Hexham & Northern Marts held their annual prize show and sale of Hill ewes, gimmers and other breeding sheep and offered an entry of 4830 head. Prior to the sale the prize show classes were judged as follows;
Blackface Draft Ewes – Judge – Angus Murray, Sewingshields, Haydon Bridge
1st – Messrs W Walton & Sons, Troughend
2nd – Airey Bros, Brownchesters
3rd – Patterson, Hotbank
Swaledale Draft Ewes – Judge – John Thorpe, Blackburn, Hawes
1st – T Hall, The Raw
2nd – J P & F Scott, Westburnhope
3rd – Messrs Nelson, Low Bleakhope Farm ltd
Blackface Gimmers – Judge – Harry Hope, Mouldy Hills, Canonbie
1st – A Murray & Son, Sewingshields
2nd – H & H Robson, Townshields
3rd – W Walton, Toft House
All three judges handled their task with due consideration and professionalism as befits this important sale but special mention must go to Mr Hope who stepped in to judge the Blackie gimmers at the eleventh hour and made a first class job too!
Trade across all classes was selective with all manner of styles and types of ewes presented – as always the best rising to the top and attaining a premium.
Included in the sale was the dispersal of Blackface stock ewes on behalf of Peter Findlay, Stoop rigg, Simonburn. Big, square upstanding traditional ‘Hexham’ type blackie ewes these attracted a deal of interest and each age topped as follows;
Gimmers to £188, 1 crop ewes to £144, 2 crop ewes to £142, 3 crop ewes to £140, ewe lambs to £145 and the entire flock of over 450 head averaged a mighty £137 across the board.
Draft ewes were in steady demand throughout and topped at £152 for the first prize pen of absolute thumpers from the Troughend pen of Philip Walton. These were followed at £135 by a five-year-old pen from next door neighbours The Airey Brothers, Brownchesters then again at £130 for the second pen of six-year-olds from Troughend. The entire entry of 5 and 6-year-old ewes sold to average £85.50 throughout.
£152, £130 & £114 Dunns Houses, £110 Toft House, £94 Dunns Houses, £82 Dudlees (x2), £80 Quickeningcote & The Dunns
£135 Brownchesters, £80 Philhope, £78 Featherwood
A very mixed show of Gimmers were presented with all tastes and requirements catered for. Leading this trade was a smart pen from Messrs Robson, Yatesfield that topped at £215 followed by the second prize pen from Townshields at £210. The champion pen from Sewingshields changed hands at £200 as did a choice pen of ten from Frank Hall, Monkridge Cottage. The entire entry of Gimmers sold to average £149.50 per head across the catalogue.
£215 Yatesfield, £210 Townshields, £200 Sweingshieldss & Monkridge Cottage, £198 Monkridge Cottage, £190 Dudlees, £182 Toft House, £180 & £172 Old Police House, £170 Stoop Rigg, Townshields & Toft House, £166 Dudlees, £165 Townshields & Dudlees, £159 Dudlees, £156 Toft House, £155 Brownchesters & Old Police House, £150 Green Rigg & Yatesfield, £148 Sourhope
A small offering of swaledale ewes peaked at £80 from Dave and Stuart Hall, The Raw, Elsdon for six-year-old ewes whilst Messrs Nelson equalled this tariff for the first cut of their annual run of five years olds from high altitude at Low Bleakhope in The Breamish Valley, North Northumberland.
The usual entry of Cheviot draft ewes were presented from the upper reaches of The Coquet valley and further-a-field and these peaked at £105 then £104 from The Dudlees Partnership for 4 & 5 Year olds followed by another pen at £102 from Messrs Allgood, Reavely Farm, Ingram.
Six-year-old ewes were equally in demand and topped at £98 for FT Walton from The Shillmoor flock followed at £90 from Quickeningcote Partnership; £84 from Shillmoor and £83 from Quickeningcote.
A great day’s trading hill sheep was witnessed throughout in what are changing times for the hill-farming industry with external pressures and increasingly tight margins ultimately forcing producers to seek additional income from avenues that do not have livestock as the primary focus. The auctioneers are more than mindful of this and extend their grateful thanks to a staunch bedrock of upland farming customers from across the region that continue to support this sale and this centre.
Other Ewes, Gimmers & Ewe Lambs
Hexham & Northern Marts held its second gimmer shearling sale that had a typical second sale show of sheep.
Trade would have been easier compared to the phenomenal, once in a lifetime sale that was the first sale, but good returns were still achieved.
The better end of commercial sheep achieved £200 or more, with lesser sorts regularly casing at £180-£190.
The sale was led by a pair of Kery Hill gimmers from Messrs G S Dodds & Son, Delight Farm.
Cheviot Mule gimmers were once again in real demand here at Hexham with Mr R A Ogle, Comb Hills cashing a smart pen at £238.
Three pens of ex. Blackface Mules sold to £205 for Codlaw Farms, Wall and many others cashing away at £185-£190.
Pure Texel gimmers sold to £230 from J W & C M Ormston, Larch Hill.
A very powerful pen of Texel x gimmers forward from Messrs J F Stott & Son, Elilaw sold away nicely to £212.
Leading the Suffolk x gimmer trade was a very stylish pen from Mr F T Walton, Flotterton selling to £200.
Mule – £205 Codlaw Hill (x3), £195 Kingside, £190 Dalton Old Hall (x2) & Kingside, £186 Claywalls, £185 Halton Red House, Camphill & Denton Old Hall, £184 Houxty Bank Head, £182 Camphill, £180 Dalton Old Hall & Transwell
Texel – £230 Larch Hill, £215 East Town, £210 & £200 Edlingham Newtown
Texel x – £212 Elilaw, £210, £202 & £195 Halton Red House, £185 Wylam, £180 Comb Hills
Beltex x – £175 Yatesfield
Suffolk x – £200 & £195 Flotterton, £192 Tone Hall
Kerry Hill – £240 Delight Farm
Cheviot Mule – £238 Comb Hills, £210 Codlaw Hill, £200 Green Rigg
Leicester – £145 Edlingham Newtown
Herdwick – £120 Comb Hills
1 crop ewes
Mule – £140 Bridgeford, £132 Cross House
2 crop ewes
Texel x – £160 Halton Red House, £142 The Lee Cottage
Mule – £118 Bingfield
3 crop ewes
Texel x – £156, £148 & £136 Bridgeford
Mule – £138 & £132 Bridgeford
4 crop ewes
Texel x – £155 Yatesfield
Mule – £146 & £140 (x3) Yatesfield
Texel x – £145 Allensgreen
Mule Ewe Lambs
A small offering of Mule Ewe Lambs but those that were forward were met with a great trade and a great demand.
Leading the sale at £142 was a sharp pen from Messrs J Carr & Co, Camphill.
£142 Camphill, £140 Pitland Hills, £138 Pitland Hills & Camphill, £135 Camphill, £132 Hole Farm (x2) & North Cocklake, £130 Pitland Hills & Hole Farm