The Dorset Down Sheep Breeders Association held its annual sale last weekend in Somerset, where new faces competed with established breeders for the 68 head on offer and produced a top price of £300.

The sale was held at Whitchurch Farm, Stoneaston, near Radstock, home of the breed association’s late president Ken Osbourne.

This well-known breeder was famous for his long involvement in Dorset Down sheep through his successful Goodwick flock, but he also maintained a keen interest in Shorthorn cattle.

Although scorching temperatures kept some at home, especially from the growing number of Dorset Down supporters in Wales, there was no shortage of takers for the best sheep on offer.

And it was one of the most renowned breeders that earned the top price of £300 with an outstanding two-tooth ram.

John Randall, a familiar figure for so many years in sheep circles in his trademark leather gaiters, brought out the ram in great style from his Bride Valley flock at Litton Cheney, Dorset.

The ram was bought by R Wood, who has recently established a flock near Bristol.

Another smart two-tooth ram from Mr Randall caught the eye of Jane Minn, who gave £175 to take him back to her flock at Stourbridge, Hampshire.

There was home-grown success in the ewe lamb section when a smart entry from K J Osborne & Partners realised £155 to Mr Wood.

A good turnout of shearling rams ready for work sold well, with an entry from Chiselborough breeders E B Holloway & Sons’ flock in Somerset leading the section at £285.

He was bought by new breed association member J Morgan of Templecombe, Somerset.

The Devon-based flock of W D Burrough & Sons has done a great job in promoting the breed through its victories in the showring. Messrs Burrough sold two rams at £250 apiece.

Both shearlings, they were claimed by Mr Bond, Torpoint, Devon, and Ian Kealey from Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset.

Auctioneer Keith Luxton

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com