24 August 2001

Texel trade red hot in Ulster

A HUGE crowd went on a Texel spending spree at Portadown last week when a string of four figure bids for tups peaked at 5500gns for a lamb that was unplaced in its class.

The British Texel Sheep Societys two-day show and sale produced a flying trade for rams and females with many new faces investing in foundation ewes.

Auctioneer Tom Clarke described the trade as "red hot" with 211 ram lambs levelling at £383 – a big increase in the numbers sold and the prices realised.

And there were plenty of surprises in store, none more than the frenzy of bidding for the most fancied lamb from the pen of Greenmount College, Antrim.

Although unplaced in his class, this outstanding Annan Brave Heart son had earned a bevy of admirers. Malcolm Reid badly wanted him for his Meadowvale flock at Ballygawley and after a fierce bidding war he succeeded at 5500gns. The lamb is out of a Springwell ewe by Cowal Enterprise.

The Northern Bank Supreme Championship went to Robert and Eileen Edwards, who achieved a remarkable average of £1305 for eight ram lambs from their Carrowdore flock in Co Down.

The champion was the first son of Searigg Guardsman – bought at Carlisle last autumn – to be sold at auction. He has a performance index of 208 and is out of a ewe going back to the great Seneirl Yogi Bear. Competition was fierce and settled at 4000gns to buyers John Currie and Sons, Ballymena.

Best for Carrowdore was 4200gns for a son of Sweetwall Gigolo sold to Michael Watson, Robbie Mulligan and John Watson.

Messrs Currie sold at 4500gns for an impressive lamb boasting an performance index of 250 – the highest in the sale. By Tullagh Golden Boy and combining Cambwell and Midhill breeding, he stood reserve champion and was bought jointly by Messrs Watson, Mulligan and Watson.

Annan Brave Heart featured in the breeding of another high priced tup lamb. He was the maternal grandsire of a smart entry by Sportsmans Grampian from Larne vendor Raymond Halls Tureagh flock. Buyer at 2800gns was Alan Cochrane (Seneirl).

Shearlings sold well averaging £366 for 155 head. Co Antrim breeder Shane Mackeen finished best with 2700gns for a Springwell Expert son taken by Robin Kennedy, William McAllister and Martin Cromie.

Springwell Friday, the top priced shearling at last years sale, sired the top priced gimmer ewe when Henry Gamble sold his reserve female champion at 1200gns.

A Baltier Delegate gimmer from the same pen made 1160gns to average this vendors pen of eight at £580. In total, 77 gimmers sold to average £309 (Automart). &#42

Jeremy Hunt