Solid Ram Trade at Builth Wells in Unpredictable Year

The highest price at the 40th anniversary NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale went to a Blue Faced Leicester ram. The 12,000 guinea sale was the highlight of a day that saw good rams sell well, but that otherwise reflected the current political and weather concerns.

There was an 80% clearance of the 4,727 rams forward on Monday 17th September. Turnover was £1.84 million, 5% down on the previous year.

Top priced ram a Blue Faced Leicester from Tudor and Janet Harris, sold to Hazel Brown, Leadburnlea and Martin Qunn, Whinnyhall, Fife for 12,000 gns.

Top priced ram a Blue Faced Leicester from Tudor and Janet Harris, sold for 12,000 gns.

Executive Director Jane Smith said:
“In a year when trade has been unpredictable, we’ve seen a fairly solid trade with some really high prices for top tups. Prices reflected the fact that it’s been such a difficult year and some farmers are into winter supplies. It’s really concentrated minds.”

The 12,000 guinea ram was sold by Vale of Glamorgan couple, semi-retired Tudor and Janet Harris, who now concentrate on their 40 pedigree Blue Faced Leicester breeding ewes. The Bonvilston yearling was out of a home bred ewe put to the sire, Cendy.

It had won the breed yearling class at the pre sale show and was Reserve Champion. It sold jointly to Hazel Brown, Leadburnlea, and Martin Qunn of Whinnyhall, Fife, who admired its lift and strength and ‘the way it held its head above the rest of the tups’. A Blue Faced Leicester ram lamb from Scott Thomason, Piel View Flock, Barrow-in-Furness, sold for 5,000 guineas.

The highest priced Texel was a Canllefaes yearling at 5,200 guineas after winning the breed championship. It was one of 13 tups brought to Builth and all sold by brother and sister team, Euros and Myfannwy Davies.

The family have been trading at the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale since 1979, a tradition begun by their late father, Tom Davies. The yearling’s father, Talcoed You Know, was purchased at Welshpool two years ago.

Euros said he had recognised championship potential in the tup as a lamb. It had length and had grown well over the winter. It sold to W G Davies and Son, Gelli Farm, Penderyn.

He added:
“The trade went better than I had expected. People are getting choosier every year. I put it down to the hard Spring. People were feeding ewes all summer so have spent a lot of money on feed. They are going for better quality tups, because if you’re going to spend money on feed you might as well spend it on good quality rams.”

A home bred shearling from Geoff and Bridget Probert topped the Charollais trade at 4,000 guineas. It is by a Foulrice tup and sold to Huw Roberts, who runs the Bachymbyd flock at Ruthin and is the third ram he has bought from them.

Geoff’s late father began selling at the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale back in the early 80s. Geoff and his wife, Bridget, run the Mortimer Charollais flock of 160 pedigree ewes.

A Texel bred by Geoffrey Stringer, Talgarth, Brecon, made 3,800 guineas. An unregistered Texel from EL Evans & Co, Green Farm, Pantydwr, Rhayader, made 3,800 guineas and sold to Pilkington Farms, Buxton. A Blue Texel from Matthew Jones of Talsarnau, Gwynedd, made 2,200 guineas and sold to Paul Tippetts of Shifnal, Shropshire.

A Berrichon ram lamb from G B Thomas of Pontarddulais sold to R Davenport of Sandbach, Cheshire, for 2,200 guineas. A Lleyn shearling from Derek Steen of Dumfriesshire sold for 2,000 guineas to Lionel Organ of Llandysul.

Retiring Suffolk producer and NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale committee member, John Sinnett, secured the highest Suffolk price of 1500 guineas. It was sold to A Meredith of Hoarwithy, Hereford.

A Beltex shearling from John Owens of Woodhouse Farm, Leominster, topped the breed trade at 1300 guineas, selling to DL Jones of Lampeter. A Border Leicester from Mrs J Morgan of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Aberystwyth, sold to RJ and SE Whitcombe of Petersfield for 1100 guineas.

A Badger Face from Malcolm Evans, Cynwyl Elfed, sold for 1240 guineas to G Jones of Felingwn, Carmarthen. A Welsh Mountain from A & M Jones of Llanafan, Builth Wells, sold to G & A Orrells of Abermule for 1200 guineas. A South Country Cheviot from W J C Weir, Kelso, sold to WN Douglas of Selkirk for 1100 guineas.

Royal Visit

The biggest challenge of the visit by HRH The Princess Royal at the 40th anniversary NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale was keeping her on the move! She was clearly fascinated by the livestock and in the people whose lives centre on producing some of the UK’s finest breeding sheep,

HRH showed a keen knowledge and understanding of farming, sharing her views on the merits of robot milking as well as sheep production. And she was happy to interrupt her schedule and chat to producers such as Agnes Campbell, simply because she liked the look of her daughter, Lorna’s, Suffolks.

NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales Committee Chairman, Richard Gwilliam, was delighted with the visit. He complimented Executive Director Jane Smith on her hard work in making the day a success and said the Royal visit was a fitting tribute to the sale’s founders.

He added:
“I’d not met the Princess Royal before. She is very easy and knowledgeable about agriculture and the wellbeing of the animals. She’s also got a great interest in what’s going on.

“I think she enjoyed the morning. She was very interested in everything, even though she had two more calls to make later in the day. She was in no hurry whatsoever and she was happy to talk to anyone and everyone.

“It’s a great honour that HRH The Princess Royal gave her time to come here and everyone was very pleased to see her. “

The first stop was at the Badger Face ring, where she presented the Championship cups to Aron Hemmings of Llandeilo and Gareth Jones from Carmarthen. NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales committee member, Lucy Levinge, and breed President, Kate Hovers, explained the difference between the Torddu with its black markings and the Torwen with its white markings.

North Country Cheviot breeders David Pittendreigh and Gwynne Davies, who went on to win the Welsh Championship Cup, discussed with her the breed so favoured by HRH The Queen Mother. The Princess Royal’s interest was clearly sparked as she lingered to watch the bidding.

Conversations continued around the ram sale, with veteran John Geldard and the committee’s youngest member, Tomos Evans. There was a meeting with buyer, Will Halford, and with two of the sale’s younger consignors, Ellie and Hannah Owens. And at the NSA stand, founder Ram Sale organiser Brynmor Morgan chatted about the earliest days, while Chief Executive Phil Stocker and other staff discussed current challenges.

The Princess presented retiring Suffolk breeder and NSA Wales & Border Committee member, John Sinnett, with an engraved crystal goblet. And she clearly delighted in presenting Executive Director, Jane Smith, with a framed print of her horse, Zeb, to mark her 25 years organising the sale.

Then, with gifts for her grandchildren – including, for the latest arrival, a knitted baby’s bobble hat presented by Olwen Kinsey Jones – and a cheery, relaxed smile, HRH The Princess Royal was off to her next engagement.

NSA Ram Sales

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link HRH The Princess Royal to Celebrate Ram Sales 40th Anniversary
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link Show Dates