19 January 2001

Strong trade for top class Texel ewes at Carlisle

By Jeremy Hunt

PERFORMANCE figures and breeding were the driving forces behind Scottish borders stock breeder Richard Oatess production sale of over 200 Texels at Borderway Mart, Carlisle.

Recent weeks have seen a strong trade for the best Texel ewes, but this selection from Mr Oates Lumbylaw flock gave buyers the added bonus of impressive performance data as well.

Well known north-east suckled calf producer Fred Murray from Wooler waited until the end of the day to notch up the top price with an 850gns call for a twin-born shearling gimmer by Lyons Blazer, out of a ewe by Sundew Warden.

The gimmer had run with two rams over noted service periods – East Middle Good Morning (son of the 15,000gns Baltier Frisky with a scheme index of 263) and Lumbylaw Goldmine (grandson of Annan Designer and the flocks top ram this year with a scheme index of 276).

In probably the first time ever at this venue, Mr Oates offered the ewe section as "paired" entries giving the bidder a choice.

And it was from this sale format that Midlothian breeders J S Dun and Son selected a ewe by Alwent Dauphin with a bid of 600gns. This 1998 embryo transfer bred ewe was in-lamb to Callerton Gleneagles, a "good-skinned" son of Callerton Eriskay with a scheme index of 280.

It was no surprise that this sale attracted figure conscious breeders. The Lumbylaw flock was a founder member of the Texel sire reference scheme, Elite Texel Sires, now numbering 60 flocks.

Mr Oates started breeding Texels in 1976 with five ewes, the only female purchases since have been three ewes from the dispersal of Jimmy Mintos Midhill flock and some females added from the Wold Newton flock five years ago.

Many of his stock tups have carried leading prefixes, but his emphasis on selecting for performance is now paying off as this years lambs average scheme index of 192 – that is 44 points above the SRS average.

Also at 600gns and offered as one of a pair was a 1998 single-bred ewe by Crawfordjohn Danny Boy and bred out of a Callerton Advocate dam. She was in-lamb to the 5000gns high index ram Cambwell Cairn. Buyer was R B Templeton, Strathaven, Lanarkshire.

A ewe by East Middle Aggressor and in-lamb to Cambwell Cairn made 450gns to Mr Murray. Averages: 69 ewes £248 and 73 gimmers £209. (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42