The great divide that splits Cheshire into two trading areas under bluetongue restrictions once again imposed a two-venue sale for the traditional New Year in-lamb fixture for Texel and Beltex breeders with prices reaching 800gns at Beeston Castle and 450gns at Chelford.
The continued co-operation between auctioneers Frank R Marshall (Chelford) and Wright Manley (Beeston Castle) ensured trading facilities were offered to all vendors consigning sheep to both the North West Texel Breeders Club and Beltex Sheep Society fixtures – although the unrestricted client base doing business at Beeston Castle enjoyed the most spirited trade.
It is worth noting that two north west buyers successfully negotiated with vendors who agreed to take sheep home and to test them under the new pre-movement regulations at the end of the month. No show classes were held at either venue.
The Texel club fixture always attracts a good entry from Selkirk-based breeder Gordon Gray and the need for him to sell sheep through the ring at Beeston Castle this year did nothing to deter the appeal of sheep from his noted Ettrick flock.
Anglesey breeder Harry Evans was at the sale in search of some top class ewes – and the Ettrick consignment had just what he wanted. He gave the day’s top price of 800gns for a shearling by Muiresk Jeremy – a son of top producer Craighead Hercules – in lamb to the Ettrick Jackpot sired Ettrick Nutcracker.
He also paid 650gns for a shearling by Lyonshall Lucky Strike that was carrying twins to Teilo Mathonwy.
More cash came Mr Gray’s way with a 600gns call from Graham Meaden, Oswestry, Shropshire to secure a shearling by Knock Firefly in lamb to Thinacres Masambula.
Paying most for a shearling from regular consignor Peter Woof’s Stainton flock at Kendal was Neil Pamplin, Northampton. He gave 580gns for a shearling by Stainton Inherit and in lamb to Cambwell Mountain.
A small entry of Beltex at Beeston Castle peaked at 370gns for a 2005-bred ewe from Evan Evans, Anglesey taken by Mr Critchley, Preston.
The failure of one major vendor to bring his sheep to the Chelford sale dealt a blow to buyers’ expectations but demand was good for the limited entry. Bidding reached 450gns for a Beltex shearling from the Frazier family’s Coningswick flock based at Kidderminster. By Pentland Hero and carrying twins, she was bought by Peter Woof but returns to Coningswick.
The Highlander flock of Lincolnshire breeders Frank and Auriol Robinson led the Beltex ewes selling a Llwynneuadd Gigalo daughter at 300gns to Peter Woof.
Averages: Beeston Castle – Texel shearlings £178, ewes £280; Beltex shearlings £173, ewes £263. Chelford – Texel shearlings £122, ewes £110. Beltex shearlings £267, ewes £211. (Frank R Marshall and Wright Manley).
Trade underway at Beeston Auction Mart.
Trade underway at Chelford.