Trade at the first of the NSA Wales and Border main autumn sales on Monday September 15th was said to be back to pre 2001 foot and mouth levels as quality animals across the breeds sold well.
There was an 83% clearance with 2,475 rams sold and top prices of 2,100 guineas. The average price was £378, although the Texels averaged £457 with 89% sold, and a top price of 1800 guineas.
The event held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells was once again split into two separate sale days because of worries over accomodation restrictions. Hill breeds, Blue Faced Leicesters and Texel ram lambs will be sold on Saturday 20 September.
Chairman George Hughes said the 83% clearance and strong demand underlined the fact that discerning buyers had come to the NSA Wales and Border Ram Sale looking for quality tups.
"I believe that for our sale this has been an exceptional event in terms of the quality forward which resulted in higher averages than might have been expected", he added.
Three of the best rams were taken in the same trailer to Yorkshire. They were the two highest priced animals, both Charollais which each sold for 2,100 guineas, and the champion Beltex.
Yorkshire farming couple Simon and Judith Hunter bought a Charollais shearling ram from Einon Probert and Son, Covenhope Farm, Aymestrey, Leominster, for 2,100 guineas and also the champion Beltex for 700 guineas from Andrew Bishop of Pitfield Farm, Eldersfield, Gloucestershire.
The other top Charollais also sold to Yorkshire was a ram lamb bred by Adrian Davies of Manordeilo in Carmarthenshire. It was sold for 2,100 guineas to Edward Mackley who runs a thousand commercial ewes as well as a suckler herd and pedigree Charollais sheep and who said the ram had caught his eye from the moment he spotted him.
"It was just his overall presence, his style and his bearing", he said. "He just has a really sharp look. I saw him in the show and could see he was a very strong powerful ram. He’ll be straight off into work next week".
Adrian Davies who is a DEFRA animal health inspector in Carmarthen was delighted with the sale and says the ewe line from which he comes has been a doing a tremendous job. He also runs the Glyn Coch Flock at Glanbrydan in Manordeilo and says he has been collecting rosettes all year.
"This breeding line is great", he added. "The dam was the first prize ewe lamb in the Royal Welsh in 2004 and a full sister to the Reserve Champion this year.
"I also won the flock competition in Wales for the second time. This ram lamb is a very correct upright smart sheep".
Geoffrey Probert who farms sheep, cereals and chickens with his father Einon and brother John was pleased to have also had 2,100 guineas for a Charollais.
"The day has gone very well", he said. "The buyers were very selective but in general there has been a good trade. We also had 23 Texels here today and they averaged over 600 guineas".
The Texel champion owned and bred by Alan Draper of Creditor, Devon, sold for 1800 guineas to David and Joan Orrell and Son of Middle Llegodig, Abermule in Montgomery. A second ram of Mr Draper’s sold for 1250 guineas.
"I’m over the moon especially as he was in so early", said Mr Draper. "The most rewarding thing though is the trade we have had on the pen, averaging 898 guineas a head for the ten, and the compliments we’ve had".
David Orrell said he would be taking the ram home to his 120 pedigree ewes. He was also selling at the NSA Wales and Border Ram Sale and hoped he would be going home in pocket!
The highest price paid for a Beltex was 1,000 guineas for a shearling sold by Mrs B J Rodenhurst and Son Kidderminster to Richard Pilkington, Wrexham and Steve Gibbons, Hay on Wye.
The highest priced Suffolk was sold for 940 guineas by John Sinnett of Stockton Court, Worcester. He sold 14 Suffolks and 18 Texels and said it had been his best day’s trading since before the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.
"People were prepared to pay for quality and there was a lot better trade than people expected", he said. "Yearling rams sold well in all breeds but lambs were hard to cash.
"The industry is going the right way at last but from a very bad position. People are even putting Blue Tongue behind them. It’s the restrictions that are doing the damage and not the diseases, let’s just hope that next year we don’t have the restrictions that we’ve had the last two years".
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