The north country’s sheep sale season saw four breed societies hold their autumn fixtures at a one-day gathering at Borderway Mart, Carlisle. Although Charollais, Berrichon du Cher and both Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset entries met a selective trade, it was the growing interest in the distinctively marked black-woolled Zwartbles that produced the day’s strongest demand and the four highest prices.
There were two deals at 1100gns coming late in the day for ram lambs from Scottish borders breeder Charles Scott’s East Middle flock based at Hawick. The first call came from R Heigh, Bentham, Lancaster, for a January-born lamb that won its class on its first outing at Kelso Show.
An early February-born flock-mate that had taken the reserve male championship at the Royal Highland Show matched the bid and sold to Selkirk buyers Messrs Watson.
At 1000gns J Mackie, Strathaven secured the top priced shearling ewe consigned from the Blacklee flock of Ms M Campbell, Bonchester Bridge. The ewe was bred in the Wolfclyde flock of Anne Duckworth.
Berrichon du Cher sheep maintain a stalwart band of supporters and among them is leading Limousin breeder Robert Graham who paid the top price of 650gns. Adding to his long-established flock at Bridge of Allan, Stirling, he favoured the 2007-bred ram Criffel Hugh from Dumfries breeder Ewan Burgess. The ram had been reserve male champion on both his outings at the Royal Highland Show.
Mr Burgess also gave 650gns for the shearling ram Woodston Hunter from Woodston Manor Partnership, Tenbury Wells, Worcester. This ram’s sire topped the sale here in 2005 and was male champion at the Royal Welsh and Bath and West Shows last year.
Bidding in the Dorset sheep section reached 480gns twice. Thomas Wright, Co Antrim sold his show winning ram lamb Keltic Star to J Royan, Duns, while Jim Dufosee, Warminster, and Brenda Wear, Bristol, matched the bid to jointly take a ram lamb from Graham Cubitt’s flock at Ballymena that stood reserve supreme on the day.
A ram lamb from the Geldard family’s Wraycastle flock at Levens, Cumbria, led the Charollais trade at 420gns. The triplet-born lamb by Galtres Favour went to J R and G Walton and Sons, Barnard Castle.
Averages: Zwartbles – 80 shearling gimmers £194; 24 shearling rams £265 and 112 ewe lambs £161. Berrichon du Cher – 18 shearling rams £329 and 11 shearling gimmers £187. Dorset – four ram lambs £396. Charollais – six shearling rams £315. (Harrison and Hetherington).