Blackfaced Sheep Breeders Association


Copyright.North of England Blackface Sheep Breeders Association 2011


10th October 2016

Hexham & Northern Marts held their special annual prize show and sale of Blackface rams which was generously sponsored once again by the NFU Hexham Office. A great entry of 309 was presented comprising of 292 shearlings and 17 ram lambs and a good selection of both were put out for show prior to the sale.

The task of judging the shearling classes fell to Mr James Herdman of Edlingham Newtown, Alnwick and he was faced with an initial line up of no fewer than twenty-two top quality rams from noted flocks within the branch region. Mr Herdman moved swiftly and efficiently to arrive at a superb final group of ten rams, any one of which would be a valuable addition to any proud flock masters armoury and after a little deliberation his awards were given out as follows;

1st Prize – Messrs Wanwood Partners – Wanwood Hill (Ram No. 257) sired by a Mount Benger sheep was awarded The Bellingham Cup for the Champion Shearling Ram.

2nd Prize – Messrs A Murray & Sons – Sewingshields (Ram No. 67) by the £1100 Hot Bank sire.

3rd Prize – Mr S Robson – Toft House (Ram No. 203) by the £8500 Kirkstead tup.

Following the individual shearling class Mr Herdman switched his attention to a strong line up of eight pens for the ‘group of three’ award and gave each lot his due consideration before awarding the honours as follows;

1st Prize & The Willie Armstrong Memorial Shield – Mr W Walton – Toft House (No’s. 195,196,197)

2nd Prize – Messrs J Hunter & Sons – The Steel (No’s. 204, 205, 206)

3rd Prize – JRF Pattinson & Son – Hot Bank (No’s. 264, 266, 269)

The Ram Lamb Classes were presided over by Mr Neil Robson, Townshields, Bardon Mill and success in these classes came to a number of the shearling winners also. From a select offering of seven lambs presented Mr Robson awarded the rosettes as follows;

1st Prize & The James Robson Memorial Trophy – Messrs Wanwood Partners – Wanwood Hill (No. 316) By the £8500 Kirkstead out of a Mount Benger mother.

2nd Prize – Mr S Robson – High Leam (No. 302) By the £5000 shearling sold earlier this same day which was also by £8500 Kirkstead.

3rd Prize – Messrs Walton – Penpeugh (No. 309) By a Milnmark sire out of a Trough End dam.

Similarly Mr Robson worked very diligently amongst the groups of three ram lambs and his awards were allocated thusly;

1st – Messrs W & PF Walton – Penpeugh (No’s. 309, 310, 311)

2nd – Messrs G & S Paxton – Greenleighton (No’s. 313, 314, 315)

3rd – Mr S Robson – High Leam (No’s 301, 302, 303)

As appointed by the North of England branch committee Mr Alan McClymont, Kirkstead, Yarrow made the trip south of the Border to judge The Bob Jackson Trophy for the best ‘Scotch Type’ ram on show and a smart entry of eleven rams were put out for his consideration. With a number of new customers opting to consign rams for sale from North of The Carter Bar interest in this class was noteably increased on previous years and Mr McClymont awarded the hardfought prizes as follows;

1st – Messrs W Walton & Sons – Stewartshields (No. 91) sired by the now noted £8500 Kirkstead.

2nd – Messrs CH & SE Peart – Hareshaw (No. 214) by £4000 Wanwood Hill.

3rd – Messrs G & S Paxton – Greenleighton (No. 28) by £2200 Toft House.

With all the preliminary classes taken care of by three very able and well-respected judges within the breed the final and most important task of the schedule was overseen by Mr McClymont who was faced with the Champion Shearling and the Champion Ram Lamb which, in a rarely seen ‘clean sweep’ saw both sheep come from the same home; that of Messrs Walton, Wanwood Hill.

Having led the way in both earlier classes The Alston based family were guaranteed success either way but with little or no hesitation or deliberation the judge stepped forward to award the Overall Champion rosette and therefore The Edmundbyers Cup & The J H Reed Perpetual Memorial Cup to Philip and Dan Walton for their modern shearling which had indeed caught the eye throughout the morning.

With the well-supported prize show taken care of the sale commenced in front of a full ringside of buyers and it was apparent from an early stage that commercial buyers were in selective and cautious mood with many of these types selling at three to five hundred pounds.

Sold within the first hour of the sale it was the pen leader and second prize shearling from Angus & Jamie Murray, Sewingshields that held top mark for a great deal of the day as the big square and upstanding sheep by the Hot Bank £1100 levelled, after considerable breeder interest at £6000 selling to John Snaith, Clennell.

It was evident that a number of breeders were on the hunt for a quality stock sheep with many selling in excess of Two Thousand pounds however it was the second half of the sale which saw the bulk of this action. The undoubted pen of the day was that from Toft House, Otterburn from the Walton & Robson partnership; expertly bred and brought out by Stuart Robson who both echoed and exceeded the achievements of his father Robert through the very same sale ring Twelve years ago. This time Stuarts first sheep into the ring, one of the first prize group of three and sired by the £8500 Kirkstead brought with it a swell of both numbers and anticipation in the auction auditorium and buyers had to bring out the ‘Big Guns’ for the sheep bred high on the Otterburn army ranges. Bidding set off at a pace and it was evident that the two competing consortiums were not short of

fire-power as the ram quickly rose to five figures and settled at £12,000 selling to The Steel and Carrick flocks of Andrew and Caroline Hunter. When the second sheep from Toft House came in, this one also part of the group of three, a sense of ‘deja-vu’ from 2004 descended as this sheep by a home bred son of the £6000 Williamhope also took off with bidding from all quarters and the ‘last-lossers’ on the first Messrs Murray & Pattinson reloaded their artillery and hit the target to avoid a superstition at £12,500, taking the sheep home to be shared at Sewingshields and Hot Bank. The third sheep in the group continued to ring the bell for Toft House and the Kirkstead stock sheep as this one sold for £6000 to George Famelton, Horseholm, Gilsland to round off a super day for the Toft House partners which saw their eight average the sale lead of £4137 per head.

