2014-09-24   facebooktwitterrss

Bluefaced Leicester Sale Sees Increased Entries

More than 800 ram lambs will be among almost 1,100 Bluefaced Leicesters going under the hammer in Carlisle at one of the breed’s biggest UK one-day sales.

The show and sale of registered Bluefaced Leicesters at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart on Friday, October 10 is expected to attract breeders from across the UK and Ireland looking to add quality genes to their pedigree or crossbred flocks.

Auctioneer Mark Richardson

Auctioneer Mark Richardson

The Bluefaced Leicester is the most popular sire for cross-bred commercial sheep in the UK. When Leicester rams are bred with native sheep such as the Swaledale, Blackface, Welsh Mountain and Cheviot, it produces the Mule ewe. Mules now represent around half of the UK’s crossbred ewe population and are considered to be the most profitable commercial sheep due to their hardy nature, good maternal skills and ease of care that makes them suitable for any farming system.

Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders Association chairman Carl Stephenson, who farms at Middleton in Teesdale, said: “This is a very important and large sale, where buyers can purchase both traditional Bluefaced Leicester and Crossing. The Bluefaced Leicester is the most important crossing sire that there is for crossing with a commercial ewe.

“This has been a good season and we are now in the middle of the Mule gimmer lamb sales, trade is fairly buoyant so hopefully this will follow through for this sale.”

The Borderway sale will include 802 ram lambs, 192 shearling rams and 103 females from many of the UK’s most-highly regarded Bluefaced Leicester breeders. The 2014 entry is one of the highest in years.

Harrison and Hetherington auctioneer, Mark Richardson, said: “The good summer weather means there are more sheep around and they are in great condition.

“Our one-day Bluefaced Leicester sale has been very successful in recent years. “The sheep are looking well and there will be some very-well bred sheep from some top flocks, which always attracts buyers from further afield. We have seen a growth in interest from Irish buyers in recent years, and are expecting a number to make the trip for this year’s sale.”

The Bluefaced Leicester sale is part of Harrison & Hetherington’s key series of autumn sheep sales, which includes the UK’s biggest one-day sale of Mule gimmer lambs. More than 18,000 will go under the hammer in the space of 24 hours at Lazonby Mart on October 1 at the famous Alston Moor Sale, which attracts buyers from across the country.


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