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Well it must be that time of year again, Marion tells me she needs a report for the mule news and it just seems five minutes ago since last year. Where do I start? It has been wet! Most Northumberland members seemed to have had good lambings apart from 3rd April which, in this area, had to be one of the worst lambing days for a long time. The 3rd June saw Northumberland branch along with Lazonby attend Scot Sheep at Dumfries House, Ayrshire. We had two mule hoggs with Beltex X texel lambs kindly loaned by J kerr and Son, Fountain Hall Farm, Stow and two Hexham type Blackface ewes with single mule lambs kindly loaned by R D Archer and Son, Carry House Wark.
Sales 1st Sale
1st P Teasdale, Crow Hall Farms
2nd J Browell and Son, Quarry House
3rd J Herdman, Edlingham New Town
Sale av 118 which was £4 up on the year
1st R D Archer and Son, Carry House
2nd P Teasdale, Crow Hall Farms
3rd Wanwood Partners, Cowden
Sale 1v 117
Vendors and Purchasers all seemed happy, let’s hope trade is as good in 2013.
Another year has flown by, it does not seem like 12 months since I was writing the 2011 report, is this a sign of getting older?? Two things have dominated 2012, firstly the Olympics and secondly the weather. I thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics but I’ve really brassed off with the weather as I’m sure everyone else has unless you are the proud owner of a canoe! Does anyone remember a wetter year? It all started so well, March was a cracking month, people were sunbathing on the beaches and in parks, the ewes were seeking the shade behind the dykes and the grass was growing. We all knew it was too good to last and we would pay for it sometime and so we did! It started to rain in April and it has never stopped, weeks and weeks of liquid sunshine, fields became saturated and have remained so ever since. There are several benefits from living on the side of a hill one of which is we never get flooded, Randal Raine will be choking on his cuppa right now!!
The show season got underway in June starting with Scot Sheep at Dumfries House in Ayrshire. Excellent hoggs and lambs were genorously loaned by Messrs Elliott of Bank House. Once again the NEMSA stand attracted a lot of interest from breeders, buyers and potential buyers. On the same day as Scot Sheep we headed south to Cornwall, along with our friends from the Kirkby Stephen branch, for our annual visit to the Royal Cornwall Show. Normally we take sheep from the Lazonby district but with the Schmallenberg virus causing problems throughout the country we decided to source some quality mules from Cornwall instead. This is where Peter Lee and his large book of contacts comes in handy, I’m sure Peter has the Prime Minister on speed dial! After a couple of phone calls Peter managed to find some quality mules on a farm just two miles from the show ground, these were kindly loaned by Bill Pedlar and Clair, Treguindles Farm, St Breok. The weather played its part at the show, on the second day the wind almost destroyed one end of the main sheep marquee which covers the same area as a football pitch, it had to be abandoned by all people and sheep on safety grounds. Fortunately the NEMSA stand was separate from the main marquee and withstood the gales. It was great to see familiar visitors who call in every year for a chat and maybe a beer and also new visitors enquiring about the Mule and how they could benefit from such a fine sheep!
The sales commenced in September, the trade and demand for gimmer lambs was brisk and even surpassed last year which was a pleasant surprise to everyone. The highlight was the “Alston Moor” sale, 25 excellent pens were brought forward for the show held on previous night. This was a successful and well attended evening. We were honoured to have a sporting “superstar” at the show, the present England cricket captain Alastair Cook, who’s wife, Alice, was one of the judges. What a fine young man he is and I’m sure his success in India this autumn was all down to the extra portions of sausage and chips he had in the cafe at Lazonby Auction!
The trade for store lambs has not matched that of the gimmers, any lambs purchased in August or September have been difficult to turn into profit due to the shortage of quality grass and high feed costs, How this will affect the gimmer lamb trade in 2013 we will have to wait and see.
Finally I would like to thank all the members of the committee for all their help at shows and sales and attending meetings and would like to say a special thank you to Angela, our branch secretary, who is standing down this year. Your help and hard work have been greatly appreciated by everyone.
