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County Down Fisherman
choses Beltex for Easy Lambing

    Increased Demand for Beltex Rams Continues at Carlisle
15/08/05

The continuing increase in demand for Beltex rams was underlined at the premier show and sale of the breed at Carlisle on Thursday and Friday (August 11 and 12).

Nearly 20 per cent more shearling rams were sold and a similar increase followed in the number of shearling gimmers which went under the hammer.

And Beltex Sheep Society officials were pleased with continued increasing popularity of the terminal sire breed which is attracting both new pedigree and commercial breeders as well as previously established breeders. The sale's success reflects a continued higher number of pedigree registrations year on year.

The sale peaked at 7,000gns for a shearling ram from Allan Jackson, of Biggar
The sale peaked at 7,000gns for a shearling ram from Allan Jackson, of Biggar

The sale peaked at 7,000gns for a shearling ram from Allan Jackson, of Biggar, and saw an increased average for ram lambs which made a terrific trade topping at 5,500gns from Ayr breeder John Cowan.

The 7,000gns top price was the best price yet for the Headlind flock of Allan Jackson and sons Alastair and Cameron at Covington Mill Farm, Thankerton, Biggar.

Mr Jackson, who also runs two other small pedigree sheep flocks and a small Belgian Blue herd as well as landscape gardening business, imported the ram as a small lamb in November 2004 along with two stock rams for his 50-ewe Beltex flock.

Other flock top prices have been 2,700gns for ram lambs and 1,900gns for females, both by The Rustler.

The scrapie genotype group one shearling from the Jacksons was bred by Belgian Bart Sammels and sold to commercial breeder Paul Slater, of Whiteley Hay Farm, Butley, Cheshire.

Mr Slater also paid 2,800gns for another shearling ram Glenkeen Hercules, from Fergus Harbinson, of Ringsend Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry. A group one ram, it was sired by the imported ram Van't Korenhof.

Beltex Sheep Society chairman Mary Dunlop, of Corstane, Biggar, said: “A buoyant demand for heavily muscled Beltex shearling rams resulted in a significant increase in the number of shealrings sold.

“And an almost total clearance of shearling gimmers to a very good average of £583 was a clear indication of the demand for breeding Beltex.”

Ram lambs sold to 5,500gns, the second top price of the sale, for Brickrow Jack of All Trades from John Cowan's Brickrow flock at Auchincruive, Ayr, further adding to a good average for his shearling ram sales which levelled at £1,274 for 11 sold.

John Cowan's group one ram lamb by Cookstown Hamish, sold to Republic of Ireland breeder Wade McCrabbe, of Raphoe, Co Donegal.

Second top price among the shearling rams was 5,000gns for a ram from Neale and Janet McQuistin, of High Airyolland, New Luce, Newton Stewart, sired by last year's Carlisle August sale topper 13,000gns, Airyolland Galahad.

The group two ram Airyolland Hunter was first prize shearling ram at Ayr Show 2005 and was used at home as a lamb on the McQuistins' 80-ewe Beltex flock. Purchasers were a consortium of Scottish pedigree breeders including society chairman Mary Dunlop, of Corstane, Biggar, John Scott and Partners, of Fearn Farm, Tain, Ross-shire and Graham Craig Burke, Easter Balado, Kinross, who holds last August's ram lamb record at 6,800gns.

The McQuistins also sold a group one imported shearling for 2,500gns to D Brown, Millvale Road, Bessbrook, Newry, Co Down, Northern Ireland. Their shearling ram average was £1,474 for 11 sold.

Topping the female sale on Thursday evening at 4,000gns was a shearling ewe - the first female to be sold by young breeders Molly and Nicholas Gibbons, from Llwynbrain Farm, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Molly, nine, and Nicholas, eight, have 30 females in their Black Mountain flock which is run alongside their parents Steve and Sascha's Llwynbrain flock at Hay.

“This is the first female to be sold from Molly and Nicholas' flock and while they called in to the show at Carlisle on the way to Edinburgh to see their uncle, they missed seeing the ewe being sold,” said a delighted Steve Gibbons.

The ewe, which is by Llwynbrain Furbo, the sire of a ram that sold at 3,200gns last year, was first and reserve female champion at this year's Royal Welsh Show.

The ewe was bought by Gareth and James Ruggeri, of Gwaelod-y-Rhos, Llanfair, Caereinion, Welshpool who were making their first investment in a new pedigree Beltex flock at Carlisle.

With a good average run for his own Llwynbrain rams including a shearling at 2,500gns, Mr Gibbons went on to pay the second top price for a lamb ram at 4,500gns for Templand Jupiter, the single sale entry for K Gill and Co, Easter Templand, Fortrose, Ross-shire.

Another young breeder showing he is prepared to invest in the commercial qualities of the Beltex is James Whiteford who added both the previous evening's show champion and reserve champion selected by Northern Ireland judge William Carson to his purchase of five new stock rams.

