Trade at today’s main NSA ram sale at Builth Wells is best described as patchy for the main run of commercial tups, with only the very best sheep making a real trade and most breeders talking of a trade on which you were either in or out. For those in favour it was a good sale, but for many with sheep which weren’t fancied by the discerning buyers it was a harder day.
Topping the day’s prices was a shearling ram in the Bluefaced Leicester lines at 6800gns, the second year running that the breed has claimed the highest figure.
Other front runners included a Welsh Mountain shearling, that sold for 5000gns, another from the same batch of Welsh Mountains that sold for 4500gns, a Charollais that sold for 3800gns and a Texel sold for 3100gns. The Suffolks saw a top price of 1550gns, he Border Leicesters 1020gns, the Berrichon du Cher 1350gns and a Lleyn 2100gns.
NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale Committee Chairman, Gwynne Davies, said it had been an excellent sale with a good crowd. The mood had been buoyant and the trade clearly reflected confidence in the sector.
He added: “There was a great buzz around the sale rings, and before bidding started, with quality tups selling well. It was evident by the variety of breeds being loaded into trailers that the sale is a One Stop Shop for producers who come to Builth to buy all their tups for the season.
The Blue Faced Leicester shearling that topped the sale was also the breed champion, bred by the Harding family of Shrewbridge House, Shrewbridge Court, Nantwich. It was shown by Sophie Harding who is an equine vet and who runs a reduced flock of 30 ewes with her father, Ray, and sold to Philiplough Estates, Philiplouch, Selkirk, and R A McClynont, of Selkirk.
The ram is by Middle Jukeshead, a ram they paid 7000gns for at Carlisle. The mother was a full sister to a gimmer that sold for 5500gns at Carlisle five years ago.
Sophie said it had been an ‘interesting’ trade, with big, strong, correct, sheep making a decent price. She added that people had been more discerning although they had had a very good day, with probably the best pen of sheep they had brought in 15 years of selling at Builth.
A Welsh Mountain shearling ram home bred by Alun, Marie, and Sarah Jones of Llanafan, Builth Wells, sold for 5000gns, one of the highest prices the breed has seen at the NSA Wales and Border sale. It went to Bill Evans of Nantmel.
A second ram from the same batch sold for 4500gns sold to Robert Jones of Erwood. He had the top price Welsh Mountain tup last year. The Jones family run 800 improved Welsh Mountain ewes, after switching from Beulahs two years ago.
Topping the trade in the Charollais rings was a shearling ram sold by Huw Roberts of Bach ym Byd, Bachrhewl, Ruthin, made 3800gns and was sold to Redhill Charollais, Rutland. A Texel shearling ram, that had stood first in its class, from Cefyn Pryce of Yr Helyg, Llanfair Caereinion, sold for 3100 guineas.
The Texel breed championship at the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale at the Royal Welsh Showground on Monday 24 September was won by a ram lamb owned by Robert Bennett of Meifod, Powys. Sired by Connachan Sharkey, it sold for 3000gns in a two way split to Gordon Gray and Nick Layton. The highest priced Texel sold for 3900gns having stood fifth in the pre-sale show, this one one sold o a buyer from Dukesfield, Hexham.
The top priced cross breed was a Millennium Bleu from Richard Pilkington and sold for 2050 guineas. A shearling ram from John Owens of Luntley Court Farm, Pembridge, Leominster, took top price in the Suffolks, selling for 1550gns. It went to G Davies and Co Llanfechan, Builth Wells.
Leading the Blue Texels was an aged tup from R and G Watkins at 1200gns. This one, a former Royal Welsh breed champion is by a Millside tup and stood first in its class in the pre-sale show.
A Suffolk ram lamb from Charles Harding of Lodge Farm, Atterton, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, went for 1150gns to IBERS, Aberystwith.
Averages: Texel society sale – Aged rams £498.50, shearling rams £585.81, ram lambs £317.98, ewes £322.90, £245.21; Bluefaced Leicester society sale: aged rams £571.20, shearling rams £556.48, ram lambs £483.30, ewes £215.93, ewe lambs £241.50; Charollais Society sale: aged rams £577.50, shearling rams £632.45, ram lambs £414.69, ewes £459.38; MV Suffolks: rams £501.59, ram lambs £396.59; Non-Mv Suffolks: rams £607.11; Beltex rams: £560.20; MV Beltex cross rams: £540.34; Berrichon Du Cher: rams £454.65, ram lambs £463.31, shearling rams £522.49; Blue Texel: rams £517.30, ram lambs £518.35, ewes £494.76, ewe lambs £456; Beulah: rams £319.27; Border Leicester: rams – 385.32, ewes £229.83, ewe lambs £328.13; Cambridge: rams £205.23; Charmoise: rams £359.10, Derbyshire Gritstone: rams £241.50; Dorper: rams £185.50; Hampshire Down: rams – £399; Kerry Hill: rams £252; MV Lleyn: shearling rams £527.35, older rams £294; North Country Cheviots: rams £363, ewes £306; Oxford Down: rams £318.50; Poll Dorset: rams £237.56; Scottish Blackface: rams £122.85; South Country Cheviots: rams £356.40; Welsh Mountain: rams £477.49; Welsh Badger Face Society sale: older rams £253.31, shearling rams £228.48, ram lambs £258.13, ewes £97.33, ewe lambs £130.44; Balwen: older rams £172.67, shearling rams £372.75, ram lambs £210.75, ewes £148.19, ewe lamsb £225.75 (Various Auctioneers).