The Dooley flock of Beltex is run by David Thornley and family at Hartshorne, Derbyshire, with the aim of producing vigorous, mobile sheep suited to both the pedigree and commercial sectors.
Rams are sold annually, with the majority of rams going to work in commercial flocks across the midlands and further afield.
The flock was established in 2003 with the purchase of six imported ewes from Gavin Shanks and Alan Thom, with further females purchased from David and Ivy Bishop’s Luggsmill flock.
The first ram to be bought for the flock was Clovis V/H Groentenhof, his purchase as an older ram being driven by his trueness to the Belgian type and his consistent breeding.
These early purchases have stood the flock in good stead, with many of the flocks leading females tracing back to these first arrivals.
Clovis has been the greatest single influence on the flock to date and sons of Clovis have also been used in the flock to maintain the breed character and carcass traits he provided in the early years of the flock.
Without a doubt the flock’s highlight to date was the sale of Dooley Napal at Carlisle in 2010, with this Viagrow V/d Musschen selling for 18,000gns in a three-way partnership of Neale and Janet McQuiston, of the Airyolland flock, Jeff and Sue Wilkinson, of the Langlands flock and Kevin and Rachel Buckle of the Buckles flock.
In 2010 the flock was significantly expanded with the purchase of the 50-ewe Musschen flock of Wilfred and Jurgen Dupuyt from Belgium. This flock is the home of the famous sire Viagrow and when offered this once in a lifetime opportunity it was hard to say no to.
Previous show success has included taking the interbreed championship at Staffordshire County Show in 2006 and reserve breed champion at the Royal and Great Yorkshire shows in 2009. 2010 saw the flock clinch the female and reserve breed championship and reserve male championship at the Great Yorkshire.
And in 2011 the flock won the male and breed championship at the Great Yorkshire Show along with the male championship and lamb championship at the English National Beltex Show at Malvern.