Hexham and Northern Marts held their Grand Opening Sale of Mule gimmers with an offering of 2228 gimmers that were both ex Northumberland Blackface and Swaledale. An outstanding show of sheep was observed and Hexham’s reputation for attracting some of the best Mule gimmers in the country was seen once again with a ram packed ringside of buyers from far and wide. The atmosphere was electric from the first pen to the last as lamb producers sought to procure the best breeding sheep available. It was noticeable producers are coming back to the “original and the best” composite breeding ewe there is.
This years pre-sale show was ably judged by Mr J Thompson, Langthorne Hall, Bedale. Classes again split for breed type and if they had reared lambs or not.
The Champion pen and taking the Joe Arthur Memorial Challenge trophy this year was Messrs R W & K Telford, Branton East Side who have now won this prestigious competition for the sixth year in concession.
This fantastic pen of ten gimmers, again brought out to perfection by stockman Jimmy Elliot, was snapped up by the judge for £250.00.
The Overall Reserve Champion once again went to the winners of the Ex-Swaledale, Not Reared Lamb class from Mr R S Walton, Coatyards which went on to sell for £235.00.
10 Mule Gimmers ex Blackface (NRL)
1st – F S Vickers, Rennington
2nd – I & A Hamilton, Claywalls
10 Mule Gimmers ex Blackface (RL)
1st – R W & K Telford, Branton East Side
2nd – R W & K Telford, Branton East Side
10 Mule Gimmers ex Swaledale (NRL)
1st – R S Walton, Coatyards
2nd – J T Nixon & Son, Stotsfold
Champion – R W & K Telford, Branton East Side
Reserve champion – R S Walton, Coatyards
Trade can only be described as remarkable for all classes. With an increased purchaser presence ringside for Mule gimmers, the sale average rose by £30 compared to last year and leveled at £218.40 for a straight and genuine trade throughout.
Leading the sale with an outstanding pen of sucked ex Blackface gimmers from renowned Northumbrian Stockman Mr Joe Vickers, Rennington South which after some frantic bidding, settled at £280.00 to annual purchasers, Messrs J F Johnson & Son, Tuthill.
Another sale highlight was a terrific run of homebred (ex Blackface) gimmers that had run dry from Messrs J Herdman, Edlingham Newtown selling a run of 105 sheep to top at £270 and to average a staggering £246.76.
Leading the trade for ex Swaledale gimmer shearlings was powerful pen from Messrs JRD & JA Short, Ouston Farm that went on to realise £246.00.
Mule Gimmers ex Blackface – £280 Rennington South, £270 Edlingham Newtown, £258 Rennington South, £255 Branton East Side, Houxty Bank Head & Edlingham Newtown, £250 Claywalls, Rennington South, Branton East Side & Thornton Towers, £245 Claywalls, Rennington South, Coatyards (x2) & Thornton Tower (x2), £242 Claywalls, Branton East Side & Wingates, £240 Tenter House, Croft Cottage, Claywalls (x4), Rennington South, Coatyards, Edlingham Newtown (x2), Branton East Side, Halton Red House, Thornton Tower & Houxty Bank Head
Mule Gimmers ex Swaledale – £246 Ouston, £245 Lightbirks, £242 Light Birks (x2), £240 Light Birks, £232 Ouston, £230 Stotsfold (x2) & Ouston, £228 Ouston, £225 & £222 Newbiggen
Texel Cross Gimmers
A strong entry of 800 Texel Cross Gimmers were presented and prior to the sale were judged by Mr I Scott, Corneyside, Matfen, who made his awards as follows:
10 Texel Cross Gimmers NRL
1st – J S Gibson & Son, Thornton Towers
2nd – B Moralee, Hard Riding
10 Texel Cross Gimmers RL
1st – J T Nixon & Son, Stotsfold
2nd – J T Nixon & Son, Stotsfold
From the useful entry of gimmers, trade saw a sizeable lift on the year although a better show of quality was evident throughout.
Trade peaked at £252 for a super pen of ten from Richard and Peter Stott, Elilaw, Rothbury, and the same consigners also sold at £248.
William Patterson, Halton Red House sold his best at £246, then again at £245 with all eight of his pens selling to return purchasers.
The entire entry of Texel crosses sold well to average £203 per head representing a significant lift on the year.
Texel x – £252 & £248 Elilaw, £246 & £245 Halton Red House, £235 Broomhall, £230 Halton Red House, Tenter House, Newbiggin & Brigg Farm, £226 Newbiggin, £225 Lowes Fell, Elilaw & Halton Red House, £220 Edlingham Demesne (x2), Stotsfold, Newbiggin & Hard Riding, £216 Edlingham Demesne & Stotsfold, £215 Thornton Tower & Edlingham Demesne, £210 Edlingham Demesne, Stotsfold & Demesne
Pure Bred Texels – £260 Hard Riding, £245 Demesne
Suffolk Cross Gimmers
Mr Scott, Corneyside kindly judged this show class and awarded first prize (NRL) to a super smart pen from Messrs Walton, Coatyards, and second prize to Messrs Fawcett, Well House for their pen bred high in the Coquet Valley at Harbottle. These went on to top the class at £240 followed by another pen at £238.
£240 & £238 Well House, £230 Low Wood House, Carrycoats & Well House, £200 & £195 Rennington South, £190 Broomhall & Pineville
Continental Cross Gimmers
A small entry of continental cross gimmers sold in-line with the trade although after several years in ascendancy, it would appear that purchasers are now looking to “regroup” with a bedrock of Mule sheep.
The show prizes were as followed:
10 Continental Cross Gimmers NRL
1st – B Moralee, Hard Riding
2nd – Messrs C R Fawcett, Well House
Colleen Macdonald, Light Birks, topped the class at £250 with leading prices as follows:
Beltex cross – £250 Light Birks, £230 Demesne & Watch Hill (x2), £205 Watch Hill & Light Birks, £200 Well House
Pure Beltex – £260 Pineville
Cheviot Mule Gimmers
A small show of Cheviot Mule gimmers sold exceptionally well at this centre usually renowned for the North of England Mule.
Trade topped at £260 & £245 from noted Blue Faced Leicester breeders Alan & Peter Forster, Lowes Fell with their two very correct pens and the class averaged a worthy £235 throughout.
£260 & £245 Lowes Fell, £240 Quickeningcote, £232 & £230 (x2) Flotterton, £220 Quickeningcote