The 16th Thame summer sheep fair saw 25,821 breeding sheep and lambs penned along with 264 rams over two days. According to the auctioneers, the prolonged drought affected trade, with many purchasers frustrated they have no keep.
Day one found the Beltex cross shearlings in favour, with the first sheep in the ring from S.K. Hutchings, Hailsham, selling at £195, with Davies Bros, Carmarthen, selling at the same price.
Texel crosses sold to £185 for the best pen of 25 from John Brown, Long Crendon, selling to Messrs Evans and Son, Marston Moretaine.
Harrison Bros, Milton Keynes, sold its run of Texel cross North Country Mules to £180. Garfield Stephens, Kirkby Bellows, sold his Texel cross Scotch Half Breds to £179. He also had two-shear Scotch Half Breds to £180 and his two pens of North Country Cheviots sold at £182 and £160, again for two-shear.
Cheviot Mules were harder to place, this year topping at £138 for lambed sheep from Rob and Caroline Mole, Chearsley.
Older ewes were a little steady against last year and sold to £106 for full mouthed ewes from J.H. Tustian, Epwell. Suffolk crosses sold to £104, Texel crosses to £101, with Beltex topping the section at £145 from Davies Bros, Gwynfe.
Suffolk cross theaves and doubles sold on a remarkably strong trade. The best pen of 25 or more award went to F.C. Lester and Son, Buckingham, for its home-bred pen which sold at £160. Eddy Bullman, Buckingham, sold to £145, again for run dry sheep. Suffolk crosses averaged £124.95 for 4,700, down £6.96.
North Country Mules traded to £162 for lambed sheep from Messrs Tustain, who took the NEMSA cup of best run of 60 or more. The overall average was £117.68 for 6,420, down £12.22.
The ewe lamb trade was dominated by smart-headed Texel cross North Country Mules from Chris Dawson, Ferry Hill, topping at £100. Store lambs topped at £68 for Charollais crosses from Mark Britten, Leckhampstead
Pedigree trade was selective, with rams peaking at £860 for a Texel shearling ram from R. and B. Smith’s Slapton flock, Towcester. Females topped at £610 for a Beltex shearling ewe from Chiltern Beltex.
Shearling ewes - Beltex, £151.80 (-£11.19); Cheviots, £164.58; Cheviot Mules, £117.18 (-£20.82); Lleyns, £104.98 (-£15.97); Scotch Half Bred, £165 (-£11.66) Texel cross, £133.10 (-£8.34).
Ewes – Beltex, £131.36; Mules, £87.83, Suffolk, £92.34; Texel cross, £93.07; Suffolk cross Half Breds, £129.
5,753 store lambs, £55.66. Pedigree Beltex – shearling rams, £446, shearling ewes, £402, £610; aged ewes, £275.
MV rams – Texel shearlings, £446; Texel cross Beltex, £469; Texel cross Charollais, £308; Blue Texels, £284; Charollais shearlings, £393; Charollais ram lambs, £343; Beltex cross Charollais, £450; Suffolk shearlings, £555; Suffolk ram lambs, £370; Lleyn shearlings, £407.
Non-MV rams – Texel cross Beltex shearlings, £545; Beltex cross Charollais shearlings, £500; Charollais shearlings, £465; Texel shearlings, £291; Suffolk shearlings, £297; Dorset shearlings, £280.