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Stackyard News Jan 2012

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The Borders and Wales Represented at In-Lamb Sales

A new year heralds new beginnings and this is never more relevant when it heralds the start of the 2012 in-lamb sheep sales season. With spring and lambing just around the corner Carlisle based Harrison & Hetherington have a number of In-Lamb sales coming up, including two new pedigree breed sales.

Heather Pritchard,
Pedigree Sales and Marketing Manager for Harrison and Hetherington.
Heather Pritchard

With the reducing UK sheep flock and trade for all classes of store and breeding sheep remaining very firm, Harrison and Hetherington are anticipating that stock at these sales will once again be sought after.

The season starts on Monday the 23rd of January with the Bluefaced Leicester Sale, which is the breed’s main annual In-Lamb sale and already there are over 180 entries. This is the 50th Anniversary year of the Bluefaced Leicester Breed Society and the sale is expected to see good prices as a result of the high demand amongst farmers for this multi-purpose breed.

In recent years there has been a growth in the interest of pedigree breeds and making their debut in these seasonal sales are the Border Leicester Breed and the Lleyn Breed.

In the past, these two societies have concentrated on the traditional Autumn sales, however with the resurgence of interest in both breeds, these In-Lamb sales increases the available stock for purchasers and helps to raise their profile further. The Border Leicester In-Lamb Sale will be held at the H&H Carlisle Mart on the 6th of February, the Lleyn Sheep In-Lamb Sale will be held on the 17th of February.

Commenting on these sales and the current market Heather Pritchard, Pedigree Sales and Marketing Manager for Harrison and Hetherington said: “We are delighted to begin the year with this series of In-Lamb sales. It is exciting to see two new breeds this year with the Border Leicester Society and the Lleyn Society being represented in our sales as pedigree breeds. Sales have been very strong up until the end of last year and we see no reason why this will not continue into 2012”.

The Border Leicester is one of Britains’ original breeds of sheep and where better to hold the society’s first In-Lamb sale than at the H&H Borderway Mart in Carlisle, in exactly the surrounding area of where the breed originated. As a direct descendent of the Dishley Leicester the Border Leicester is a long wool hardy sheep bred for both their lean meat and wool. The Border Leicester Society are delighted that already registered for this sale are some of the top genetics that are available in the breed, with some of the ewes entered being in lamb to the last years’ top priced lambs.

Commenting further President of the Border Leicester Society, Tom Tennant who farms at, Gilmanscleuch in the Ettrick Valley said:

“We are trying to promote the breed to cross with the Blackface, Swaledale and Cheviot to produce a good quality cross breed breeding ewe, as our research shows that the whether lambs from these ewes, achieve higher abattoir prices than other breeds.

This has resulted in more people looking for stock, and many new breeders struggling to secure high quality breeding ewes and hoggs. By having an In-Lamb sale our aim is to alleviate this shortage and offer more opportunities for breeders.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Lleyn Sheep breed which originates from the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales and one which up until recent times has been reasonably unfamiliar within the UK. However, as it is a low maintenance sheep that produces prime quality meat, in the last 10 years the Lleyn has increased in popularity.

To round off the season the North Country Cheviots will see their annual In-Lamb sale at Lockerbie on Saturday 18th of February.

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