Glenkeen, JFH, EST 2014, John Harbinson, Limavady, Northern Ireland,
The Glenkeen Rouge flock was founded only last year, it is run alongside our pedigree flocks of Beltex and Dorsets as well as our commercial cattle as part of Glenkeen Livestock,
Our main objective at Glenkeen is to produce top quality lambs for slaughter and we have been using rouge rams since 2007 to help us achieve this goal, we have found the Rouge crossed with the Beltex works best for us,
It wasn’t until 2011 to we got our first ewe, bought at the sale in Carlisle form our neighbour Moore Hamilton, Glengalliagh Kirstin a Kinsella Jackpot Daughter and I think the only way to describe her is a quote from my father Fergus “A big Beltex with a red head”. The following year we bought 2 more from the same home which turned out to be a rather good investment.
We had our first pure Rouge Lambs on the ground in 2013 and ran them over to shearling, so in 2014 I decided to join the society to be able to show at the local shows and sell the rams in Carlisle.
I just managed to become a member of the society before The Royal Ulster show at Balmoral Park where I had entered my rouge for the first time, My 3 sheep I had entered all came back with a rosette, The gimmer Glenkeen Nya was 6th in a strong class, My shearling Ram Glenkeen Nimrod stood 5th in another strong class but I couldn’t believe it when Glengalliagh Kirstin was handed 1st place in the aged ewe class, beating a ewe that had not only won her class but was overall champion for the previous three years , and when on to become 2nd reserve in the championship.
We went to a few other show through the year and managed to get Champion at Omagh show with Glenkeen Nya and then at Limavady show Got Champion with Kirsten and reserve champion with Nya.
I was over the moon with my first year of showing the rouge, I could only put it down to beginners luck but the highlight of my year was still to come when I took my shearlings rams to the Carlisle show and sale, My shearling ram Glenkeen Nimrod out of Glengalliagh Letty & Tullyvallen Goldenbox won his class, male champion and then Overall Champion!! He later went on to sell for 1700gns,
A great way to end my first year,
I would like to thanks all the breeders for welcoming me to the breed and have made some good friends in a short space of time.