12 July 2002

Big success for Suffolk sheep show

By Jeremy Hunt

AN UNPRECEDENTED decision to hold its national show and sale during Royal Show week proved a huge success for the Suffolk Sheep Society, with prices hitting 6200gns and the ram lamb average lifting by over £100.

After the Royal Shows original announcement that it would not be staging sheep classes this year, and calculating that DEFRA would not have reformed the 20-day rule by early July, the SSS decided to hold its national fixture at Worcester, on the day that traditionally sees its top breeders in contention at the Stoneleigh showground in Warks.

With the societys premier Edinburgh gathering booked for Jul 25, the Worcester sale date of Jul 2 gave breeders a chance to trade at both sales, while still meeting the 20-day rule movement restrictions.

The sale outcome vindicated the decision when 89 ram lambs levelled at £1132, and putting the days biggest cheque in the pocket of Aberdeenshire breeder Robert Wilson, who runs the Strathisla flock at Turriff.

The lamb, which had not been trimmed, was by the 20,000gns Muiresk Powerpacker and out of a ewe by Wells Fargo, which had been bred in the Glenisla flock of Roberts late brother Gordon.

The ewe was hand picked by leading breeder Bruce Mair as one of 16 ewes to be retained by Robert Wilson before the Glenisla dispersal last December.

The sale leader had stood second in his class under judge Sandy Lee (Fordafourie) and headed back to Scotland with buyers Helen Goldie of Ayrshire and Alex Gray, Langside, Lanark. The seven Strathisla ram lambs achieved the days highest flock average of £2145.

Attractive presentation

The Muiresk consignment from the Mair family in Aberdeenshire included the days champion, a son of the 54,000gns Stockton Storm, bought at 3200gns by breed society chairman, Philip Long, who runs the Wycourt flock in Kent.

Like the top-priced ram lamb the champion was also untrimmed continuing the belief among breeders that buyers prefer natural presentation.

The shows judge, Mr Lee, also agreed this was the way ahead. "It is something that will, hopefully, encourage more breeders to enter sales. Some have been daunted by the prospect of dressing large numbers of sheep."

Stockton Storm featured again in the breeding of the second-highest priced sheep when Jimmy Douglas sold a ram lamb by Glenho Genereux, out of a Storm-sired ewe, for 5000gns. It heads to Jayne Greensits North Yorks flock.

Best for the Mairs was 4400gns paid by Fordington Farms, Lincs, for a Cairness Capello ram lamb out of a Stockton Storm ewe. Fellow Lincs breeders J M Robinson and Son gave 3000gns for a ram lamb by Muiresk Video Star consigned by C A Procter, Aberdeenshire.

Bound for Robert Weavers Perrinpit flock in Worcs was a Glenhead Gold-sired ram lamb from Sandy Lees Fordafourie pen at 3000gns. While Fordafourie Sneak Preview was the sire of Charles Hardings lamb taken at 2400gns by J Gwilliam and Sons, Shrops.

Best from John Sinnetts Stockton entry was a Stockton Solid Gold lamb bought byP Fletcher, Kidderminster,at 2100gns. Stan and Robyn Hulmes Crosemanor flock earned 2000gns for theirfirst-prize winner of the MLC performance-recorded class.This Birness Aqua son was outof a Stockton Goldstar ewe and was bought by Mr Long(M Walton, in association with McCartneys). &#42