9 August 2002

1000+ tups on offer at builth

OVER 1000 tups went under the hammer at the first multi-breed ram sale at Builth Wells earlier this week.

And most breeds lifted their average prices compared with 2000, with a Suffolk ram lamb making the top price of 1600gns.

The lamb came from Viv and Bridget Samuel, of St Weonards, Hereford, who lost their flock as part of the contiguous cull during foot-and-mouth, but had restocked with in-lamb ewes from the Wells flock from Aberdeen.

Suffolk rams made up more than a third of the entry, which targets early lambing flocks. The top-priced shearling ram came from Brida Suffolk Sheep Breeding Scheme at the Trawsgoed Research Farm, Aberystwyth, selling to R J and J L James, of Pontrilas, Hereford, for 700gns.

From the 305 Texels entered, the sale topper went to Prys Thomas, of Pontrug, Caernarfon, whose shearling ram Dolygynfydd Hanky Panky made 930gns. Heading the list of two-year-old Texels was a ram from south-west breeders F &#42 Chave and Sons, of Wellington, Somerset.

The leading Charollais was a 640gns bid for a shearling ram from J A Geldard and R Low of Kendal, Cumbria.

George Hughes, chairman of the National Sheep Association Wales and Border regions ram sale committee, said the sale made an impressive start to the first ram selling season after F&M.

"Two things made this sale different for us. One was the far higher than normal entry of two-year-old rams, a sign of the impact of F&M restrictions had on sales of breeding sheep last year.

"The second was the fact that the majority of sheep had been scrapie-genotyped, showing how seriously breeders are taking the new national scrapie plan."

Averages Suffolk rams £320, Texels £325, Charollais £285. &#42