Prize winners are as follows:-
Lazonby Mule Gimmer Shearlings – Thursday 13th September 2012
1st R J BELL, SCARROWMANNICK
2nd J REED, THE KNARR
Lazonby ‘Alston Moor’ Sale of Mule Gimmer Lambs – Wednesday 3rd October 2012
1st & Winners of the William Armstrong Memorial Cup WD & B THOMPSON, EAST UNTHANK
2nd J LEE, MORLEY HILL
3rd J LEE, MORLEY HILL
4th T BOWMAN, BRAMPTON FELL
5th J REED, THE KNARR
6th G R WHARTON, KEISLEY
Lazonby Third Gimmer Lambs – Wednesday 17th October 2012
1st & Winners of the Mounsey Kidd Memorial Trophy P M SMITH, PARSON SHIELD
2nd J F & M L WILKIN, THE SLACK
3rd KILNSTOWN FARMS LTD, KILNSTOWN
4th T BOWMAN, BRAMPTON FELL
'Make no mistakes this is my last report as Branch Chairman, having had 6 years in the job I'm sure most prision sentences are shorter than that ! I must say though that I have enjoyed my stint as Weardale Chairman. I feel I need not mention the weather through the summer although 'dreadful' sums it up nicely, we had planned another trip to Peebles show but unfortunately everyone was busy in one of the few windows of opportunity to get some silage come show time. I also managed to miss out on our local show for the first time in 30 years because I was still trying to get silage in September, one good thing was that my liver didn't have to process as much alcohol as normal but the rest of my body was ready for a drink !
So before I knew it the sales were upon us with many peoples lambs smaller and no time to mess on with them, it was pleasing that averages were up and the demand was still there. The Hexham (Tow Law) sale was another flier with trade seeming to get dearer as the sale went on, levelling at £115.27 up £6.27 on the year. St John's Chapel sale averaged £98 up £5, another great trade considering the percentage of smaller running lambs, so all in all everyone was happy.
Hexham (Tow Law)
1st W J Scott Low Leam
2nd Messrs Reed, Lands Farm
3rd Ian Potts, Redburn
4th GW Lee and Sons, Stockley Burn.
St John's Chapel
1st M and B Coulthard, Bridge End.
2nd W Morley and Sons, Warden Hill
3rd J J Robinson, Ling Riggs
4th Messrs Reed, Lands Farm.
As I write my first report as chairman of Teesdale branch, I would like to thank Mr Maurice Rutter our past chairman for his devoted hard work and jovial service in the chairman’s hot seat for the last three years, from myself and the committee well done.
Well after last year’s near perfect lambing (2011) what did Mother Nature bring for 2012 lambing? Two foot of snow in a proper lambing time storm, “as we lamb outside” it was a real tester this time round, wasn’t it just. But a lot of hard work and determination kept the old girls going through one of the harshest of blizzards (48 hours). I can remember sheep over blown and lost under snow. A real nightmare one might say, but thank goodness for the men that invented ATV’s and 4 x 4’s. One man can cover a lot of ground with dog, stick and shovel! Luckily not many losses, but defiantly a trying time.
The so called ‘haytime’ came or rather ‘look, duck, smash and grab!’ What a wonderful summer we had. Finally completed by 10th September with perfect hay, second class silage and no fog for any lambs! The big sales only days away. But how does that song go ‘always look on the brightside’.
Anyway back to business after attending the Yorkshire show, to see a tremendous show of outstanding lambs and shearlings out to show after the summers deluge of rain, a credit must go out to the owners who turned up to show their sheep.
A great day out inspecting at Leyburn NEMSA sale. And a very good show of lambs and truly one not to be missed the Thame and Bicester sheep fair.
On to the sales
Middleton-in-Teesale (18th September 2012)
The show was kindly sponsored by Shearwell Data, Carrs Billington, Novartis and Tithbarn.
Judges - Mr Richard Hanson, Mr David Lee, Mr Ken Robinson
1st Winner of the GM Teward & sons trophy and NEMSA rosette.- MW & E Dent, Whythes Hill
2nd J & SE Bainbridge, Dousgill
3rd DJ Mallon, Pallet Cragg
4th W & HI Watson, Saunders Close
3, 270 lambs- forward average £102.10. Down £4.05 on year (2011)
Barnard Castle (20th September 2012)
This show was kindly sponsored by Carrs Billington and Novartis.
Judges- Mr Jim Layfield, Mr Neville Raine
1st Winner of the NEMSA rosette- J & SE Bainbridge, Dousgill
2nd MW & E Dent, Whythes Hill
3rd J & JE Dobson, White Kirkley
4th JW Dent & sons, Naby View
3,585 lambs- forward average £107.00. Down £2.00 on year (2011)
Every credit must be given to members for all their hard work, once again presenting the tremendous show of lambs at both auction marts, which appears to get better every year. Thanks to both auction marts members of staff. Thanks to Rebecca and Marion for all their hard work put in over the last year, and to the committee for their help through the year. Roll on 2013!
Surprise, surprise - it’s raining as I write this report.
