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Hawes NEMSA Branch Breck House Open Day a runaway success

The Hawes branch of the North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) staged its 5th annual Open Day at Breck House, Bransdale, near Helmsley, courtesy of Tim Dunn and family.

Stock judging classes, trade stands, AHDB back fat scanning demonstration, a charity auction, raffle, plus all-round family entertainment, all proved the perfect ingredient for an extremely successful and well-attended event.

The charity auction itself realised over £5,000 in aid of Sepsis UK in memory of Cumbrian young farmer Hannah Brown, of Dufton, who died so tragically young earlier this year.

Mr Dunn runs Breck House Enterprises with his wife Sarah and son, James, farming at both the National Trust-owned 230-acre Breck House Farm and on their own 130 acres in neighbouring Bilsdale Valley. They run two separate sheep flocks comprising some 1,400 Swaledale ewes, 500 going to the Bluefaced Leicester for their North of England Mules, the remainder bred as pure Swaledales.

For 34 years, the family has also been running its own pregnancy sheep scanning business, with James Dunn now playing a big part. NEMSA members figure prominently among their client base and the all-purpose North of England Mule remains a long-time favourite because of her undoubted ability to maintain constant high production levels.

Open Day visitors learned how Breck House have been successfully performance recording their Bluefaced Leicesters and Swaledales for more than four years, with the intention of removing the poor performing tups in a bid to always improve the bottom end! As a direct result of using tups with decent index figures killing out weights have increased.

“The Open Day provided a welcome opportunity for people to renew old acquaintances and to chat about things we share in common, which has not been possible over the last 18 months,” said Mr Dunn.

His thoughts were echoed by Hawes branch chairman Tom Willoughby, who thanked fellow organisers and all concerned for making the event such a runaway success, in particular the many generous supporters of the charity fund raiser.


Pictured: The Dunn family at their NEMSA Hawes branch Open Day, photo by Linda Allan Photography

Breck House Swaledale ewes with North of England Mule lambs at foot by Hutchinson Photography,

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