12 July 2002

Bicester moves date and place

BICESTER sheep fair, normally one of the biggest one-day sheep breeding sales in the country, has moved venue and sale dates.

Brian Pile, auctioneer for Northampton Market and Bicester, has moved the fixture to Northampton so it can conform to current sale regulations after the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Northampton Market has the necessary washing out facilities to cope with the sale numbers, which in its peak has sold up to 45,000 sheep in one day. Over the past five to 10 years it has averaged 30,000 head.

Mr Pile says he will be pleased to attract 15,000 sheep for this years two-day Northampton Summer Sheep Fair. It will be held on Aug 2 and Aug 3, with theaves (gimmers) going under the hammer on the Friday and tups, store lambs and older ewes selling the following day.

So far, 3500 entries have been received and Mr Pile is expecting trade for replacement breeding ewes to be reasonably good this summer as they are in short supply in the south.

"A lot of decent Mules have already travelled north with lambs at foot for restocking," Mr Pile says. &#42