Kent was, strangely enough, the place to be if you wanted to buy Sussex cattle last week…
The Sussex Cattle Societys spring show and sale marks the largest gathering of the breed. And last Thursday at Maidstone saw 60 pedigree animals catalogued, with 140 purebred and crossbred stores of Sussex and other breeds also penned.
If you were at the mart, you might have picked up some sheep equipment. You would have to be quick, though, with just 25 lots to choose from. Among the stakes, buckets, hurdles and halters, was a Ridley Rapper electric fencing system which grossed £380.
Champion bull, Boxted Fanfaron 5th, from L Stevens and Sons, Lower Halstow, made 2000gns to A Walter, Deal. Another went for 1200gns.
Well travelled… Mrs J Brownes annual consignment of North Country Mule ewe tegs, all bought as lambs at Lazonby, Cumbria, were also sold.
Bulling heifers sold to 560gns on several occasions and cows with calves making to 760gns for a March 1993-born cow with her November- born bull calf. Interest was strong in the best heifers but – in line with the store trade – selling the poorer sorts was harder work, according to auctioneer Alan Mummery of Lambert and Foster. And this despite the breed representing the "ultimate low cost suckler cow".
The same day also saw the dispersal of the Graffham Southdown flock for Mr and Mrs E D Dickson, Petworth. Ewes and lambs averaged £32.63 a life.
The ewe tegs averaged £83. A fair price, said the auctioneers, given the dry weather and the shortage of keep.