NSA Wales and Border Main Ram Sale 2015

Date: 21st September 2015

Time: 10.30am

Location: Royal Welsh Showground

It was a busier day than it has been for many years at NSA Wales and Border ram sale on Monday 21st September at the Royal Welsh Showground despite the difficult season experienced by many sheep farmers recently. The turnover was up on last year, reaching nearly £2.2 million and there was a clearance of 84% with some 4,400 sheep sold all together.

Organisers of the sale said their determination to provide quality; health assured rams had paid off in what has been a difficult and challenging year for sheep farmers. The headline prices signalled a satisfactory trade in quality rams, with vendors generally pleased that averages held up well.

NSA Wales and Border Chairman, John Owens, said: “It has been a good sale. Good sheep sold very well, considering the way the sheep trade has been. The prices prove that buyers continue to come to Builth for the quality of the veterinary inspected rams. It’s unique in a ram sale of this size.”

Texel inspector, Derry Jones, said the quality of sheep had been outstanding, adding that in 30 years in the job, he had never seen such a run of high quality sheep. It proved the value of the rigorous inspections carried out at the sale.

The Border Leicester ram that topped the sale at 7,000gns provided a fitting finish to a long career for Jim Brown, who regularly travels from Scotland for the sale. Nine of the ten sheep he brought averaged 700gns, while those sent by his daughter, Jennifer, also sold well. The top price ram went to Jim’s brother, Pete, who farms at the other side of Scotland on the Isle of Arran. Pete had spotted him at the Royal Highland Show and was determined to buy him. Jim said: “I knew he liked him, but I didn’t think he liked him that much! There were a lot of buyers around the ring today, you can’t keep good sheep down.”

A Texel shearling from WT Davies and Co, Cyf, Canllefaes Vantastic, sold for 6,800gns to the Quick family of Crediton, Devon, and Jim and Nick Hartwright, of the Whitehart Flock, Hereford. Euros Davies sold all twenty Canllefaes rams well and said the highest priced ram ‘stood out in the field’.

A delighted Paul Quick described his purchase as the ram he had been looking for all year, adding: “We went for his fleshing. We have been to every shearling sale of the year and this is the best fleshed shearling we have seen.”

The Texel breed champion, a ram lamb from Geoff and Eifion Morgan, of Blaencar Farm, Sennybridge, sold for 6,000gns to Boden & Davies, Mellorvale Farm, Mellor, Stockport.  Emyr Hughes of Wolfscastle, Haverfordwest, won the Charollais breed championship and sold another ram lamb from the same pen for the breed top price of 2,350gns to RS and JS Gregory, of Harmer Hill, Shrewsbury.

Texel breeder Andrew Reed, of Upper Scolton Farm, Spittal, Haverfordwest, who topped the sale last year with a 6,800gns for a shearling and in 2011 with an 8,200gns for a ram lamb, sold a Texel for 5,000 gns.

Andrew said it had been a strong, very selective trade, but slow early on when they had been selling. He felt the fat lamb price had knocked buyers confidence. Mr Reed paid 2,300gns for a ram from Cefin Pryce of Llanfair Caereinion, picking a ‘good, long, wide sheep with a level top line, good legs and back’.

West Yorkshire Lleyn breeders G and A Fort were delighted with their first visit to the sale. Their Lleyn shearling, Brightonhouse Double Gold, sold for 4,800gns. It was purchased jointly by A and R Bennett of Powys and H E Sevenoaks.

Trade in the Blue Face Leicester lines was brisk, with the top price of 3,900gns achieved by RP Williams and Sons of Lydbury, Shropshire. The ram sold to DW Henderson, Allandale, Hexham. Mr Williams sold six rams and described the trade as ‘cracking’. He said the good sheep had sold well, those with good bodies and good mouths. There had been very pleasing, quality rams.

The top price, 7,000gns, went to a Border Leicester ram from Jim Brown, Scotland
The top price, 7,000gns, went to a Border Leicester ram from Jim Brown, Scotland