was a packed ringside throughout Borderway Mart’s first sale
of alpacas when the majority of noted breeder Pat Bentley’s
Syke House herd went under the hammer on Saturday (September 13)
selling to a top price of 6,400gns.
It was an emotional day for Pat Bentley, one of the country’s pioneers
in alpaca breeding who founded her Syke House Alpacas herd 20 years ago
at Syke House, Newby, near Penrith in Cumbria. She sold 96 alpacas from
females with calves, yearling females to geld males.
Pat Bentley, a founder member of British Camelids, the British Alpaca Society
and the British Alpaca Fine Fibre Co-operative, plans to take a “second” retirement
to spend more time with her family and the sale was the fruits of her efforts
over the last two decades.
Pat’s good friend and auctioneer John Thornborrow, of Penrith joined
Harrison & Hetherington auctioneer David Thomlinson in the rostrum
and while not selling he gave a commentary on each animal.
David Thomlinson said: “It was a great sale with a total clearance
which rewarded Pat Bentley for her efforts in alpaca breeding over the
last 20 years.” He has conducted two other sales of alpacas this
year, both in the south of the country.
People attended the sale from across the country, including great support
from Pat’s friends, and telephone bids were being taken from prospective
purchasers as far afield as Gloucestershire.
Pat Bentley said: “It was the first alpaca sale ever to have sold
out. There were 26 buyers, quite a few of them augmenting their own herds
and a few new breeders.
Buyers were selecting animals on their fleece quality and micron
count which is a reflection that breeders are looking seriously at
the commercial future of alpaca breeding.
“ In the 20 years I have been involved with alpacas, I have been concentrating
on breeding animals that are reproductively reliable, to get good fleeces and
strong conformation equipping them for a long healthy, productive life,” she
“ All females in the sale were proven to be good mothers, easy calvers
and have a consistently early return to the male.”
Top price of the sale was paid by Ms Jane Eden, of Askerton Castle,
Brampton, Carlisle, for Titania a two year old white female with
her dark brown female calf at foot which was born in June this
year. She was also in calf to the stud male Chisa Araquipa. Her
fibre is high quality with a low micron count of 21.9u.
at 6,400gns with female calf
Ms Eden also bought another female outfit with calf, the white Blanco,
for 5,400gns along with Memura, a light fawn female, at 3,400gns among
the higher priced animals.
Females with calves made the most money – second top price of 6,000gns
went to Clifton Gyll another light fawn female, again two, with her mid
fawn female calf at foot born in May this year.
Purchasers were Gilmour Bank Alpacas, of Gilmour Bank Farm, Lochmaben,
Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, who bought a further three lots among the leading
The highest price for a yearling female called Tenacity was 5,000gns which
went to Messrs Johnson, of Grange Barn, Sutton Grange, Ripon, North Yorkshire,
who bought a further two lots.
The sale met a total clearance with the exception of the stud male Chisa
Araquipa, born in 1996 in Chile, which was bid to 7,500gns but failed to
meet its reserve price and left the ring unsold.
This major reduction sale leaves Pat Bentley with a small, select group
of breeding alpacas, the retired females, old geldings and unreliable breeders
will live out their days at Syke House.
Lot 29, Titania, white female with dark brown female calf at foot, 6,400gns
to Ms JR Eden, Askerton Castle, Brampton, Cumbria. Lot 31, Clifton Gyll,
light fawn female with mid fawn female calf at foot, 6,000gns to Gilmour
Bank Alpacas, Gilmour Bank Farm, Lochmaben, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire.
Lot 27, Rosie, Rosegrey female with dark brown male calf at foot, 5,500gns
to MT & JM Fowler-Jones & Partners, Water Hall Farm, Sutton, Thirsk,
Lot 32, Blanco, white female with white female calf at foot, 5,400gns to
Ms JR Eden.
Lot 28, Piaso, black female with dark brown female calf at foot, 5,000gns
to Messrs Johnson, Grange Barn, Sutton Grange, Ripon, North Yorkshire.
Lot 61, Tenacity, dark brown female, 5,000gns to Messrs Johnson.
Lot 63, Misstarta, mid fawn female, 4,700gns to Messrs Johnson.
Lot 20, Helisha, mid brown female with dark brown female calf at foot,
4,300gns to Gilmour Bank Alpacas.
Lot 32A, flax fawn female with mid brown calf at foot, 4,000gns to Gilmour
Lot 62, Pipetta, white female, 3,650gns to Greenside Alpacas, Greenside
Farm, Lupton, Cumbria.
Lot 10, Helga, black female with dark brown female calf at foot, 3,600gns
to H Luscombe, High Lodge, Goodenbergh Country Park, Low Bentham, Lancaster.
Lot 49, Memura, Light fawn female, 3,400gns to Ms JR Eden.
Lot 26, Samantha, black female with dark brown female calf at foot,
3,200gns to MT & JM Fowler-Jones and Partners.
Lot 30, Leshta, mid fawn female with mid fawn male calf at foot, 3,000gns
to Gilmour Bank Alpacas.
Lot 55, Veronica, mid fawn female, 3,000gns to Fowberry Alpacas, Fowberry
Tower, Wooler, Northumberland.
Averages: 30 in calf females with calves at foot, £2,982;
17 in calf females with no calves, £1,979.56; 12 yearling
females, not mated, £2,725.63; 17 yearling males, entire, £634.32;
15 geldings, £288.40.