Hampshire Downs met a solid trade at the NSA Kelso Ram Sale. Several breeders had 100% clearances with an overall clearance of 73%. Prices were back which is true for many breeds at sales this year, with a top price of £400 for a ram from the Lecropt flock, shearling rams averaged £305. Quality of stock forward was good recognising the need for strong well-produced stock which is of particular importance at the NSA Ram Sales. A positive result in a difficult year with plenty of interest from repeat buyers.
Pedigree sales are proving to be tough going this year with all breed sale reports showing that although the top sheep are selling well, clearances are down.
The top sale price of the day was 420gns, paid for the first prize shearling ewe from John Craigs’ Lumb flock. The ewe by Court Chief out of a Yarcombe Creation ewe was the highest index shearling ewe in the sale. The buyer was D.W. & S. Taylor from Earlston, Berwickshire.
Following closely was the first prize ram lamb, at 400gns from Peter Lawsons’ Glenbrook flock, Northern Ireland, which sold to CB Farms, Newton Le Willows. A Loughbrae Black Knight son out of a Loughbrae Stowaway ewe.
The pre-sale Show was judged by Roy McFarlane whose choice for Supreme Champion was a shearling ram from Eleanor, Annabel & Andrew Jones’ Morley flock. The Eastfortune Douglas son was out of a Springfarm Neptune ewe. He sold to John Craigs’ Lumb flock for 340gns.
The Female Champion and overall Reserve Champion was a ewe lamb from Graham and Judith Galbraiths’ Graylen flock. The ewe lamb was by Graylen Javelin, a high index ram used as part of the AHDB’s RamCompare Project and who has bred multiple prize winners, out of Kelsey ewe, she sold to Stuart Friswell for 300gns.
The second prize ewe lamb also from the Graylen flock, a Kelsey Overlord daughter bred from a Graylen D’artagnan ewe, sold for 320gns.
The red rosette-winning older ewe from Stephen Short’s Highcliffe flock, Halifax was a four year old Ballycreelly ewe. It sold locally to R C Lee of Keighley for 240gns.
Overall trade was steady and selective with noticeable interest in sheep which showed quality alongside high EBVs.
Ewe to 240gns av £231
Shearling Ewe to 420gns av £325
Ewe Lamb to 320gns av £233
Shearling Ram to 340gns av £285
Ram Lamb to 400gns av £420
New Breeders Strike Top Spot at Hampshire Down Premier Sale, Shrewsbury
The Hampshire Down Premier Sale, held for the first time at Shrewsbury Livestock Market and run in conjunction with the National show the previous day, saw a new breeders Matthew Jones and Rebecca Smith top the market with a ram lamb from their Birchfield Flock. This son of Yarcombe Flashman was out of a Ballycreelly ewe by Ballycreelly What the Devil and sold for £1350gns to D & D Middleditch and Son, Sudbury, Suffolk jointly with Harry Elsden, Hertford. Re-investing half their takings, Rebecca and Matthew secured a ram lamb from the Derryman’s Yarcombe flock.
Another Yarcombe Flashman sired ram lamb produced the second highest price of the day at 1200gns. From K.P. and A.E. McCarthys’ Ballycreelly flock, County Down, the lamb will be going to Carmarthen, joining James Dicksons’, Jamrin flock. This ram lamb had won its class at the Irish National earlier this year and had won top honours again in the ram lamb class in the previous days UK National show.
Top ewe price of the day at 660gns, was a shearling ewe from Graham and Judith Galbraiths’ Graylen flock, Kendal, which was by Kelsey Icon out of a Kelsey ewe by Normanby Lancelot. Judith and Graham also won reserve female champion and reserve breed champion with a shearling ewe by the same sire in the previous days national show.
Selling at 480gns the top ewe lamb went to Nick Coles’ Coleberry Flock. This ewe lamb from the Eppleby flock owned by Austyn Chapman and Nikki Wadkins, Richmond, North Yorkshire, is by Court General and out of a Graylen ewe by Graylen D’Artagnan.
Winning the national show with his ewe lamb by Greenwell Titan the previous day, T.I. and J. Hunter bought the highest priced shearling ram of the day for 520gns, out of Kelsey Nobleman from Jim and Jane Birkwoods’ Thorbeck flock. The shearling ram will be travelling down the road to Tim Hunters’ Lindsey flock in Lincolnshire.
Shearing Ewes – £439.25
Ewe lambs – £394.33
Shearling rams - £546
Ram lambs – £650.28
Auctioneers: Halls. Shrewsbury.
NEW SALE RECORD FOR HAMPSHIRE DOWNS AT STIRLING
The Scottish Premier Sale reached a new sale record in its third year of running with a ram lamb from Roy & Sheena McFarlane & Lorna Rennie, Lecropt Flock, making 1200 guineas and selling to Rob Dewey of the Lathockar Flock, Fife. By a new stock ram Kelsey Fantastic, purchased last year, this lamb had recently been CT Scanned at the SRUC Unit Edinburgh coming out in the top 1% for breed index and gigot muscularity.
Leading the female trade and overall Show Champion was a ewe lamb from Janet & Brian Hill’s Isle Of Bute flock, making 800 guineas and moving south of the border to Stephanie Percival, Catchadown Flock. This ewe lamb by Yarcombe Pythagoras shares the same grand-sire, Graylen D’artagnan ,on the dam line as the top priced ram lamb from Lecropt.
Standing reserve champion and taking the second highest bid of the day for females was a shearling ewe from last year’s show and sale leaders, Messrs D Middlecitch & Son’s St Paul Flock, Suffolk knocking down to John Craig, Lumb Farm, North Yorkshire for £650 guineas. A second shearling ewe from the Middleditch family sold for the next highest price, 500 guineas, to junior pedigree breeder Bruce Steel, Powblack Flock, Stirling.
The male Champion too came from south of the border, offered by Hazel Hindmarch, Fellrose Flock, County Durham and selling to Michael Patton, Northern Ireland for 500 guineas.
Commercial interest was evident around the ring with buyers keen to buy Hampshire Rams to put across ewes for fast growing lamb production. K & A McCarthy, Northern Ireland sold the highest price shearling for this purpose for 700 guineas to Macaskill, Killin, Perthshire.
Overall there was a marked improvement in the demand for males, but shearling ewes proved harder to sell. Lambs both male and female were in stronger demand.
Leading Prices & Averages (guineas):
Shearling Rams: Top price 700, Average 475
Ram Lambs: Top price 1200, Average 470
Shearling Ewes: Top price 650, Average 483
Ewe Lambs: Top price 800, Average 367