The year started dry in February and too hot for ewes lambing outside, in March they were looking for shade. My neighbour a Mule and Blue Faced Leicester breeder was lambing with his shirt off on the 28th March (not a pretty sight), that’s when it all went downhill, to -7 with wind chill one week later. Summer was about 3 days in May. As a branch we were going to go to Blakesley Show but – surprise, surprise - it was called off, as were most events. One event that took place however was Kilnsey Show, the top show for mule gimmer lambs, and what a great turn out and credit to all breeders, under the circumstances, congratulations to the Fairburn Family on their success.
Then to the sales starting with Bentham Shearling Sale won by Ron and Fran Wilson, then to Leyburn Shearling Sale won by Martin and Val Brown congratulations to both families who had won respective shows throughout the summer. Bentham sale averaged: £150.32, Leyburn sale averaged: £166.40.
Then to the gimmer lamb sales starting with Bentham on the 15th September.
1st GW Whitwell Ltd
2nd KA Brown & Sons
3rd Allan & Watson
4th & 5th JD & L Whitfield
11,796 forward, members lambs averaging £105.40, down £9.24 on last year.
Then to Hawes Monday 17th September, 20 pens of lambs forward to show.
1st E Fairburn & Sons
2nd AV Caton
3rd GP Taylor
4th CT & JE Willoughby
5th HW & G White
13,777 lambs forward averaging £113.49.
Onto Hawes Tuesday 18th September, 17 pens forward to show.
1st G & HR Shields
2nd M/s Lord
3rd & 4th WA & A Booth
5th RA Busby & Son
12, 642 lambs forward, averaging £109.50.
Overall averaging £111.58, down £3.10 on last year.
A good show of lambs at Leyburn on Friday 21st September and a great trade to match.
1st RA Busby & Son
2nd DA & MA Brown
3rd WC Porter & Son
4th WA Dinsdale & Son
3300 lambs forward, averaging £117.15, up £1.65 on last year.
Hawes second sale Monday 1st October
1st J & SE Bainbridge
2nd E Fairburn & Sons
3rd J Allison & Sons
6,957 lambs forward, averaging £104.92, up £21.00 on last year.
I think the second sale at Hawes was the dearest I have ever seen sheep, running lambs were out of this world.
The 4 main sales within our branch sold 48,469 lambs to average £110.92, a tremendous achievement.
Thanks to the auction marts for marketing the sheep on our behalf, their help and expertise are essential for Hawes branch to remain at the forefront as breeders and suppliers of quality Mule lambs.
On behalf of Hawes branch I would like to thank Richard Webber of Shearwell Data for his continued support and the fabulous prizes he donated to the Mule Association, which was a prize draw made at a recent F & GP meeting. 1st prize was an electronic lamb weigh valued at over £5000 which was won by GH & J Wallis & Son, Ginglepot. Congratulations to George and Martin, it couldn’t have gone to nicer people, (George will soon be a whizz kid on the computer).
Thanks to the committee for all their help and special thanks to John Pedley, our past chairman and chairman of the Association, for all his help and hard work over the last 20 years who has decided to call it a day on the committee.
One person who we are indebted to is Val our secretary come treasurer, many thanks Val for your hard work, which makes the branch run smoothly.
Kirkby Stephen along with Peter Lee and Lazonby Branch travelled to the Royal Cornwall Show in June, the sheep being kindly provided by Bill and Claire Pedler were tremendous. They were a ewe with two fantastic suffolk lambs and a shearling with a pair of equally good lambs. Thanks very much to Bill and Claire for providing us with such good outfits at such short notice. We would like to wish Bill a speedy recovery after his operation and look forward to his crack later this year ! The weather during the 3 day show was atrocious but the hospitality and conversation were both outstanding, many thanks therefore to everybody involved at the show for making it a sucess despite the poor weather.
Two days later Peter Pratt and I travelled to Lady Eliza's Nugent Farm, Upper Lambourne, Berkshire, the venue of NSA South Sheep, calling on the way on Nigel and Anne Haines who provided us with two hoggs and 47 kilo lambs which were outstanding for the time of year. Again many thanks to Nigel and Anne for supplying us with such good sheep. I would also like to thank Peter who done the driving and generally keeping me right !!
Our Kirkby Stephen sale averaged £110.68 which was down £4.33 on the year for 9807 sold.
Credit and thanks must go to vendors who presented their lambs to an exceptional standard after such a hellish summer. A special thanks to all buyers old and new from near and far for your support and we hope to see you again. Finally can I thank Christine our Branch Secretary, committee members and H and H staff for their hard work and support.
Thursday night show
Class 1 - Confined to Vendors of 200 or less and Members of Kirkby Stephen NEMSA Branch.
