Farmers Weekly Interactive

Swaledales enjoy good early season trade

As Swaledale breeders move into gear in readiness for the season’s major ram fixtures there was every sign at last week’s sale at Middleton-in Teesdale that demand will continue to be strong for the best tups on offer. This sale of 172 aged and shearling rams produced a top price of £8000 and saw the shearling average rise by £174.


It was a best ever price for Richard Hird who runs his flock at Baldersdale, Barnard Castle. “He’s by a £5000 Mossdale tup and his grandfather made £35,000 at Kirkby Stephen. His dam was by a tup bred by Patrick Sowerby,” said Mr Hird. The ram was bought by Alan Coates, Richmond.


R Hutchinson, Bowes stood first and second in the shearling tup class for large flocks. But their second prize winner pleased the ringside more making £2600 to Tully Bros, Burncroft Farm, Barnard Castle.


Dent Bros of Naby View sold a shearling at £2800 to David Hanson, Fylingdales on the north Yorkshire moors. Alan Alderson, Kirkby Stephen earned £2500 for a shearling taken by Dowson and Startin, Bowes.


Meanwhile, a strong show of aged rams and ram lambs produced a keen trade among north country hill farmers and booste the average for aged rams by £332 at the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association’s sale at Hawes where bidding reached £4000.


And the top call was “icing on the cake” for Leyburn, North Yorkshire hill farmer John Cloughton whose four-shear ram had been bought in the same ring as a shearling for £1000.


Bred by the Booth family at Feizor near Settle, the ram is by a £6000 sire hailing from the flock of W C Porter and Son, Richmond. The ram was bought jointly by Patrick Sowerby of P E and K A Sowerby, Mossdale Estate, Hawes and Thomas Brogden, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.


Peak District breeders J H and J Bland, Glossop, made a foray north and achieved the day’s second highest for aged rams bid of £3000. Buyer was Forest Hall Farm, Selside, Kendal.


Averages – Middleton-in-Teesdale: shearling rams £539, aged rams £257 (Harrison and Hetherington). Hawes; aged rams £621, ram lambs £290 (Hawes Auction Mart).


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