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A seventy per cent clearance and average of £2,407 on 159 sold, sealed the success of the first Suffolk Sheep sale of the season, despite Bluetongue movement restrictions which barred many of vendors and buyers in protection zones from participating.
Iain Barbour with the top price 32,000gns – selling shares to Tom Bailey, Co Meath and Judith Barbour
Robbie Wilson, Strathisla, Aberdeenshire, dominated proceedings selling two of the six five figure rams sold: Namely his show champion – this year’s Royal Highland breed champion, a ram lamb by Strathisla Speed, out of a ewe by Glenho Gurkha with grand dam by Glenisla Godfather. This netted him 25,000gns paid by Alfred and Norman Robinson, of Benrafton, Co Down, NI. Wilson sold a second Speed lamb, this time out of a dam by Bawnogue Blazing Star and part of the fifth prize pen, for 10,000gns to G Stuart, Birness, and R H Black, Collesie, Fife.
The pace of the sale was set when two lots from the first consignment in the ring, C A Proctor and Co of Conveth, Aberdeenshire, took 5,000gns each. This was for a Strathisla Schumacher lamb purchased by Herbert Stanley, Bawnogue, Co Laois and a lamb by Deveronside Whistleblower bought by S and M Liggett, Carony, Co Tyrone, NI.
Iain Barbour with the top price 32,000gns selling shares
Iain led a string of victorious new and younger vendors, including Gary Beacom, of Lakeview, Co Fermanagh, NI, who achieved 15,000gns for his ram by Shannagh Shergar, out of a dam by Strathisla Kingsway, jointly purchased by Brydon Nicholson, Innfield, Shetland and Robbie Wilson. Also Northern Ireland’s Mark Priestley of Limestone notched up 7,500gns for a lamb by Cairness Destiny, out of a ewe by Castlewellan Tonto. The ram was supreme champion at Saintfield Show and East Down Male of the year, NI.
Selling three rams each Barbour and Beacom netted the highest averages, of £11,585 and £6,020, respectively, while Robbie nipped in a close third averaging £5,973 on a powerful team of ten.
Fourth on the averages and third highest price – 20,000gns – went to Jimmy Douglas, of Cairness when Belgium buyer Claude Vanwijnsberghe, of Meierie used a strong euro to secure Douglas’ first in ring, a ram by Cairness Renovator, out of a dam by Stockton Stardust and grand dam by Fordafourie Lochnagar. With the largest consignment of the day, Douglas averaged £4,625 on 11 sold, including two selling at 7,000gns: A Muiresk King of Diamonds lamb out of his fourth prize pen went to County Turf, Scunthorpe, with a half share retained by Douglas; and a lamb by Whitestone Warrior, jointly purchased by Harry Sleigh, Wells, Aberdeenshire and Gordon Troup, Whitestone, Aberdeenshire. Cairnesses seventh prize lamb yielded 2,000gns to Gray and Sons of Langside, Lanark.
The sale’s sixth five figure ram went to Myfyr Evans, Rhaeadr, North Wales – his consignment of nine had already picked up red colours in the pen of three – attracting significant attention. It was father and daughter, Chris and Sally Holmes, Rookery, Worcestershire who bid 11,000gns for a ram by Thurston Calzaghe out of a dam by Plasllewelyn Prince of Wales. Also out of the pen of three came another ram by Calzaghe realising 5000gns ram to J K Teare, Isle of Man, while Hazel Martindale of Landale, Lockerbie, took home Evans’ fourth prize ram lamb, by Baileys Blockbuster for 8,000gns..
Reserve champion and first prize in the MLC class went to William and Stephanie Tait’s, of Co Tyrone, NI, Burnview. The ram by Baileys Invincible was another travelling to Worcestershire, purchased by rshire, purchased by Paul Fletcher of Callow who paid 3,000gns. The Taits top price was a joint purchase of 4,000gns shared by R & R Scott, Drumpark, Banffshire and Gordon Mackie, Drimmie. The couple’s reserve pen of three including two Invincible rams and one by Burnview Beamer, yielded 2,500gns, 1,800 and 1000gns.
Other prize cards that made an impact in the sale ring were: Second prize ram lamb and reserve northern champion George Stuart’s, Birness ram by Castlewellan Eyecatcher was snapped up by John Campbell, Thrunton, Northumberland, for 7,000gns, while sixth prize from K & L Mair, Deveronside, Aberdeenshire, stayed in the county going to J Young of Muirton, for 5,000gns. Eighth prize ram lamb, presented by James Young, sold to Lilburn Estates for 5,000gns; County Turf, Scunthorpe, ninth prize lamb, 4,000gns to Helen Goldie, Harpercroft, Ayrshire.
Show judge, Viv Samuels of Herefordshire, praised classes of up to 47 entries: “It has been good to judge modern carcases which are well fleshed – what today’s meat trade needs, while retaining breed characteristics.”
Auctioneer, David Leggatt of UA commented: “Numbers forward were affected by Bluetongue; nevertheless we are very pleased to achieve a 70% sale rate, against a backdrop of healthy bidding. Also it was good to see so many youngsters getting their first taste of real success.
Society Chairman, Michael Weaver, adds: “Considering the uncertainty of bluetongue zones we are very pleased, it has been a more level trade without the major peaks – that would be a good thing for breeders as a whole. Despite the restrictions only ten less lambs were sold than last year and overall average was on a par with 2006 and back a bit on 2007. What was really good was to see so many youngsters enjoying success.”
I Barbour, Solwaybank, £11,585 3; G Beacom, Lakeview, NI, £6,020 (3); R H Wilson, Strathisla, £5,973 (9); J G Douglas, £4,625 (11); Myfyr Evans, Rhaeadr, £3,974 (9); K & L Mair, Deveronside, Aberdeenshire, £2,538 (4); Proctor & Co, Conveth, £2,336 (8); S & W Tait, Burnview, £2,293 (6); T & J Bailey, Baileys, Co Meath, Eire, £2,152 (4); J H Stewart, Castlewellan, Co Down, £1,720 (5); Angus O Wilson, Glenhead, Roxburghshire, £1,645 (6); George Stuart, Birness, Aberdeenshire, £1,516 (8); J H Christie, Westcarse, Stirlingshire, £1,418 (6); J & A Howie, Hillend, Lanarkshire, £1,391 (4); Gordon Mackie, Drimme, Angus, £1,050, (4).
Ram Lamb (MLC) 1, S & W Tait, Burnview, NI; 2, K & L Mair, Deveronside; 3, Thomas Darling, Howeburn, Berwickshire; 4, J M Stewart, Gransha, Co Down, NI; 5, J & A Howie, Hillend, Lanarkshire; 6, P Machray, Middlemuir, Aberdeenshire.
Open Ram Lamb 1, R H Wilson, Strathisla, 2, G L Stuart, Birness, 3, W & S Tait, Burnview; 4, Myfyr Evans, Rhaeadr; 5 T & J Bailey, Baileys; 6 K & L Mair, Deveronside; 7, J G Douglas, Cairness; 8 James Young, Muirton, 9 County Turf, Hazeltree; 10, H
P Sleigh & Son, Wells.
Pen of three 1, Myfyr Evans; 2, S & W Tait; 3, G Mackie, Drimme, Angus; 4, J G Douglas; 5, R H Wilson; 6, G L Stuart, Birness.
Champion R H Wilson; Reserve, S & W Tait.
Northern champion R H Wilson, Reserve, G L Stuart.