Wet Dorset Down sale hits £620


DOsetDown2012 web.JPGA drenched crowd gathered at Ston Easton for the Annual Dorset Down Sheep Breeders Association Sale where prices hit £620 for a shearling ram.


Auctioneers Andrew Lane reported that although numbers of buyers and sellers were depleted as the region experienced a deluge of rain, trade was hot for the ewes and rams on offer.


“Many first time buyers were out in force including some returning to native downland sheep attracted by the breed’s outstanding fleshing ability off grass, there high fertility and prolificy and fast growth rate, all of which are readily passed on when crossed.”


Top price was for a shearling ram from K J Osborne and Sons’ Goodwick Flock from Radstock selling at £620 to Simon Pearce Gloucester to join his Widdenhill Flock. 


Tom Osborne commented that this ram had attracted much attention since birth especially as he had grown both quickly and with balance, a rare feature.  Simon Pearce said that he knew that he had to have him as a stud ram as soon as he saw him “because he looks ever inch a flock improver”.


The next highest price went to W D Burrough and Sons Axminster (Benley) for their shearling ram. This Devon County Show 2012 Breed Champion, sold at £600 to P J Hope Hereford, who was returning to the breed after a period of keeping Suffolks. 


Alec Walters, Dorchester, sold a shearling from his prize winning flock, ahead of his planned major reduction sale on 8 September,  to Messrs R and A Wood Bristol.  This was closely followed by a £450 call from James Legg of Bridport for another quality shearling from W D Burrough and Sons. 


Females were much in demand headed by Simon Pearce’s shearling at £320 to P J Hope who also bought others from the same flock at £260 and £220.  Richard Holloway of E B Holloway and Son near Yeovil is celebrating the 70th Anniversary of breeding Dorset Down sheep and certainly had a platinum day with shearling ewes selling at £320 twice to PJ  Hope and Ben Marshall (Mere, Wilts) and then £310 and £290 to James Legg.  Ian Todd sold the best of his shearlings to £280 and Messrs RB Hebditch selling at £270 and £260.  Ewe lambs sold to £140 for Association Chairman Dr Jane McMinn to Clive Best (Wareham).


Averages: Old rams, £250; shearling rams, £440; flock ewes, £210; shearling ewes, £268; ewe lambs, £115. (Auctioneers Andrew Lane)