Hampshire Downs established a new 1,050gns breed centre record for a ewe lamb in Stratford on Sunday at the breed association’s annual national show and sale.
Sale leader at 1,050gns was an entry by Wattisfield What Not and out of a Yarcombe sired homebred dam from Kevin and Anna McCarthy’s 50 ewe Ballycreelly flock, Comber, County Down. A class winner at the Balmoral, she returned over the water with Tony McCrath, to join his newly established 20 ewe flock based at Dungannon.
At 760gns, Mr McCarthy went on to sell the day’s highest male entry, a ram lamb to the Derryman family, Yarcombe, Honiton. A first class winner, was by Wattisfield What Not sired Ballycreelly Why Not, he was out of a homebred ewe. Earlier on another Ballycreelly ram lamb, this time by Ballycreelly What Thedevil and out of a Ballyvester sired ewe commanded 700gns. He was secured by Dutch breeder, Harrie Roekevisch, Lochem who also went to 450gns for a ram lamb by Wattisfield Bertie Boy from HJW Knight and Son’s Westland flock, Marshfield, Chippenham.
The champion SRS ram lamb from Richard Cole, Chaddlehanger, Tavistock was secured for 750gns by David, Denise and Harry Middleditch, Belchamp St Paul, Sudbury. Sired by the 920gns Wattisfield Topliner and out of a Yarcombe sired ewe, he was within the breed’s top 1% with a 317.28 Index.
Another same way bred top 1% ram lamb from Mr Cole made 540gns to Jennifer Atkinson and David Smith, Market Rasen who also paid 560gns for a shearling ram from Mike Adams, Wotton under Edge. Sired by Whitehead Crusader, he was out of a Yarcombe sired homebred ewe.
Next at 680gns was a ram lamb from Arthur Brown and Gill Beckley, Templecombe to Alf Pink, Nether Poppleton, York. Sired by Westland Echo and out of a Owslebury sired ewe from their 15 ewe flock, he had secured the Royal Bath and West breed title last month and at Stratford was awarded the overall championship by judge, Phil Kettle who commented: “This ram lamb was an obvious winner; he was a good bodied sheep, stood correct on all four corners, and in particular had a very good backend.”
The Derryman family’s highest entry at 540gns was a ram lamb within the breed’s top 1% by Court Jester and out of a homebred ewe going back to New Zealand lines. The buyer was N Coles, St Wenn, Bodmin. At 510gns the Middleditch family offered a shearling ram by Wattisfield Jimmy and out of a Ballyvester sired homebred dam. The buyer was M Beckwith, Gargrave, Skipton.
Other leading female entries included a shearling ewe at 750gns to Bethany Phillips, Blaydon Burn, Tyne and Wear. Bred and exhibited by Jim Cresswell, Wattisfield, Diss, she was by Westland Bertie and out of a Wattisfield Top Draw sired homebred ewe.
Shearling ewe entries were in the money from Chris and Kay Westlake’s Owlesbury flock, Cadeleigh, Tiverton. Chapman and Clements, Tonbridge bid 500gns for an entry by Yarcombe Apollo and out of a homebred ewe, while another Apollo sired ewe made 460gns to Lisa Chasney, Green Hammerton, York. Graeme and Judith Galbraith, Endmoor, Kendal bid 440gns for an Owslebury bred shearling ewe, this time by Parkstock Royal.
Averages: 16 SRS ram lambs £485.95; nine shearling rams £431.67; six ram lambs £423.50; 17 shearling ewes £385.72; 10 ewe lambs £359.10.
Auctioneers: Henry H Bletsoe and Son