PRICES were up as the ‘online sale’ makes the Hampshire breed more accessible to buyers all over Europe. Buying on photos and videos did not deter purchasers with frantic bidding at the HDSBA online timed auction over the weekend.
Sheep sold to England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium, proving that online can gain a wider audience, including many commercial buyers.
With a good number of quality sheep entered by Northern Irish breeders, it came as no surprise that they gained some of the top prices. Members went to great lengths to market their sheep well and the result was testament to their hard work and it was an exciting watch when the bidding was concluding.
Ram lambs were first to be traded and saw some fervent bidding peaking at £1,670 for Kevin and Anna McCarthy’s Ballycreelly Flock from County Down. This lamb sired by Ballcreelly 007 combines the best of Ballycreelly breeding with great figures – 285 SR index and 252 maternal index, both within the top five per cent of the breed, Scan weight in top one per cent and High gigot EBV of 1.90. This lamb will make his way to the Netherlands to join the Stal Herfte flock owned Butcher and Caterer, Arjan van der Vlis.
Next in the bidding was £1,570 for a Graylen lamb from this year’s President Judith Galbraith and hus-band Graham from Cumbria. This lamb, sired by Graylen Laird, is in the top one per cent 8WW EBV and Maternal index, top five per cent SW EBV and Terminal Sire Index and is the full brother to HDSBA National Show Champion 2019 Graylen the Maverick. Winning the battle for this one was Adrian Rundle and it will join his Treworthal flock in Cornwall.
Another ram lamb achieving a four-figure price was from the Glenbrook flock of Peter Lawson, County Down, achieving £1,200. This ram lamb was sired by Glenbrook Jack the Rip Ear and includes Yarcombe and Ashley in its breeding and heads to Belgium.
Shearling rams broke the £1,000 bracket with Lot 47 from Ballycreelly knocked down at £1,150 to commercial farmer and butcher Alfie Murray from County Down. Mr Murray butchered two lambs for the McCarthy family and was impressed with the carcase quality and wanted to try a ram himself from the same breeding. This ram is in the top one per cent for SR index and top 10 per cent for maternal.
The females on offer weren’t to be outdone with strong bidding, especially on the ewe lambs. Topping the female trade at £930 was a sweet ewe lamb from Janet Hill, formerly of Bute, but this the first crop of lambs from her new home in Angus. This ewe lamb is sired by Graylen Romeo and out of a Whitehead ewe, she is in the top five per cent for Terminal Sire and Maternal Index and top five per cent for muscle depth and growth. She heads to Norfolk to join the Morley Flock owned by Andrew, Eleanor and Annabel Jones.
Ewe lambs continued to be in demand with Adrian Rundle’s Treworthal ewe lamb reaching £910 and goes to a new home in County Antrim and Messrs Jones, Maes Glas making £860 going to Belgium.
Shearling ewes peaked at £750 for Messrs Jones, Maes Glas. This ewe sired by the prolific show winner Maes Glas Miliband will make her way to Lancashire.
Commenting after the sale, HDSBA President Judith Galbraith said: “It was great to see our first ever online auction go so well and it was a fitting result given the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. I would like to pay tribute to the team from the breed society, especially Catherine Lake, our pub-
licity committee chair, as well as the Creative Agency who were responsible for producing our first ever colour catalogue.
“Many thanks go to Harrison and Hetherington Auctioneers who were so supportive and who did a great job hosting the sale in this new format. It was heart warming to see our vendors rise to the challenges of online selling so magnificently and last but definitely not least a thank you has to go to the purchasers who made all those efforts worthwhile.”