He paid 3,000gns for the reserve champion, one of the last shearlings into the ring, the single shearling entry from John and Mervyn Currie of Whitesides Road, Ballymena, Co Antrim, who bred the record breaking 34,000gns ram.

Having already bred successfully as a lamb in the Tullygarley flock, the shearling is maternal brother to the record breaking Tullygarley Elite which sold at Carlisle in August 2003.

James also paid 2,600gns for the male champion and the overall supreme champion Hunter Bay from Dermot Murray, of Vianstown Road, Bonecastle, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Both rams will be used on pure bred ewes at Tercrosset, West Hall, Brampton, Carlisle.

James Whiteford has already enjoyed success at top primestock shows for commercial sheep including champion young farmers lambs at Smithfield and YFC champion at the Scottish Winter Fair last year.

Leading prices

Rams

Lot 163, Van De Biesheuval, Allan Jackson, Covington Mill, Thankerton, Biggar, 7,000gns to GE Slater, Whiteley Hay Farm, Butley, Cheshire.

Lot 736, Brickrow Jack of All Trades, JW Cowan, Brichrow, Auchincruive, Ayr, 5,500gns to W McCrabbe, Ardstewart, Gortaquigley, Raphoe, Co Donegal, Eire.

Lot 309, Airyolland Hunter, Neal and Janet McQuiston, High Airyolland, New Luce, Newton Stewart, 5,000gns to J Scott and Partners, Fearn Farm, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire, Mrs M Dunlop, Corstane, Broughton, Biggar, Lanarkshire and GC Burke, Easter Balado Farm Cottage, Easter Balado, Kinross (3 share).

Lot 689, Templand Jupiter, K Gill and Co, Easter Templand, Fortrose, Ross-shire, 4,500gns to S & S Gibbons, Llwynbrain, Llanigon, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford.

Lot 614, Tullygarley Highlight ET, John K Currie and Sons, Whitesides Road, Ballymena, Co Antrim, 3,000gns to TC Whiteford, Tercrosset Farm, West Hall, Brampton, Cumbria, (reserve male and reserve supreme champion).

Lot 221, Glenkeen Hercules, F Harbinson, Ringsend Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry, 2,800gns to GE Slater.

Lot 271, Bishopton Hamish, G and H Forsyth, High Bishopton, Whithorn, Wigtownshire, 2,800gns to A Bishop, Allan Bank,. Walwyn Road, Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire.

Lot 301, Clary Hope, JL McMillan, Carse of Clary, Newton Stewart, 2,800gns to JY Barclay and Co, Mid Brockloch, Maybole, Ayrshire.

Lot 384, Hunter Bay, Demot Murray, Vianstown Road, Bonecastle, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, 2,600gns to TC Whiteford (overall male and supreme champion).

Lot 190, Llwynbrain Hector, S and S Gibbons, Llwynbrain Farm, Llanigon, Hay on Wye, Hereford, 2,500gns to R Pilkington, Shordley Hall, Hope, Wrexham.

Lot 308, Neale and Janet McQuiston, 2,500gns to D Brown, Millvale Road, Bessbrook, Newry, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

Lot 517, Jacobite Highlander, Ewen R Maclean, Upperton Farm, Balnain, Glenurquhart, Inverness, 2,500gns to WP and S Ellis, Nant Cornwall, Llansannan, Denbigh, Conwy.

Lot 619, Cookstown Jim 4th, Jim Elliott, Railway View, Lismoney Road, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, 2,500gns to RG Findlay, Quarry Farm, Westerdale, Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Lot 603, Coningswick, TN and J Hall, Ainstable Hall, Ainstable, Carlisle, 2,100gns to D Hope, River Hill, Barrasford, Hexham, Northumberland.

Females

Lot 40, Black Mountain Hannah, S and S Gibbons, 4,000gns to G Ruggeri, Gwaelod-y-Rhos, Llanfair, Caereinion, Welshpool.

Lot 109, Lamberhurst Hope, Mr and Mrs J Marshall, Lindridge Lodge Farmhouse, Lamberhurst Quarter, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2,300gns to J Elliott, Railway View, Lismoney Road, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Lot 19, Clary Heart Breaker, JL McMillan, 1,900gns to RG Findlay.

Lot 31, Ardstewart Honesty, Wade McCrabbe, Gortaquigley, Raphoe, Lifford, Co Donegal, Eire, 1,600gns to EJ Tattersall, Cutler Lane, Stacksteads, Bacup, Lancashire (reserve female champion).

Lot 97, Tullygarley Hannah, JK Currie and Sons, 1,500gns to J Elliott.

Lot 103, Brickrow Hattie, John Cowan, 1,500gns to S and J Hunter, Newtown Farm, Bridlington Road, Hunmanby, Filey (female champion).

Averages:

8 aged rams, £872.81; 355 shearling rams, £722.79; 66 lamb rams, £894.89; 120 shearling gimmers, £583.81.

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