The Dorset May Fair in Exeter saw a steady demand for commercial and pedigree rams and ewes.
Breeders’ rams matched and females topped previous years’ levels with a 95 per cent clearance across all sections.
Top price was 3,000gns for the reserve champion from the pre-sale show from David Rossiter’s Huish flock, Kingsbridge, Devon. This was the September 2015-born Poll ram lamb, Huish Exhilarate, whose sire, Downkillybegs Unique, a double copy Myomax ram, has passed one copy of the double muscling gene to his son. The buyers were Jim and Joe Dufosee, for their Blackhill flock, Warminster, Wiltshire.
Next at 2,600gns was Deverill Xavi, a September-born Poll ram, by Oliver Tree Uncle Ben, from Adrian Dufosee, Warminster, which was knocked down to William and Karen Carson, Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Ben Lamb, Richhill, County Armagh, had the next top price at 2,200gns for October-born, Richhill Xstyle by Sandelford Usain. The buyer was Thomas Wright, Ballymoney, Co Antrim.
Mr Rossiter paid 1,600gns for the Carson’s September 2015-born Downkillybegs Xaco, by Downkillybegs Umberton. The ram lamb’s terminal sire and maternal index are both in the top 1 per cent of the breed.
The overall champions selected by judge, Richard Hole of the Sherborne flock, Dorset, were a pen of three rams from Fooks Brothers, Bridport, Dorset. All September 2015-born by Beechmount Tweedledum, they averaged £549/head.
Topping the pedigree females and setting a new female record of 2,000gns was the ewe lamb, Ballytaggart X1469 from Mr Wright, which sold to Andrew Kennedy, Ballymena.
Mr Wright also had the champion pen of females in the commercial section which made £300/head.
The Fooks also won the female championship, which went to a horned ewe for the first time. This was Blackhill Wilma, which sold for 620gns to B.A. Wernham and Son, Newbury.
In the commercial pens, the Fooks’ pen of five Poll ewe hoggets made £390/head to top the section.