Trade topped at 12,000gns at the National Sheep Association Wales and Border’s 40th anniversary ram sale at Builth on Monday (17 September).
Organisers described trade as “solid” in what has been an unpredictable year, with an 80% clearance for the 4,727 sheep forward and trade down by just 5% on the year, with turnover totalling £1.84m.
Executive director Jane Smith said good rams had sold well but otherwise trade was reflective of the current political and weather concerns.
See also: Mixed trade sees quality shine at Kelso
“In a year when trade has been unpredictable, we’ve seen a fairly solid trade, with some really high prices for top tups. Prices reflected the fact that it’s been such a difficult year and some farmers are into winter supplies. It’s really concentrated minds.”
Sale leader was a Bluefaced Leicester ram from Tudor and Janet Harris, Vale of Glamorgan, who run 40 pedigree Bluefaced Leicester breeding ewes.
The Bonvilston yearling was out of a home-bred ewe put to the sire Cendy. It had won the breed yearling class at the pre-sale show and went on to claim reserve champion.
It sold jointly to Hazel Brown, Leadburnlea, and Martin Qunn, Whinnyhall, Fife.
Bluefaced Leicester averages: 16 aged rams, £518.44 (-£143.64 on year) 100% clearance; 369 shearling rams, £502.39 (-£54.68) 86% clearance; 89 ram lambs, £603.81 (-£40.70) 73% clearance.
Next in the money, and the highest-priced Texel on the day, was a Canllefaes yearling at 5,200gns from brother and sister Euros and Myfannwy Davies, Cardigan, Ceredigion.
It won the breed championship in the pre-sale show and was one of 13 tups brought to Builth by the Davies.
The yearling’s father, Talcoed You Know, was purchased at Welshpool two years ago. It sold to WG Davies and Son, Gelli Farm, Penderyn.
Texel averages: 177 rams, £498.36 (+£6.78) Clearance 86%; 675 shearling rams, £682.17 (-£54.40) 93% clearance; 340 ram lambs, £373.61 (-£41.26) 78% clearance.
A home-bred shearling from Geoff and Bridget Probert, who run the Mortimer Charollais flock of 160 pedigree ewes in Leominster, Herefordshire, topped the Charollais trade at 4,000gns.
By Foulrice Powerhouse, this one is out of a home-bred ewe by Galtres Never Say Never Again.
It sold to Huw Roberts, who runs the Bachymbyd flock at Ruthin, and is the third ram he has bought from them.
Charollais averages: Three ages rams, £430.50 (-£94.50) 100% clearance; 182 shearling rams, £606.87 (+£1.72) 86% clearance; 127 ram lambs, £469.85 (+£9.47) 71% clearance.
Retiring Suffolk producer and NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale committee member John Sinnett secured the highest Suffolk price of 1,500gns. The buyer was A Meredith, Hoarwithy, Hereford.
Suffolk averages: 280 non-MV rams, £559.53; 87% clearance; 87 MV ram lambs, £397.43 (+£21.61) 74%.
Overall averages: 3,815 lots sold, £482.33 (- £26.70 on the year). Clearance rate of 81% (91% in 2017).
Other breed top prices and averages
Blue Texel: 2,200gns. Vendor: Matthew Jones, Talsarnau, Gwynedd. Buyer: Paul Tippetts, Shifnal, Shropshire. Averages: 14 rams, £554.68 (+£161.68) 88% clearance; 19 ram lambs, £423.32 (+£45.99) 70% clearance.
Berrichon: 2,200gns. Vendor: GB Thomas, Pontarddulais, Swansea. Buyer: R Davenport Sandbach, Cheshire. Averages: 34 shearling rams, £396.84 (+£78.60) 89% clearance; six ram lambs, £691.25 (+£363.12) 100% clearance.
Lleyn: 2,000gns. Vendor: Derek Steen, Dumfriesshire. Buyer: Lionel Organ, Llandysul. Averages: 71 MV rams, £398.11 (-£114.04) 66% clearance.
Beltex: 1,300gns Vendor: John Owens, Woodhouse Farm, Leominster. Buyer: DL Jones of Lampeter. Averages: 33 rams, £426.05 (-£57.49) 59% clearance; 295 x rams, £434.97 (-£169.17) 75% clearance.
Border Leicester: 1,100gns. Vendor: Mrs J Morgan, Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Aberystwyth. Buyer: RJ and SE Whitcombe, Petersfield. Averages: 60 rams, £299.60 (-£222.46) 67% clearance; 2 ram lambs, £178.50 (-£346.50) 50% clearance.
Badger Face: 1,240gns Vendor: Malcolm Evans, Cynwyl Elfed. Buyer: G Jones, Felingwn, Carmarthen. Averages: 14 shearling rams, £406.50 (+£134.81) 88% clearance; 17 ram lambs, £272.38 (-£50.08) 61% clearance.
Welsh Mountain: 1,200gns. Vendor: A and M Jones Builth Wells. Buyer: G and A Orrells, Abermule. Averages: 114 rams, £4437.41 (-£71.85). 65% clearance.
South Country Cheviot: 1,100gns. Vendor: WJC Weir, Kelso. Buyer: WN Douglas, Selkirk. Averages: 72 rams, £418.32 (-£6.22). 96% clearance.