British bred Texels draw attention in France

Glenway tups for SIA show web.jpg

Caption: Two tups from Ian Murray’s Glenway flock will be on the EBLEX stand in Paris

A quartet of British Texel rams have been the star attraction this week at the world famous Salon International D’Agriculture (SIA), better known as the Paris Show.

The rams, sourced from flocks in the North East of England formed the centrepiece of the livestock display on the EBLEX stand at the event, helping draw French farmers and consumers to the stand to learn more about the high quality breeding stock and lamb available from England.

All four rams were selected by French breeders for use in French Texel flocks following a number of visits to the UK in the last 12 months by delegations of French breeders.

The rams were bought by leading French breeding company Genetique Ovine De France Sarl and will be used in a number of Texel flocks in northern France and have been sourced from the Glenway flock of Ian Murray, Northumberland, and the Alwent and Deneside flocks of the Nesbitt family, Co Durham.

Mr Murray said he was delighted to have secured further export business having previously exported Texels to Switzerland.

The Glenway tups are both high indexed sheep, with one being a top 5% son of £8,000 sire Teiglum Nightlight and the other being by 30,000gns Castleknowe Matchmaker and out of a Lumbylaw-bred dam.

Meanwhile Mr Nisbett said the export demonstrated the exceptional quality of the Texels now found in the UK. “The two rams we’re sending are from some of our best lines and also carry good performance figures.”

Both rams are by 18,000gns sire Allanfauld Rockafella, a tup bought in partnership at the Lanark sale in 2010. “One has an index of 354 and is out of an Alwent Neutron daughter, while the other goes back to Mellorvale Masterpiece. They were picked by the French for both their performance and their breed character.”

Additionally, the breeders have selected a number of stock rams to collect semen from for export to France later in the year ahead of the 2012 breeding season. Sires selected include Ettrick Rainbow Warrior owned jointly by Messrs Wilkinson and Nisbett, Teiglum Rembrandt owned by the Clark family, Ettrick Sir Alan owned by Gordon Gray, Knock Papoose owned by Maurice Hardy-Bishop, Milnbank Sargeant Pepper owned by Keith Jamieson and Cambwell Laird owned by Robert Laird.

Commenting on the semen export former British Texel Sheep Society president Mr Gray said it was a real ‘coals to Newcastle‘ moment for the Texel breed. “To be exporting Texel genetics back to France nearly 40 years after the first Texels came to Britain is a mark of the breed’s success in Britain.

“The French breeders were blown away by the quality of the British Texels they saw when they visited last year and particularly by the quality of their conformation, skins and character. Their enthusiasm for our Texels was fantastic to see.”

The quality of British Texel genetics is quickly becoming widely recognised across Europe and demand is increasing as more European sheep producers recognise the exceptional growth and carcass traits offered by the breed, said Mr Yates.

It’s all good news for British breeders and is clear recognition of the exceptional work they’ve done in developing the breed since its first importation into Britain nearly 40 years ago, he added.

“We’ve worked hard in recent years to ensure the world knows about the quality of the British Texel and the demand for British genetics is now being seen across the globe. The Texel breed’s strength in depth in the UK and the variety or phenotypes on offer here means we have something to suit every market and are well placed to serve export markets in the future.”