Trade at the 17th Thame summer sheep fair saw prices holding firm, with a total of 24,462 breeding sheep and lambs sold over the two days.
Despite predictions that the ongoing Brexit debate was likely to dampen trade, the need for replacements and the abundance of regrowth kept prices firm and, although numbers were back slightly on last year’s 25,821, clearance rates held to total 98 per cent.
Day one saw the Beltex crosses top at £190 for a pen of 15 from Messrs Rawding Partners, Marsworth, with other pens from the same flock selling at £175.
D.F. and G.A. Davies, Carmarthenshire, also sold pens for £168 and £165.
Texel crosses peaked at £190 for judge, Wendy Pickard, Queniborough, with a top pen of 25 Texel cross Border Leicesters from Garfield Stephens, Kirkby Bellows.
Harrison Bros, Milton Keynes, sold a run of 400 Texel cross North Country Mules to £170, with a pen of three-quarter-breds from Messrs Claridge, Middle Claydon, selling to the same money.
Others lots from Mr Garfield included a black North Country Cheviot to £181, with two shears from the same home making £170.
Cheviot Mules were up slightly on the year, peaking at £144 for Philip North, Catesby, for a dry run, and £145 from Rob and Caroline Mole, Chearsley, for lambed sheep.
Suffolk crosses saw a stronger trade this year, with top pens of Suffolk cross North Country Mules from George Eaton, Tingewick, topping the breed at £182, with the second pen from the same home selling for £160.
Messrs Gore Farms, Culworth, sold a pure-bred pen, all run dry, for £162. G.J. Brown and Sons, Woodeaton, sold to £161, with F.C. Lester and Son, Radclive, selling pens for £158 and £157.
North of England Mules sold to a high of £170 for Peter and David Morris, Brill, Alyesbury, who took the NEMSA cup of best run of 60 or more North of England Mule Theaves.
The buyer was judge Ross Sizmur, Okehampton. Overall average was £122 for 6,500, up £5 on the year.
Ewe lambs were slightly harder to sell, with top prices coming from the run of 600 Texel crosses from T.C. Dawson, Ferryhill, Co Durham which topped at £91.
Store lamb numbers were up on last year, although several bigger buyers purchasing long-keep lambs were cautious, with a budget of under £50, stronger lambs sold to £71 for a pen of Charollais crosses from Barton Farms, Barton Hartshorne.
Pedigree trade met a much firmer demand than 12 months ago, when times were generally dry and grass was scarce in comparison to current conditions.
Shearling rams sold to £1,200 for a Beltex, Bishops Dennis The Menace, from A. Bishop, Preston, one by Woodies Beyond Limits and out of a Bulldog daughter.
Ram lambs peaked at £420 for a Charollais from G.A. and J.A. Curtis, Evesham, and females to £950 for a shearling ewe, another from the Bishops flock, Bishops Daffodil, a The Bulldog daughter.
Mules, £122 (+£4.32); Suffolk cross, £132.33 (+£7.38); Texel cross, £135.65 (+£2.55); Beltex, £137.60; Cheviot and Chaviot Mules, £122.64; Lleyn, £118.42 (+13.44); Scotch Half-bred, £156.72; ewe lambs, £69.95; store lambs, £52.34; shearling rams, £419; ram lambs, £357; pedigree females, £400. MV rams: Charollais shearlings, £422; Charollais ram lambs, £346; Beltex cross Charollais shearlings, £402; Suffolk shearlings, £460; Suffolk ram lambs, £380; Texel shearlings, £416; Beltex cross Texel shearlings, £423; Blue Texel shearlings, £293; Texel cross Charollais shearlings, £510; Beltex cross Suffolk shearlings, £455; two-shear Beltex shearlings, £380. Non-MV rams: Beltex cross Texel shearlings, £370; Beltex cross Charollais, £397; Beltex shearlings, £510.
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