The annual show and sale of Blackface and Swaledale gimmers met strong trade peaking at £256 a head at Hexham and Northern Marts last Thursday (2 October).

The sale topper and champion pen of Blackface gimmers from Messrs Murray, Sewingshields was purchased by Messrs Kirby, Kirby Stephen.

A Murray and Sons top priced Blackface gimmers with judge David Taylor (centre)

A Murray and Sons top priced Blackface gimmers with judge David Taylor (centre)

The leading pen of Swaledale gimmers realised £170 a head for regular consignors Messrs Nelson, Low Bleakhope. Purchasers were Messrs Yeats, Coanwood.

The sale average increased well over £50 a head on the previous year.

Draft ewes

The annual sale of draft hill ewes met strong trade peaking at £128 a head for a pen of five-year-old Swaledales.

The sale topper and first prize pen from Ken Johnson, Wolf Hills was purchased by Gus and Carol Dalton, Glenhill. Next at £102 a head, a pen of 111 five-year-old Swaledale ewes from Stuart Nelson, Low Bleakhope sold to Chris Dawson, Nunstainton.

The trade for Swaledale ewes was buoyant with the average for draft ewes being £27.90 a head up on last year.

Blackface ewes peaked at £100 a head for a pen of six-year-olds from Robert Mackay, Billsmoor Park.

The champion pen of Blackface ewes went to Robert and Jackie Raine, West Woodburn. These sold later for £75 a head to RJ Ford, Sproxton.

The trade was strong throughout for Blackface ewes with the average being £12.10 up on last year.

Ewe lambs

Blackface ewe lambs from Monkridge Hill topped trade at £86 a head, with Swaledales from Round Meadows close behind at £84 a head.