Bluefaced Leicester females have been in demand this week with sales at Carlisle and Hawes topping 9,500gns and £4,400 respectively.
A packed ringside graced both sales and it was the first prize ewe at the Carlisle fixture that realised the top price tag. The one crop ewe from Messrs Booths’ Smearsett flock, Feizor in Lancashire attracted the attention of the top breeders, combining some strong crossing bloodlines with a powerful well made sheep with a great skin. It is by A6 Smearsett, which was sold to Kirkby Redgate as an aged Ram for £8000, and out of a ewe by R1 Lunesdale bought for £3,000 from the Keer flock and has already bred gimmers to £5,000 and tups to £4,500.
She is carrying triplets to D15 Smearsett, a son of the Z4 Hundith and headed home with Scottish breeders Jimmy Bell, Cottage and Neil Laing, Garscube.
They also sold a gimmer shearling by the £11,500 A1 Hundith, again carrying triplets for 3000gns to Ron & Fran Wilson, Low Tipalt, which help lift the flock average for the 5 sheep sold to just shy of £4000, a good days work.
Next highest price came from the renowned Midlock flock. The first prize gimmer by B4 Tanhouse Farm and out of a ewe by Controversy, sold for 4,000gns, carrying twins to the E1 Bull and Cave to Jamie Pirie from the Blarnavaid flock, Stirling.
Another gimmer, this time by the homebred C63 Midlock and again out of a controversy ewe carrying triplets to B4 Tanhouse Farm, sold in a 3000gns deal to RJ Shennan, Farden Farm. The Midlock 2nd prize gimmer sold for 2700gns to Jack Buckle, Buckles Farm. This was same breeding as the first prize gimmer, carrying twins to the E1 Bull & Cave. Midlock ended the day with a stunning average of £1750.88 for 20 gimmers sold.
A cluster of other sheep sold at the 3000gns mark, including the Reserve Champion from Kirkby Redgate. It was sired by the £14,000 E1 Old Hemley and out of a ewe by the A5 Gragareth, which has left some exceptional sheep in the Redgate flock. This long, modern type of a sheep was bought by Northern Irish breeder John Blaney from the Tievebuaile flock. Redgate also saw a 2500gns bid for a gimmer lamb by the £8000 A6 Smearsett, again out of a ewe by A5 Gragareth, selling to David Abberley, Old Hemley.
The other 3000gns bid came late in the sale, with trade holding up to the very end, for John Stott, Laund, for a ewe by B17 Mereoak, carrying twins to D7 Midlock. This immense ewe was taken home to Alwinton Farm in Northumberland by HG &DJ Dixon. The Laund flock also got a bid of 2500gns for another gimmer by the B17 Mereoak, carrying twins to the F32 Marriforth.
Once again it was the Hewgill flock which walked away with the red white and blue championship ticket, judged by George Shields, Ravenstonedale. He placed the Hewgill gimmer hogg, a tremendously modern type of a sheep. She was by the prolific B41 Hewgill and out of a ewe by Z14 Hewgill which has bred some good lambs, including a tup they are using themselves. It sold for 2000gns to James Porter, Riddings.
In Hawes it was a consignment from a pen of Paul Browns of the Oak House flock, Kirkby Stephen that caught the eye of sale goers. The gimmer lamb by D17 Hewgill is the same way bred as his tup lamb he sold at Hawes last back end to Highberries, Low Tipalt and Carry House for £10,200, out of a ewe by the W1 Keer. She sold for £4400 to Crow Hall Farms, Northumberland.
Robin Booth from the Smearsett flock, Feizor near Lancaster enjoyed a cracking trade after taking 1st and 3rd in the gimmer shearling classes. The prices didn’t reflect the show standings however, with the third prize gimmer making £3600, and selling away down into Norfolk to H Harvey. This powerful sheep is by “Black Tag” B13 Smearsett, which has done so well for the flock and is carrying twins to the homebred D15 Smearsett, a son of the noted Z4 Hundith. The first prize gimmer was by the D15 Smearsett, and is the full sister to the £12,000 tup sold to Marriforth a couple of years ago. It is carrying twins to V33 Lunesdale and sold for £3200 to Mark Bousfield.
The days champion once again went to Messrs Lord from the Hewgill flock. They have built up an excellent reputation over the years for bringing forwards some cracking sheep, and once again they produced the goods, with a massive gimmer lamb full of style and power to catch the judges eye. She is by X Factor, a tup bred by Jack Lawson and bought from Messrs Willoughby as an aged tup a couple of years ago for £7000, and out of one of the flocks better breeding ewes by B41 Hewgill. It sold for £2400 to AR Edmondson from the Hawkswell flock. It was the third prize gimmer from the same pen which made the Lords top price. It was the same way bred, but out of the full sister to the £12,500 E4 Hewgill selling to M/s Pears for £2600.
The Reserve Champion on the day went to a gimmer lamb from Paul & Granville Fairburn of the Marriforth flock. This stretchy lamb is by the £14,000 Midlock and out of a one of the best breeding ewes in the flock, which has already bred a son which is being used at Marriforth, by Z8 Thirwell, and sold for £2000 to Rob Walker, Dunsop Bridge.
Jack Lawson, Hundith enjoyed a canny trade too, selling to £2500 with a gimmer hogg to J Huddleston, Ravenscar, and had another at £2200. Midlocks annual consignment at the sale also caused a lot of interest, with their six gimmer shearlings averaging just shy of £2000, with a top of £2100 for their 2nd Prize gimmer shearling, selling to A Cambell, Drimsynie.