Nine-year-old sells ewe lamb to raise £600 for Ukraine appeal

A nine-year old boy has raised £600 for the Ukraine appeal by selling a Blue Texel cross Black Beltex ewe lamb.

Oliver Ruggeri sold the lamb at Welshpool Market on Monday (18 April).

Oliver approached the market a few weeks ago about selling his lamb to support the people of Ukraine who have been devastated by the Russian invasion of the country.

“I saw so many children who were starving and I decided I’d like to do something about it,” he said.

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The lamb – now named, Olivia – was the first from Oliver’s own Blue Texel ewes, purchased by his father, James. “I wanted to have some black sheep because all of Dad’s were white, so I got some lovely Texels,” said Oliver.

Black sheep

Mr Ruggeri explained: “Both Oliver and his brother Daniel have a couple of ewes at the farm. They used to get really excited whenever we had a black sheep on the farm as it was a rare occurrence, so I bought them a Blue Texel each.

“A friend of ours then gave the boys a Black Beltex ram to put onto their ewes, which is how we ended up with a Blue Texel cross Black Beltex lamb. The lamb Oliver sold at market was the first of his own lambs, born this time last year.”

James said that Oliver had been learning about the war in Ukraine at school and they were watching the news together when he asked what he could do to help. Together, they then came up with the idea of auctioning Oliver’s lamb.

“I was keen to make sure he understood what selling it would mean because he really does love his sheep, but he was sure in what he wanted to do.”

Mr Ruggeri said that he was “incredibly proud” of his son’s decision.

Price match

The mallet went down at £300 for the ewe lamb which sold to Steve Smith for breeding. This was price-matched by the market, taking the total raised to £600. Auctioneer Tom Davies said this decision was made to both support the young farmer and the people of Ukraine in light of the ongoing crisis.

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, the answer was – of course – a sheep farmer, and Oliver added that his dream flock would consist solely of Badger Face Welsh Mountain sheep.

“I would also like to say thank you to the market for letting me sell my lamb,” he added.