NSA South West Region Ram Sale 2016

Date: 17th August 2016

Location: Exeter Livestock Centre, Devon

By Sue Martyn, NSA South West Ram Sale Secretary

There was an increase in entries this year and, as usual, all entries were inspected prior to the sale. In an effort to further increase the confidence of purchasers many vendors had chosen to take part in the SureRam Scheme, where sheep had received a quarantine treatment for scab and worms before sale. Talking to vendors and auctioneers, it would seem purchasers this year were more selective than sometimes but, as is always the case, they were prepared to pay for the right animal.

Crossbreds: An increased entry of crossbred rams sold to 550gns for a Beltex cross from Andrew Reed, and Angus Howie achieved the same price for a New Zealand Suffolk cross.

Texel: Texels were much in demand with nine more rams sold than in 2015 to an increased average. The overall show champion, an aged ram from F.H. Chave and Son was first in the ring and set the trade alight at 1,200gns. This set the tone for the sale and the top price of the day across all breeds of 1,250gns was for a shearling from Graham Hill. E.W. Quick and Sons won the best pen of rams and sold to a top of 1,050gns. Robert and Rebecca Jordan had a strong trade and their top price of 920gns helped them to the highest average of £721 for eight sheep. A small number of females were also in demand and sold to 400gns for a ewe lamb from Graham Hill and a shearling from Malcolm Yeo.

Mixed breeds: Ring two is traditionally a ring of mixed breeds and with it a mixture in prices. Lleyns were the first through with a top price of 370gns for Richard Turner. Les French sold Dorsets to 400gns. Malcolm Yeo was also selling Berrichons and one of his made the top price of 920gns. Robert and Sophie Whitcombe’s long journey from Petersfield, Hampshire, was rewarded when they sold their four Border Leicesters to a top of 500gns. Henry Derryman and family also had a busy day with their Hampshires selling to 380gns before they topped with their Suffolk shearlings at 740gns. However, top price for the Suffolks was a smart ram lamb from Robin Irwin at 980gns. There were only 49 Suffolks forward (less than catalogued) and they had a 100% clearance with an improved average.

Charollais: First through ring three this year were the Charollais. Setting the standard was a shearling ram from Carol Irwin making 1,000gns. Gerald Burrough averaged £640 for his eight shearlings, topping at 750gns for the champion. Not far behind in the averages at £611 for 10 rams were E.W. Quick and Sons, who are another multi-breed vendor at the sale and also won the cup for the best pen of shearlings. Overall, nine more shearlings were sold than 2015 to a slightly improved average, although the smaller crowd of buyers around this ring were very selective in their purchases. The reserve champion was a ram lamb from Michael and Melanie Alford that went on to sell for 480gns. Fewer ram lambs were sold to a reduced average. Charollais females were much in demand with Carol Irwin again leading the way; her shearlings topping at 800gns and her one crop ewes to 650gns. Robert Hopper’s ewe lamb that was champion female made 600gns.

Beltex: There was also an increased number of Beltex through the ring, where again quality sold well. Andrew Bishop was another first time vendor at this sale and his journey from Gloucestershire was rewarded with the top price of 1,200gns for a shearling ram. Andrew also topped the ram lamb prices at 1,000gns and, to complete his day, his shearling ewe sold to 950gns.

Non-MV: To finish through this ring was the non-MV section where Brian Dallyn made 350gns with a Bluefaced Leicester shearling ram and Melvyn Brice sold Berrichons at 300gns.