1500gns tops a strong Blueface sheep fixture
By Jeremy Hunt
EXPECTATIONS of a strong trade were fulfilled at the Blue-faced Leicester breed associations in-lamb ewe show and sale which saw a top price of 1500gns.
The event at Carlisle saw a big crowd gathered for the mornings judging. The 31 ewes then averaged £387 – up £144 on the year – while the 12 shearling gimmers levelled at £481, a rise of £288.
The judge, leading breeder Mr William Wearmouth, was presented with a useful bunch of aged ewes – but Alec Bissets 1993-bred entry stood out for style and size.
Bred in his Middle Dukesfield flock in the breeds heartland at Hexham, she is no stranger to standing at the top of the line. She took the reserve female championship at the 1994 Great Yorkshire Show and followed that with good wins at Slaley, Allendale and Blanchland.
By a Brisco Hill tup and in-lamb to an Addingham sire, she headed the class and finished the day as reserve champion.
She was bought by Jack Kay and Sons, Lauder, Berwickshire for the second highest price of 1300gns.
The Kay family also paid 800gns for a 1993-bred ewe from the Bush-on-Lyne flock of R G and W M Brough and Son, Carlisle.
The shearling gimmer class could have been stronger but when the entries were loosed it was a good ewe from Castle Douglas breeder David Cruikshanks Nithsdale flock that earned the judges first tap with the crook.
By a Ravenscar tup and in-lamb to a Hawber ram she had been champion at Ayr Show last year. She heads back to Scotland with Peter Smith, Stirling at 1100gns.
Ringsiders had a treat in store with the ewe lamb class. A good Cowden-bred lamb from John Stott at Chipping, Preston could have been out in front here but she met a real eye-catcher on top form from John Smith-Jacksons Shafthill flock at Haltwhistle.
She was a convincing class winner and after much deliberation for the overall championship by Mr Wearmouth, during which he paid close attention to teeth, the lamb was made champion.
"A very impressive ewe lamb, a lovely outlook, great skin and colour and a worthy winner," commented the judge.
Mr Smith-Jackson, who was making his first visit to this sale, has been breeding Blue-faced Leicesters for 11 years. He runs 25 pedigree ewes alongside 300 Swaledales and 90 suckler cows.
His triplet born champion is out of a ewe he bought at the Linkins flock dispersal last year for 900gns.
A full brother made £2000 at Hexham in October.
The champion, by a Fawdon sire, made 600gns to J Sheddon, Kilmarnock Ayrshire.
The days top price of 1500gns came for an unshown ewe from the College flock of Bill Skidmore and Sons, Eastgate, Bishop Auckland.
This shearling, which the owners admitted was "not a show type", comes from a good crossing line and highlights the growing emergence within the Blue-faced Leicester of sheep which meet the "showring" breed standard and those – often more highly prized – whose "crossing" qualities associated with the breeding of Mules is the selection criteria.
The Nunscleugh-bred ewe was carrying triplets to a 5500gns Gapshield tup bought at Carlisle last autumn. Buyer at 1500gns was Mrs Ruth Dent, Barnard Castle, Co Durham.
AVERAGES: 31 ewes £387; 12 shearling gimmers £481; 16 in-lamb ewe lambs £164 and three empty ewe lambs £469. (Harrison and Hetherington)
John Smith-Jackson with the champion ewe lamb that sold for 600gns.
NIHolsteins are all cleared
THE New Year show and sale of the Northern Ireland Holstein Breeders Club saw a total clearance following a lively trade.
Best call was 1800gns given for Ronald McLean and Sons Relough Muffler 85th from their herd at Donaghmore, Co Tyrone. Sold freshly calved, she is by the Blackstar son Lachstone Dynamite and bred from one of the herds most successful families. Buyer was David Knox, Garvagh.
A smart red-and-white heifer, Fidlersgreen T-Hazel Red, from Austen Alexander, Annalong, Co Down found a band of ready bidders prepared to take home this daughter of Grangehill Triple Buck. Offered freshly calved she stood second for the reserve overall championship under judge and well-known stockman James Mathers, Strabane. She realised 1750gn to David McCully, Ballyward, Co Down.
At 1740gns Printshop Astre Cherry 29th, a calved heifer out of a Barbican Eagle dam, went to Roy Jackson, Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone.
Best price for J and E Stevenson, Co Down was 1660gns given by John Shannon, Rathfriland for their Sabbiona Bookie sired heifer Aughnahoory Gwen 4th.
The championship was won by Sovereign Chris 54th, a Tab heifer out of a Starbuck dam. She sold for 1600gns to an unnamed buyer. (Automart)
SOUTH Brent, Devon, was the venue for a recent milking portion dispersal, which saw an average of £757 for 70 head.
The sale of Holstein Friesians, held for Mr and Mrs W R * Baron, drew buyers from as far away as Staffordshire.
A third calver by Ron-Nan Butternut made the top price of 1000gns. This December calver was giving 38.6kg a day and was bought by C Congdon, Saltash.
A third lactation Prima daughter made 920gns to the Grassland Research Unit, Okehampton, who also claimed a Hol-Steins Omar first calver at 900gns.
A November calved heifer by Nordkap also realised 900gns and October calving heifers peaked at 750gns for one by Peartone Jackpot. (Stags)
All change upward at Crewe event
AFTER a flying start to the New Year trade for dairy cattle at Crewe, the markets regular mid-month fixture continued the upward trend last week.
"Everything from bulling heifers to calved cows were a pleasure to sell. It was an absolute flyer from start to finish with only one lot out of 129 entries remaining unsold," said a spokesman for auctioneers Wright-Manley, busy preparing for a bumper entry at the next North Western Holstein Friesian club sale.
Bidding twice reached 1400gns at the gathering. It came first for a calved heifer from Lord Rayleigh Farms, Essex. Terling Flosshall 691st, a Hanoverhill Stardom daughter, went to J T Bunting, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
An unregistered heifer from Warks vendor L Smalley shared top billing. By Haldrey Leadership and giving 31kg a day she went to Maurice Cowgill, Gisburn, North Yorks.
A great demand for young stock in all divisions took bulling heifers to 550gns and in-calvers to 725gns.
AVERAGES: 41 in-milk cows £898, 14 in-calf cows £904, 56 in-milk heifers £1005 and 12 in-calf heifers £973. (Wright-Manley.)