Mr Famelton himself a long-standing stalwart of the breed and the Hexham type came next in the price rankings with a sheep sold late in the day, his second sold by the £4000 Wanwood sire which went home in the opposite direction up the A68 to his earlier purchase and sold well for £5500 to Selby Robson, Yatesfield, Otterburn. On a successful day for the Irthing water based producer the third Horseholm tup by the same sire sold for £3200 to Angus and Andrew Murray, Stell Green.

Another late catalogued sheep sold well within the last consignment of shearlings to be sold on behalf of Messrs Armstrong & Hunter, Carrick. Also bred on the army ranges this one courted a deal of breeder attention and the hammer finally fell at a straight £5000 in a joint purchase between Messrs Raine, Townfoot, West Woodburn and North Yorks. based Peter Turnbull, Shepherds Croft, Whitby for the Nilston Rigg sired ram. It was Mr Turnbull himself who sold next in the upper echelons of the price scale reaching £4000 for a sweet tup got by a home bred son of a very breedy Carrick sheep and this one sold to Willie Walton, Penpeugh, Bardon Mill.

A smart pen of sheep were brought off the Roman Wall by Neil Robson, Townshields and his second in by the £2000 Wanwood sheep quickly travelled to £3700 selling to near neighbours and noted Tynedale stockmen Messrs G H Walton & Sons, Greyside, Newbrough. This was followed later in the sale by the second sheep from John & Andrew Hunter, The Steel; a powerful tup by a home bred son of the £5500 Wanwood Hill sire which sold for £3600 to Annabelle Bates, Nilston Rigg Farms. These were then followed by a brace of tups from Messrs Wanwood Partners, Wanwood Hill, Alston which both hit the heights of £3200; the first into the ring being their show champion which sold to the judge James Herdman, Edlingham Newtown and was then followed shortly after by another at the same money by a Kirkstead sheep which went to Messrs Pattinson, Hot Bank. The Cumbria based family then sold another, this time sired by a home bred lamb at £2600 to father & daughter team Geoff & Fiona Paxton, Greenleighton, Longwitton, Morpeth.

£2500, £2300 & £2200 were next in the roll-call, the first for Selby Robson, Yatesfield by a Toft House sheep to Stuart Robson buying his own breeding back. Next was another of the sharp pen from Sewingshields, this an £1100 Hot Bank son which sold North of The Border to Ray & Sally Flintoft, Sourhope at the head of The Bowmont valley, Yetholm. The last of this trio was a bare skinned son of a £6500 Wanwood Hill sheep from Robbie & Paul Coulson, High Staward which also sold to Toft House.

Finally Ten Thousand pounds of trade was generated by five tups, all selling at £2000. The first of these from Sewingshields, by Penpeugh to Great Chesters, next was a Chapel House, by Wanwood to High Staward. These were followed by two from Hot Bank by Sewingshields and Penpeugh to Townshields and West Nubbock respectively and last to sell in this bracket was a Carrick sheep by Wanwood to Greyside.

Leading flock averages;

Penpeugh; sold 6 to a top of £1200 and an average of £800,

Greenleighton; 3, 1400, 933,

Townhead Yarrow; 4, 1000 (x2), 650,

Clennell; 9, 1600, 716,

Sewingshields; 10, 6000, 1595,

Yatesfield; 6, 2500, 963,

Stewartshields; 6, 1800, 808,

Edges Green; 5, 1100, 580,

High Staward; 8, 2200, 1075,

Cowden Burn; 5, 1000, 590,

Townshields; 7, 3700, 885,

The Dunns; 9, 1500, 872

Shitlington; 5, 1600, 880,

Chapel House; 9, 2000, 758,

Shepherds Croft; 3, 4000, 1533,

Toft House; 8, 12500, 4137,

The Steel; 7, 3600, 1342

Great Chesters; 5, 1500, 550,

Allensgreen; 8, 1600, 678,

Wanwood Hill; 10, 3200 (x2), 1510

Hot Bank; 9, 2000 (x2), 816.

A small offering of ram lambs were presented following the shearlings and these sold well for the quality on offer. The peak of the trade was £1000 for the reserve champion from Messrs Wanwood partners which sold to Townshields. This was followed by two more from Stuart Robson, High Leam by the shearling sold minutes earlier for £5000 and these sold for £450 and £320 to Cowden Burn and Shitlington Hall respectively.

Following the conclusion of the sale and on close study of the catalogue the keenest eyed statisticians will note that of the entire entry of shearlings and lambs the top three most prolific flocks within the sale and the number of sheep sired by the progeny each were as follows; Wanwood Hill (40), Sewingshields (26) and Toft House (16).

The company and branch committee would like to thank all involved for their contribution to the show and sale and wish all buyers good luck with their purchases.