With the onset of November comes the onset of the annual round of in-lamb ewe sales. Charollais breeders may have got their’s already well in hand, but for Suffolk breeders this weekend marks two of the bigger sales this year.
First up on Friday is the collective sale of females at Carlisle, with entries from a range of noted flocks, inlcuding the Proctor family’s Conveth otufit and Hans Porksens’ Hans flock.
Messrs Soulsby also have a run in from their Williamsgill flock and Ian Park, latterly shepherd to the Flodden flock, but now trading in his own right with his Tyneview flock.
However, the main event of the weekend will be the dispersal of Harry Stewart’s Castlewellan flock at Moira, Northern Ireland. Having started in Suffolks in 1988 Harry has invested heavily in the breed over the last 21 years and has reaped the rewards of his investment taking top money for rams and ewes over the years both at home in Northern Ireland and across the water here on the mainland.
With much Muiresk breeding in the flock, notably from Muiresk Rainbow Quest, a personal favourite of mine within the breed, Castlewellan ewes offer a real depth of pedigree which few others can rival.
We’ll wait and see who spends the money this weekend, but I’d guess that the big names from southern Ireland will be out armed with their cheque books, as will the usual faces from the north of Scotland, competition for the best in the catalogue could be fierce.