A new breed record price of 17,000gns was paid for a Bluefaced Leicester shearling ram at the second fixture of the NSA’s main autumn ram sale at Builth Wells on Saturday when buyers shrugged off the gloom of the economy and backed the future of the sheep industry to the hilt.
The record breaking ram was a “love at first sight” purchase for Abergele breeder Jackie McLeod. She’d first set eyes on the ram when she was working on the breed society’s stand at the Royal Welsh Show – and from that moment on she knew she had to have him.
She made the bid – 10,000gns higher than any previous price paid for a ram at this sale – for one of Dewi Lewis’s entries from his flock at Dolwen, near Abergele. Biding for the ram was fierce with Scottish cash in contention throughout but Welsh determination won the day.
“I fell in love with the sheep as soon as I saw him. I’m as concerned about the credit crunch as anyone else but this ram is a good investment. I’d rather put my money in him than in stocks and shares,” she commented as she left the ring.
Although the dry weekend kept many buyers at home harvesting and making much needed silage, trade was strong in many breeds with a Welsh Mountain ram from Alan and Mari Jones, Llanafan, Builth Wells making the day’s second highest price of 3000gns. The ram went to Brian Davies, Crickhowell.
A total of 1688 rams were sold – a clearance rate of 78% – to average £290 and generating takings of £490,483. That figure brings the total for the two sales of just over £1.5M and an average of £342 for 4163 sheep sold.
Jointly topping the strong Texel trade for the second year running were John Eirian and Lynwen Davies, Llandeilo. Their ram lamb, which made 2000gns, is full brother to a ram that made 9000gns at this sale in 2006. Buyer was Celbyn Edwards, Anglesey.
Sharing the top Texel bid was a ram from Martin and Shirley Jones, Oswestry who have been selling Texels tups here for 12 years. The couple’s tup went to Colin and Wendy Phillips, Hereford.
Lleyn rams peaked at 1400gns for an entry from Emrys and Dylan Jones, Machynlleth, while the breed champion from Alun Wynne Davies, Pwllhelli at 850gns.
Other leading prices included 1050gns for a South Country Cheviot and 1000gns for a North Country Cheviot. A torwen-marked Badgerfaced ewe from Timothy Evans, Lampeter realised 900gns to Jenny Langford, Chester.
Richard and Olwen Wynne, Anglesey produced the Border Leicester champion which made 650gns to Richard Richards, Malvern.