10 September 1999

Beltex buck trend

BELTEX sheep bucked the trend of falling averages at pedigree sales at the breed societys fixture at Chel-ford, with averages up in all sections.

Bidding soon reached 1850gns when John Marshall of Lamber-hurst, Kent secured the sire Challenger Ultimate consigned by Aberdeenshire breeders Kenyon and Mutch.

And soon after one of his sons, a ram lamb from their Forglen pen, was bought by Harry Emlsie Farmers, Aberdeen. Fellow Scots Gavin Shanks and Alan Thom clinched the male title with an imported shearling that made 1100gns to &#42 Moffat, Bath.

Commercial flock owners were willing to pay 400-650gns for shearlings. Entries in this section from G and J Belchers Puleston flock (Shrop-shire) and Sally Butterfields Con-stant flock (Pembrokeshire) reached 720gns and 700gns respectively.

Midlands showman David Gardiner, now retired from full-time farming, retains an interest in the breed and can never resist something unusual. He paid 650gns on behalf of a client for the unusually coloured ram lamb Forglen Charcoal.

Averages: aged rams £899; shearling rams £424; ram lambs £393; ewes £413; shearling gimmers £232 and ewe lambs £199. &#42