1st and winning the William Dent Perpetual trophy - J & G Shields, Lythside.
2nd Messrs I and P Brown, Oak House
3rd Messrs D Curr and Son, Bowderdale
4th Messrs Jenkinson, Whingill
5th Messrs A & R Birbeck, Penine View
Class 2 - 10 lambs open to all vendors
1st and Overall Champion, winning the PF&K Perpetual Trophy and the late C Jackson Trophy - Messrs K A Brown & Sons, Asby Hall
2nd and reserve Champion Pen winning the H and H Perpetual Trophy - Messrs W &CW Dent, Greenriggs.
3rd Messrs HR Hayton and Son, Asby Grange
4th Messrs HW and MA Alderson and Son, Howgill Grange
5th Messrs WM Hutchinson and Sons, Redgate.
Once again, we had a wonderful year at our Kendal branch sale, which is more than can be said about the good old British Summer we had (or did not have !!) One of our neighbours recently told me his weather gauge had measured 120” (10’) of rain in the last 14 months, so it may be time to start growing rice instead of grass.
Over the last 12 months, our branch members have attended shows and sales up and down the country promoting the Mule Gimmer Lambs.
Our branch sale was held on Saturday 15th September after what can only be described as a very ‘trying’ time to get lambs ready for sale. The pre-sale judging was carried out the evening before the sale, where a packed ringside of onlookers watched on as our judges, Mr A Ladds and Mr S Benson had the very difficult task of judging some 22 pens of lambs. After much deliberation they awarded the championship rosette to an outstanding pen of lambs from J D Inman & Sons.
The best run of lambs in the market were competing for the Bruce Willison Memorial Shield and were judged by the Inspectors – this was won by T A & J Dixon, Yoadpot.
This is my final report as Branch Chairman, so I would like to thank all the members for their support over the past three years. Many thanks to all the Auctioneers and Staff at North West Auctions for their hard work and finally also thank you to all the Vendors and Purchasers who supported our sales each year.
Pens of 10:
1st & Champion – JD & CL Inman, Strickland Hill
2nd P & A Fell, Castle Hill
3rd JA & CA Gibson, Longwell
4th TL B&J Knowles, High Borrowbridge
5th M/s Hodgson, Rydal
6th TA & J Dixon, Yoad Pot
Pens of 20:
1st D HM & A Watson, Middleton Hall
2nd P & A Fell, Castle Hill
3rd JD & CL Inman, Strickland Hill
4th J & JA Burrow, Thursgill
5th JA & CA Gibson, Longwell
6th J & JA Burrow, Thursgill
Kendal Branch Chairman
My first report as chairman, of the Skipton branch. What a year!, so much rain, a hard lambing and so many shows cancelled, where to begin?
Those who lambed outside had a good March but struggled in April and the rain never seems to have stopped since.
Many local agricultural shows cancelled due to the bad weather, even the Great Yorkshire Show had to be cancelled after the first day. End of season shows were well supported, Kilnsey Show renowned for Mule Gimmer lambs had its exceptional high standard as usual.
In July we attended the National Sheep Event in conjunction with the Hawes branch, promoting our breed of sheep with lambs provided by David and Robin Booth, Ellis brothers and Jeff Walker. A busy day throughout, with lots of interest from existing and new protential buyers, a great success, thanks to Marion Hope and all committee members who attended.
A good show of lambs at the Skipton Sales, produced a respectable price. To sale of 7068 mule gimmer lambs presented and realized an average of £109.11 per head, show results;
Pen of 10 Pen of 20
1. A V Caton - Otterburn 1. W A Booth - Feizor
2. K M & L Throup - Woofa Bank 2. A V Caton - Otterburn
3. F A Caton - Weston 3. F A Caton - Weston
4. Ellis Bros - Cragg House 4. A J Mason - Embsay
5. A J Mason - Embsay 5. Ellis Bros - Cragg House
6. J K Wilson - Blubberhouses 6. S Fawcett - Barden
The second sale on 25th September with a total of 8844 presented averaging £106.05 per
Pen of 10 Pen of 20
1. A V Caton - Oterburn 1. A V Caton - Otterburn
2. A J Mason - Embsay 2. W P B Walker - Appletree Wick
3. J C &N Thorp - Berwick 3. WA & A Booth - Feizor
4. WP & A Walker - Appletreewick 4. A Lodge - Malham Moor
5. Ellis Bros - Cragg Farm 5. N Heseltine - Malham
6 JK Wilson - Blubberhouses 6. KM & L Throup - Woofa Bank
Thanks to all the sellers and buyers who supported the sales and the Auctioneers and staff at CCM.
