Kelsey Trophy Heads to WalesGayle
KELSEY TROPHY 2023
This year’s Kelsey Trophy winner is Steffan Harries and his Llainterfyn flock, with the greatest gain in overall Terminal Sire index, the flock now sits in the top 25% of the breed. Much of this improvement can be attributed to the strong ram selection team this year, with many of the lambs sired by a Graylen ram 24Y2205132. Other notable rams from Millfields and Whitby flocks.
Flocks that also made great progress this year include the Creely flock (34.5 points), Shapwick II (30 points), Morley (23 points) and Rennisons (22.5 points). Using Signet Breeding Services performance recording has allowed these breeders to make informed selection decisions and increase the genetic merit of their flocks. If you are looking to start performance recording your flock, please contact Signet via email email@example.com.
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Steffan kindly did an article for our 2022 Flock Book which will give you an insight into his farming enterprise:
My name is Steffan Harries, a 25 year old sheep farmer and shepherd from Pembrokeshire, West Wales.
I’m currently building my own sheep enterprise that now consist of about 35 pedigree Hampshires that has a main objective of producing ewes and tups that can produce fast finishing lambs on a commercial based system, where we are trying to maximise grassland utilisation and minimising input feed costs.
I also run a flock of 130 Texel mule ewes that are tupped to a terminal sire of Hampshire and Texel, and lamb indoors from mid Feb until mid March.
As a maternal flock I run 200 welsh Cross cheviot ewes that are tupped to a Aberfield (Texel X Blueface Leicester). These lamb from the beginning of April outdoors and we select about a 130 ewe lambs to keep on for breeding. These are tupped as ewe lambs to a Hampshire and Charolais and also lamb from the 1st of April.
All the sheep are currently run on 120 acres of rented land, but due to increase to 220 acres as me and my partner have secured a tenancy on an additional 100 acre farm. Our objective for the next 3 years is to keep the Hampshire ewes to around 35 and concentrating on improving our genetics and to increase the commercial flock from 330 ewes + 130 ewe lambs to 600 ewes and 150 ewe lambs.
I was first Introduced to a Hampshire when my father bought a Ram to cross on his commercial ewes in 2011. We were attracted to the Hampshire as we had heard that they produced fast growing lambs and that they finished easy on grass. I was happy with the results so ventured to purchase some ewes in 2012/2013 to breed Tups and have a hobby of showing them in the summer shows.
As a society I think we should really concentrate on producing rams for the commercial market that can serve 60-80 ewes per tup, produce lambs that can grade E3L, U3L and R3L and have a carcase deadweight of 22kg. Rams ideally would have a longevity of 4 years+, while maintaining their body condition throughout the year. This can only be achieved in my opinion when pedigree breeders replicate the commercial system as much as they can.
As a society I think it is important for us to sell our tups with an emphasis on the growth and easy finishing of the Hampshire cross lambs. Also the lambing ease and hardiness of these lambs on an outdoor lambing system where the Hampshire Cross lambs are quick on their feet and quick to suckle.
My biggest achievement to date with the Pedigree Hampshires was winning the Royal Welsh Breed champion in 2019 with a homebred shearling ewe. Its nice to have some success after a lot of hard work and makes you feel like you are doing something right.