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A two-shear ewe from Caroline and Cameron Clark's Greyland Oxford Down flock, having already won the native Any Other Breed class at Kent County Show, went one better to take top honours in the Interbreed championship at the show.

Interbreed judge at Kent County, Alan Lyons, commented that she was a "great ewe and an easy decision for my interbreed."

Mother and son team Caroline and Cameron from Farnham, Surrey have already built up an impressive show record this season with the ewe at the Bath & West, Devon County, and Three Counties,

Bred by Roger & Sue Banks in their Thistledown flock at Great Ellingham in Norfolk, the ewe was bought by the Clarks at last year's premier sale of Oxford Downs at Worcester market.  

The ewe made 800gns at the sale, setting a new breed record for an Oxford Down female.

The 2024 Worcester Show and Sale takes place on Saturday, 3rd August.  With an entry of 78 head comprising 45 females and 33 rams consigned from 19 flocks, the sale will give buyers an excellent opportunity to obtain quality Oxford Downs.




An entry of 78 Oxford Downs has been received for the breed's premier Show & Sale at McCartney's Worcester market on Saturday, 3rd August, 2024. 


Stock is being consigned from 19 registered Oxford Down flocks across Britain and comprises:

1 flock ewe

34 shearling ewes

10 ewe lambs

23 shearling rams

5 ram lambs

5 two/three shear rams


The sale includes a section of MV accredited sheep as well as performance recorded stock and prize winners from the show circuit. The dispersal of the noted New House Flock No 1295 from Rex Vincent is also included.


This is an excellent opportunity for members to acquire new stock rams or additional females, and for new breeders to purchase foundation stock to establish their Oxford Down flocks.


The sale also gives commercial buyers a great choice of rams for crossing work as terminal sires.


Click here to download the catalogue





The 2023 results from RamCompare, the large-scale on farm nationwide progeny test being run by Signet have again highlighted the value of the Oxford as a terminal sire, with impressive results from a Weeton-bred ram used in Northumberland and a Lydiard-bred ram used in Hampshire. In both cases the rams were run with groups of approximately 60 Lleyn ewes.


Weeton ram

A ram bred by Ruth Steele in her Weeton Oxford Down flock at Hull, East Yorkshire was used by Duncan Nelless at Thistleyhaugh Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland.

This tup was one of only three native breed rans that made it into the top 20 for carcase weight across all breeds tested. The results from this ram show that high genetic merit, performance recorded Oxford Down rams can easily outperform a run of the mill ram from any other breed.

The Weeton ram has a best-in-breed Lamb Value EBV of £4.21. Lamb Value is an index which takes into account days to slaughter, carcase weight, carcase conformation and fat classification. It uses this information to work out how much extra each finished lamb produced by this ram is worth in monetary terms.

In the case of the Weeton ram, his lambs are worth £3.28 per lamb more than an average Oxford Down sired lamb. This is achieved through quicker growth to slaughter, higher carcase weight/killing out % and better EUROP classification for conformation and fat class.

If a ram sires a conservative 60 lambs per season then that is an extra £197 per year or an extra £591 over three seasons’ work. For a 400 ewe commercial flock that would equate to an extra £1970 per year if all the rams used performed as well as the Weeton ram.


Lydiard ram

At the other end of England, Lindsay Rumming’s Lydiard Oxford Down flock at Swindon, Wiltshire provided a ram for use by Ian Robertson at Chawton Park Farm, Alton, Hampshire.

This ram stood out against the competition at Chawton Park by producing progeny that on average reduced days to slaughter by 10 days compared to the farm average for the year.


Profitability

Identifying the best genetics through performance recording pedigree flocks produces stock which when used by commercial sheep farmers can positively impact the profitability of their flocks.

Performance recorded Oxford Downs can be purchased from the flocks listed here: https://signetdata.com/flock-finder/oxford-down


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