I would like to thank our sale sponsors for their continued support, Pearsons Farm Supplies and our new sponsors Barker Partnership Chartered Accountants.
Finally a sincere thanks to our new secretary Claire Mason, who has done an excellent job throughout the year, and the skipton branch committee, for their continued support and hard work.
Well my three years as Chairman have passed quickly & as I write this last report & think back we have had three good years of selling mule gimmer lambs. Quite what the future holds, no-one knows.
A bad backend with the weather has made tup time harder & we wait to see how they scan.
Good luck to Richard Marrs who will be our new Chairman & a big thank-you to Judith Emmott our secretary for all her continued hard work & also to all the branch members. Thank-you also must go to Richard & Lyn Smith for their hospitality over recent years on what has become our annual trip to Thame.
Store & Breeding Sheep Report
The Cumberland & Dumfriesshire Farmers Mart had forward 6,893 lowland breeding sheep at their special sale at Longtown on Tuesday 18th September, 2012.
At the annual sale of Greyface (Mule) ewe lambs there was similar entry of 4,165 head forward and a great credit must be given to the vendors for improved quality, even after the horrendous constant wet weather suffered since May. Buyers were present from Fraserburgh to Devon with a large South contingent in attendance.
The trade was strong throughout with the smallest end of the lambs still looking the dearest. The overall average was £94.96 up £2.35 on the year. Prior to the sale the annual show was ably judged by Mr Andrew Spedding of Stoneflatts, whose awards were as follows:-
Ex Swaledale Ewe
1st Messrs Roddam, Fordlands and sold to Messrs Ackerley, Milton Mains
2nd Messrs James, Midtodhills and sold to Messrs Ridsdale, Yewtree
3rd Messrs Bell & Copeland, Coach House and sold to Messrs Spedding, Stoneflatt
Ex Blackface Ewe
1st Wanwood Partners, Cowden and sold to Messrs Fox, Windy Hill
2nd Messrs Nichol, Lawston and sold to Messrs Cockburn, Fountainside
Borderway Latter Fair Show and Sale of Mule Gimmer Lambs, September 20, 2012
On Thursday 20th September, Borderway Mart held their annual Latter Fair Mule Gimmer Lambs show and sale, where a fantastic entry was forward.
Despite enduring a poor summer, lambs were shown in great bloom and a large ringside of both local and travelled buyers were all eager to secure the great top quality before them.
The pre sale judging was conducted by Mr Raymond Heigh of Bentham and Mr Nigel Barker of Burton –in-Kendal with Mr Brian Davidson of Penriddock acting as referee.
Outwith the show, a truly outstanding trade was on offer for all classes of sheep showing an increase of £1.07 on the year to average £117.81
At Cockermouth on Friday 21st September 2012, Mitchell’s held its Annual Show and Sale of Mule Ewe Lambs. A catalogued entry of 9,355 sheep saw a good show of quality on offer, but with lambs understandably smaller due to the awful summer, an outstanding average of £103.70 was achieved, almost identical to the average last year.
The pre-sale show was very professionally judged by Mr Jim Winter and Mr Charlie Smith, with 20 pens forward.
Champion prize was awarded to an outstanding pen of 10 from Neil Marston, Millstone Moor, later selling to Ron and Fran Wilson
Reserve Honours went to Andrew and Karen Nicholson, Swinside End, with a very smart pen later selling to Robin Batty, Kendal.
3rd Keith Harryman, Keskadale selling to John Barker
4th Geoff Smith, Kelmore Hills selling to Mike Lawson.
5th M Marston, Millstone Moor selling to J Spedding.
6th A & K Nicholson, Swinside End selling to A Bell.
Hopes Auction Co Ltd, Wigton Prize Show And Sale Of Mule Ewe Lambs
Wednesday 19th September 2012
Hopes Auction Co Ltd, Wigton held their Annual Prize Show and Sale of Mule Ewe Lambs on Wednesday 19th September when there was forward a catalogued entry of 4000.
An excellent show of lambs were wonderfully presented and a credit to the sellers on the day. A full ringside of buyers ensured a marvellous trade throughout the sale. The sale average of £110.75
The judging was kindly carried out by Bobby Hayton, Longtown who had 15 wonderful pens of lambs forward and he awarded the following prizes:
Pen of 10 Mule Ewe Lambs
1st and Champion JT Davidson, Bellmount, Irthington, Carlisle
2nd Messrs W Ridley, Wood Hall, Hesket New Market
3rd Messrs Lee & Sons, Morley Hill, Whitfield, Hexham