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Stackyard News Aug 2010

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Strong Support for Welsh National Texel Sale in Welshpool

A decision to relocate the Welsh National Texel Show and Sale to Welshpool is proving popular with a sharp rise in the number of new vendors with pedigree stock to sell.

Texel sheep

The event, sponsored by AMC, will be held at the new £13.5 million mart at Welshpool over two days, with a show on August 27th and a sale on the 28th , following its move from Builth Wells.

Roy Hughes, Regional Director of the British Texel Society, says there has been a good level of support for the location change, in particular because of Welshpool’s accessibility.

“A significant percentage of the vendors that are booked in are new to the sale and that has got to be down to the change of venue,’’ says Mr Hughes, who runs a flock of 400 pedigree Texels at Oswestry.

“We have four vendors coming from Scotland and the rest are from England and Wales, predominately North Wales. Builth Wells was quite remote for many breeders, Welshpool is certainly more central and accessible.’’

Among the Scottish vendors will be John Forsyth, who runs the Glenside flock at Lochlands, Maybole, and Tommy MacTaggart of the Rascarrel flock at Auchencairn, near Castle Douglas.

The high number of well known, quality Texel flocks that have committed to the new sale also reflects the popularity of the location choice. An entry of 256 includes 74 females, 143 ram lambs and 39 shearling rams.

Steve Smith, who runs the Penparc flock at Welshpool, intends to sell four ram lambs. He is very supportive of the move to Welshpool, an area with the world’s highest density of sheep and a reputation for producing quality Texels

“The venue isn’t only more central for people living in Wales, but nationally too,’’ says Mr Smith, who has a flock of 120 pedigree Texels and 1200 commercial ewes.

“Welshpool has the biggest sheep market in Europe, regularly selling the highest number of fat lambs and cull ewes. The aim is to make it a main centre for pedigree livestock too”.

Mr Smith reckons the number of entries is ideal – any higher and it would impact on prices and on the commercial sales in Welshpool, he says. The date is a good one too, he believes. “A lot of pedigree flocks lamb in February so this early date is ideal for those flocks.’’

John Yates, the Society’s Chief Executive, believes that having the Welsh National Texel Sale at the venue along with many of the other commercially significant breeds is important for the Welsh industry and the Texel breed.

He adds: “The Society is progressive with all registered Texels having EBVs available through the Society’s Whole breed BLUP programme run by Signet. Welsh breeders and producers will be able to source rams from the sale that are eligible for the HCC Performance Recorded ram buyer’s incentive.”

WLS Auctioneers, which will run the sale, is delighted to be associated with this event. Stephen Lewis, who manages the mart, says the central location is not the only reason why he believes this sale will be a success. “We have up-to-the minute facilities here and that’s why we have attracted some of the top pedigree Texel breeders in the UK,’’ he says. “We are looking forward to welcoming these to the sale.’’

The facilities at Welshpool were a deciding factor in the British Texel Society locating its Welsh show and sale there. Alan Clark, the Society’s Sales and Shows Committee Chairman, says it had come highly recommended.

“Breeders I have spoken to are very excited about this sale,’’ he says. The shift to a weekend was also welcomed by many, he adds. “Quite a few Texel breeders have jobs during the week so it’s much easier for them to get away at the weekend,’’ says Mr Clark.

The sale is being sponsored by AMC which supports all three of the major regional Texel sales. Martin Waite, AMC’s Regional Agricultural Manager for Wales and the West Midlands, says the genetic quality of the UK’s flocks and herds is a key determinant of farm profitability and pedigree livestock sales such as the Welsh National Premier Texel Show and Sale are an important vehicle for ensuring ongoing genetic improvement and productivity, which the Texel is renowned for.

“AMC recognises both the financial and social importance of such events and are pleased to sponsor the Welsh National Premier Texel Show and Sale for the second year. We wish all exhibitors and visitors a successful event.’’

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