A grand day out for Suffolk fans at Santon dispersal

SANDY FRASER’S Santon Suffolk flock, one of the most respected and successful of modern times, was dispersed at Carlisle last weekend, where breeders competed for females carrying 45 years of proven genetics.

Renowned for his females, who have taken innumerable awards at the highest level for decades, Mr Fraser ended his career in style and presented over 150 sheep to a capacity crowd.

Despite ewes being less than eight weeks away from lambing, the entire flock looked in top order after being moved from Lincs to Borderway Mart for the sale.

Although most buyers had come to select Santon females, rumours were rife about which of the breed’s big guns would come head-to-head for the service sire Cairness Destiny bought at Edinburgh in August.

Many leading Suffolk names were around the ringside including the ram’s breeder Jimmy Douglas from Fraserburgh. He sold this son of Middlemuir Winston – going back to Stockton Storm on the dam’s side – for 30,000gns originally.

Having done his job and made many of the Santon in-lamb ewes an even more tempting package, Destiny looked set to earn back a big part of his investment. And he did. At 18,000gns he goes home to Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, but this time the owner is J Gibb.

The 42 gimmers were the stars of the day and averaged £1047. And it was a powerful gimmer from one of the flock’s most successful lines that made 3500gns. By Cairness Barnstormer and out of a Santon Xtasy ewe, she was in-lamb to Destiny and joins the Rookery flock of Chris Holmes in Worcs.

Also bound for Rookery was the dam of the 5500 Santon Scooby Doo that was bought by the Cairness and Muiresk flocks at Kelso.

Roger Weaver snapped up the first gimmer in the ring for his Perrinpit flock in Glos. He paid 3400gns for this Barnstormer-Xtasy combination that was in-lamb to Destiny.

A gimmer by Santon Zinzan and out of a Santon Trooper dam looked a smart package and was claimed by Warks breeder Charles Harding. She was in-lamb to Destiny and realised 2300gns.

Ewe lambs reached 1600gns for a Santon Xtasy daughter that was second at the Royal Show. Buyers were H and T Weaver, Orkney.

Averages: 41 ewes £763; 42 shearlings £1047; 58 ewe lambs £577 and five rams £4452 (Harrison and Hetherington).