Southdown breeders returned to Maidstone last weekend for their annual Premier Show and Sale, having suffered the disappointment of a last minute cancellation last year due to foot-and-mouth.

Topping the trade was Tunbridge wells-based Messrs Crundwell’s shearling ram from their Ladywell flock which had stood second in the shearling ram class, sired by East Dean 03/0016 and out of a homebred ewe, this one sold for 550gns to Dennis Jenkins’ Heathgate flock, Thetford, Norfolk.

Next top went to the pre-sale champion, another sheep bred by the Crundwell’s, but this time forward from Jim and Patsy Cresswell’s Wattisfield flock at diss, Norfolk. This two shear, again by the East Dean sire, took a call of 450gns and joins Moira Williams’ Pindale flock in Derbyshire.

Leading the way among the local buyers was Udimore-based Frank Langrish when he bid 360gns for Jonathan Long’s French sired entry from his Chaileybrook flock. Mr Long was also prominent among the ram lambs, trading one by the French sire at 300gns to join Richard Bulmer’s newly established flock at Great Habton, North Yorkshire.

Female trade was led by Messrs Wakeham Dawson and Harmer’s shearling ewe which stood female champion, this one is by Steepdown A2 and sold at 220gns, with Philip and Rosemary Whitcombe’s Australian-type shearling making 205gns to join Messrs Cresswell (Lambert and Foster).