Despite the snow and cold, or perhaps because of it, the ringside at Hawes was full for the Bluefaced Leicester sale, with a very healthy average of £1,047 for the 53 sheep forward.
The champion of the day, judged by Alan Wight, Midlock, was from the Hewgill flock. This gimmer hogg had similar bloodlines to last autumns tup lambs, an embryo lamb by the B41 Hewgill and out of ewe by the Z14 Hewgill.
The Lords have retained five full sisters and a tup lamb out of this good breeding ewe, and demand for buying into these cracking bloodlines was strong, with Raymond Lund dropping the hammer at £6,800, to Shane McDonagh, Hill View Farm, from Ireland, who is establishing a new flock in the Rebublic.
The reserve champion, from Robin Booth, was in the very last pen of the day and saw a gimmer shearling by C1 Shafthill and carrying triplets to the homebred B13 Smearsett which is doing so well for them.
Three full brothers to the gimmer sold last back end to average £4,100. Taking this smart sheep home was David Ellis, Ilkley, after forking out £4,600 for the privilege.
Neil Marston of the Highberries flock was making his bow at the female sale, and created quite a stir with his pen. The flock has gained a great reputation over the last few years, with progeny of the Z4 Hundith going on to do well. His gimmer shearling by the Z4, and full sister to the £6,000 tup sold to the Lunesdale, Star Green and Swathburn flocks a couple of years ago, was carrying triplets to C18 Highberries. It was unshown earlier in the day, and sold for £4,200 to local breeder John Thorpe, Low Blackburn.
Kirkby Redgate have a good reputation among the mule breeding fraternity and they turned out the 3rd prize gimmer hogg in the pre-sale show, and collected a bid of £3,000, selling to Jay Elliot, who was buying his first ever sheep. He will run it at his Unlces farm, the Oak House flock from Paul Brown.
On the whole the trade reflected the sheep trade generally, back a bit on previous years, but still a certain amount of optimisum. I
Averages: 53 Sheep, £1047; Gimmer Hoggs, £1,242; Gimmer Shearlings, £1,855; Ewes, £560.
(Hawes Auction Mart)