A record twenty one thousand guineas was the top price paid at the AMC National Texel Show and Sale at Worcester on Tuesday 30 August. Bruce Mair of the Muiresk Flock said John Forsyth's ram lamb, Glenside Lieutenant, was easily the best sheep in the market, where trade was dominated by quality.
Mr Mair who farms with his son Colin at Everton Farm, Turriff, thirty miles north of Aberdeen, bought the February born Group One genotype ram in shares with Mrs Margaret Lyon of Milnbank, Aberdeen. The partnership bought the record breaking Tophill Joe for122 thousand guineas at Lanark two years ago.
“I've learned to trust my judgement since then”, said Mr Mair. “He's delivered the goods. His first twenty sons averaged 11,000 guineas and the top price for one of his sons this year was 16,000 guineas”.
Glenside shepherd, Jeffrey Aitken, said he knew that Glenside Lieutenant was a star from the moment I saw him'. He was sired by Castle Cairn Keltic Star, a young ram purchased at Carlisle last year for 13,000 guineas.
“Glenside Lieutenant is a superb example of the breed, with tremendous character, a great carcase, lovely head, good legs, good skin”, enthused Mr Aitken. “He's just a good example of the breed.
“He's always been one of the favourites. Just when you walk into the field he would come looking for you. He just had that glint”
John Forsyth added that the ram lamb was very correct and a good breeder's sheep. He added that six of his sheep had sold for an average 14,000 guineas at Lanark last week, with a top price of 36,000 guineas.
Glenside also produced the second highest price ram, Glenside Logic. Also a February born lamb and Genotype One, he was sired by Watchknowe Jimmy's Pride whose sons have sold to 24,000 guineas and 13,000 guineas.
He was purchased by Stephen and Carolyne Williams of Great Woollascott, Shrewsbury. Mr Williams had judged the Texel classes at the Royal Show where John Forsyth won in all five of the classes in which he exhibited.
“The sheep were a sight to see”, added Mr Williams. “He had an outstanding team of sheep with such quality throughout the team. That's when I decided to see if I could acquire a ram from his flock.
“It's a great female line and it was the ewe family we wanted to buy into. I'll be using him on the daughters of the great star, Dan Dare, who won at all three Royals in 2000. It had never been achieved before. I'm hoping for great things with this combination.”
The overall championship at the pre sale show went to a shearling gimmer sold by PK Woof of the Stainton Flock, Kendal, Cumbria. She was sired by Cornerstone Isaac and was Group Two genotype.
Peter and Janet Vaughan of Leominster, Herefordshire, who were also selling at Worcester paid 2,800 guineas for her. Peter Vaughan praised her 'stunning Texel looks'.
“She will be a good combination with our tup, Haddo Jogger”, he added. “We achieved 10,000 guineas with a son of his at Lanark last week.”
Vaughan Farms who have only been in Texels for two years also had some success selling, making a top price of 2,000 guineas at Worcester.
Judge John Davies's choice of male champion, Hull House Le Mouton, was sold by John Mellin for 2,500 guineas. The February born lamb was Scrapie Genotype Two and was sired by Springwell Jaguar.
The best pen of three ram lambs went to John Forsyth of Glenside. The first prize shearling ram, Peacehay Knicker Bocker - ARR/ARH - was owned by Frank Henry Chave & Son of the Peacehay Flock, Wellington, Somerset, and sired by Lochar Jester.
The first prize novice ram lamb, Haltcliffe Luke - ARR/ARR - was sired by Douganhill Jeronimo and owned by Messrs Ridley of Wigton, Cumbria. He sold for two thousand guineas.
The first prize Signet/MLC ram lamb, Callerton Leopard - ARR/ARH - was owned by R M Sym of Newcastle. The female reserve was from the Beautry Flock- ARR/ARQ - and sired byBrague Jodami. She was sold by Stuart Currie of Settle in North Yorkshire.
Texel Society chairman Keith Campbell of Argyle said the dominating factor at the sale had been the need to produce to exacting quality standards. There was a bigger divide than ever between the quality and the poorer end of the market.
“With the Single Farm Payment people have to concentrate on buying the best they can afford”, he added. “The message now is that there is no scarcity value in Texels so people have to concentrate on quality.
“And with more choice, people are being more selective and the better sheep are making a good trade, while it's obvious that no one really wants the poorer end”.
Texel Society chief executive, Steven Maclean added that with nearly 600 sheep at Worcester, the market had been filled to capacity. The severest restriction at any of the Society sales had been implemented with a cutback ration of one entry per 42 birth notifications.
Ram lamb leading prices (Guineas):
21,000 John Forsyth, Lochlands Farm, Maybole
17,000 John Forsyth
11000 A W Knox, Mid Haddo, Fyvie
Shearling Ram leading prices (Guineas):
3,400 Messrs E W Quick & Sons, Loosebeare Manor, Zeal Monachorum
3000 F A Nairey, Bank Hey Farm, Heys Lane
1600 Colin G Mair & Partners, Muiresk Villa, Wood of Muiresk
Ewe leading prices (Guineas):
2800 P K Woof, Storth End Farm, Stainton
1200 Messrs E W Quick & Sons, Loosebeare Manor, Zeal Monachorum
1100 Messrs E W Quick & Sons
96 shearling rams averaged £583.19
135 ewes averaged £312.94
174 ram lambs averaged £1004.68