Bluefaced Leicesters to 4,800gns at Carlisle

Snowy weather didn’t deter Bluefaced Leicester breeders from turning out for the breed association’s annual female sale at Carlisle this week where a smart ewe from the Booth family’s noted Smearsett flock topped the trade at 4,800gns.

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 Although buyers were selective the best sheep on offer sold well and in particular the ewe lambs. This fixture has established a reputation for attracting a high class turnout of ewe lambs – and it draws with bidders looking for sheep with show potential for the coming summer season. On Monday the 42 ewe lambs averaged £1,034 – slightly more than the 51 gimmer shearlings that levelled at £1,034.


“Buyers were definitely a bit picky but anyone with good sheep to sell had a successful day. The breed is still in a very strong position,” commented breed association chairman John Stott from Chipping, Lancashire.


The leading Smearsett ewe is a three shear and from the family’s flock at Austwick, near Lancaster. She is sired by the £11,500 292/AI Hundith tup and is out of one of the flock’s best breeding ewes that’s by 3307/M1 Star Green and hails from Gordon Rawsthorne’s flock. And she promises to be a good value purchase; she was carrying triplets to 2968/D15 Smearsett and heads for Northumberland with buyers Crowhall Farms, Hexham.


“She’s an ET-bred ewe and has produced some good gimmers for us,” said Robin Booth. “Buyers were careful and the weather didn’t help, but I think most will have been satisfied with the outcome.”


The strength of the ewe lamb trade produced the day’s second highest call of 3,600gns when two bidders decided to share a much admired ewe lamb that had taken the championship. Michael James had braved the bad weather conditions and travelled north from mid Wales with four ewe lambs from his Duhonw flock at Builth Wells.


By 2496/A5 Hawkswell and out of a ewe by 2070/A5 Old Hemley, she was bought jointly by M Thornborrow, Stobo, Peebleshire and K and R Campbell, Lochgoilhead, Isle of Bute. The four ewe lambs from Duhonw averaged £2,021.


John Smith Jackson decided to cash-in a really good ewe lamb by the home-bred tup 1080/C2 Shafthill selling for 3,200gns. The ewe lamb, from his flock at Haltwhistle, is out of a ewe by 980/P3 Hewgill, had been flushed and four embryos retained. She is from one of the flock’s best families and her dam bred two of the highest priced females to be sold from the Shafthill flock. Buyer was A Lodge, Settle, North Yorkshire.


The Hutchinson family from Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria were one of two vendors to sell at 3,000gns. A gimmer from the family’s Kirkby Redgate flock and sired by 292/B10 Hundith went to fellow Kirkby Stephen bidder P Brown. The five entries from Kirkby Redgate averaged £2,100.00


 Alan and Kath Barnes who run the famous Cowden flock at Great Harwood, Lancashire were in at 3,000gns to secure a ewe lamb from the Smearsett pen. It was sired by 2968/D15 Smearsett.


Also heading for the Cowden flock at 2800gns was a flockmate – a ewe lamb by 2969/B13 Smearsett.


Averages: seven ewes £1,182; 51 shearling gimmers £1,012; 42 ewe lambs £1,034.


Harrison and Hetherington