Bluefaced Leicesters make confident start in the North

Bluefaced Leicester sheep breeders made a confident start to the year with a sale of in-lamb ewes and gimmer hoggs at Hawes Auction Mart, North Yorks, where prices reached 3200.

Lord Bros’ Hewgill flock took both first and second positions in the gimmer hogg classes under judge James Caton and went on to clinch the fixture’s two highest prices.

Their champion realised 3000 to Steven Sutcliffe of Horton in Ribblesdale, while the second-place lamb topped the trade at 3200 to Alan Barnes from the Cowden flock.

Both lambs were by the T29 Hewgill tup and out of N34 Hewgill-bred ewes.

Breed enthusiasts were out again this week at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, where the two top prices came for entries from the Lanarks-based Midlock flock of John Wight and Sons.

And it was a shearling gimmer by a ram from the noted North Yorks Bull and Cave flock that earned the day’s top call of 1800gns.

She is out of a Nunscleugh-sired ewe and in-lamb to a Riddings tup. Buyer was R Loughridge, Ballymoney, Co Antrim.

Another shearling gimmer from the Midlock pens made 1700gns to D Cruickshank, Castle Douglas.

This one is by a tup from the Hafrena flock and was AI’d in early October to Midlock Controversy.

Local breeder Neil Marston judged the pre-sale show classes and found his champion among another good pen of ewe lambs from Messrs Lord’s Hewgill flock.

She stays close to home and joins the flock of I & J Brown at Ravenstonedale, Cumbria.

And another ewe lamb from the same vendor was among the high prices at 1400gns.

Buyers were Ellis Bros, Ilkley, West Yorks.

Matching that bid was another shearling gimmer from the Midlock entry taken by Jack Kay & Sons, Lauder, Berwickshire, while a 1200gns call from A Steedman, Cambusbarron, Stirling, secured him a Midlock shearling gimmer.

  • Carlisle averages: 29 aged ewes 321, 28 shearling ewes 429 and 23 ewe lambs 528. Midlock flock – shearlings 764. (Harrison & Hetherington)