He described the sale as something that happens ‘once in a lifetime’. He said:
You always hope, but it’s not often. I was expecting good money, but not that.
He intends to invest the money back into the farm.
The sheep was bought at the record price by a consortium led by Dennis Taylor, a farmer from Coleraine, Co Derry.
When asked what made this ram so special from the others, Mr Thompson said it was quite simply because his ram was from a good line. He explained:
He was what everyone was looking for, what everyone tries to breed. He had a different bloodline, you’re not breeding into the same line.
Robin McIlrath, chief executive of the Suffolk Sheep Society, said it was an ‘excellent sale’:
Richard’s record-breaking lamb was the cherry on the cake.