This year's Scottish National Texel sale at Lanark on 22 and 23 August is set to be a bumper event for the Texel breed with some of the very best sheep in the breed on offer to help both pedigree and commercial producers add value to their 2013 lamb crop.
The Scottish National sale is set to be a bumper day
for the Texel breed
Once again this year the sale will see leading Texel breeders from across Europe and further afield in attendance, all seeking new genetics to improve their flocks, explains British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates.
"As well as leading UK and Irish breeders the Lanark sale will also have breeders from France, Switzerland and Brazil present, so it will be a truly international affair. Recent years have seen a number of exports to these countries and elsewhere around Europe as interest in the British type of Texel has grown significantly.
"We hope this year's visitors will be equally as impressed as the French delegation which visited last year and look forward to more exports in future."
And for those breeders unable to get to the sale the Society will once again be streaming it live on the internet. This service last year attracted more than 2500 viewers around the world who were unable to get to the sale, but took the opportunity to watch all the action live via the Texel Society's industry leading website which continues to break records with more than 41,000 page views in June, a new high for the breed society.
"Alongside the live streaming anyone unable to get to the sale will be able to catch up with all the action via the Society's Facebook and Twitter pages which will be used for live coverage throughout this year's sales season following on from successful reporting of the major shows," added Mr Yates.
This year's sale will once again see a bumper entry, with numbers having to be limited as a result of record pre-sale entry requests, he explains. "Without a doubt this is the leading Texel sale in the UK, but while it is a leading breeders sale it's real strength is the quality in depth available to commercial sheep farmers, with plenty of commercial rams available at the right price. And with ram lambs sold at approximately one every minute, there is plenty on offer across the range of breed type.
"There will no doubt be some headline grabbing five-figure sales, but for the savvy commercial producer there will also be some great tups available at sensible prices. The sale affords commercial men the chance to access the best Texel genetics available and, with more than two thirds (68%) of the performance recorded sheep catalogued coming from the breed's top 10%, they can rest assured that the tups on offer will leave great prime lambs too," said Mr Yates.
Northumberland-based Texel breeder Hans Porksen who has been involved in performance recording since the early 1990s added: "The Texel Society and many of the top breeders in the Texel breed are all fully involved in performance recording. Last year I picked out four rams from the Scottish National catalogue that where good enough to be used in my Wallington Texel flock.
"On checking the online Texel flock book provided through BASCO, I was able to analyse those rams use last autumn and performance recording records provided by Signet, which this year showed 85 out of more than 90 born to those rams were in the top 1% of the breed.
"This outstanding performance is helping to propel the Texel breed clearly as the leading UK terminal sire, supported by a very progressive approach by its Society. Additionally the four Lanark rams averaged more than 30,000gns further benefiting Texel breeders and showing performance and breed value are developing in parallel," said Mr Porksen.
As a prelude to the main sale, the tups on the second day, the event will as always feature a gimmer sale on the first evening and this year that will be preceded by a sale of Texel semen in aid of the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution.
This semen sale will feature semen from many of the breed's leading sires, including semen from world record price sheep 222,000gns Deveronvale Perfection and semen from two former sires of the year in the form of Strathbogie Python and Glenside Razzle Dazzle.