A demo day to remember!
On Sunday 10th October the N.I. Valais Blacknose Club held their first ever demo day. With over 180 people in attendance and 18 stalls in place it was ready to ignite the passion of Valais lovers from all over Ireland. With furthest travelled prize being picked up from a family from Wicklow.
As some of the committee brought their sheep into the shed the crowd gave an “awe” as most were seeing the cutest sheep in the world up close for the very first time.
There was lots happening on the day from, the “Hugs with Herbie” stand allowing people to get up close and personal with the Valais and getting their pictures taken. Magee shearing got the demo off to a great start with Mark shearing Valais sheep and talking through everything as he went along bringing with him a stall full of all things shearing. Eion Kelly representing Provita was up next giving a talk on Natural Animal Health products, mineral drenches and had a stall with there full range available on the day.
We were very happy to next be able to introduce the vets from Parklands Vets, David Mulligan (Practice Manager) and Craig McAllister (Senior Vet) who were able to give a good advice and information on all things to do with the health of the sheep from Tupping and the condition and health of the Tups and ewes to the lambing. Giving advice to anyone having issues with their sheep this year. Answering questions from the audience. They also donated fantastic prizes for our auction.
Raymond Irvine and Jenni McAllister from Valais Blacknose Society UK and This Farming life mingled among the crowd giving advice on the Valais sheep and getting photos with there fans from the TV show. They then took to the stage and firstly discussed what to look for in a sheep when you go to buy and what the breed standards are. Whilst answering questions from the audience and, how to prepare for a show.
The audience had made their choices for the stock judging competition and the rams were brought into the ring where Raymond and Jenni went over each sheep explaining to the audience why they picked them for each place.
Next up was the auction of a young top quality ram lamb which had been very kindly donated by Irene and Geoff Gray from Diamond Valais, with the proceeds being split between Blood Cancer UK and the Valais Club and kindly auctioned by Richard Beattie.
Following on was a huge raffle/auction of prizes donated by all the stall owners and sponsors to which we would like to say a huge thanks as without them we would not have been able to pull off such a successful event.
A huge thanks to Richard and Selina Beattie for allowing us to run the demo from their Pedigree Centre, and always giving great support to the club.
Thanks to David Porter from Mullagh Livestock Photography for taking all the photos on the day.
Author: Diane Lowry, N.I Valais Blacknose Club, Chairperson