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Holly Plant and Andrew Amor's Pauntley Oxford Down flock from Gloucestershire produced a great result for the breed at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair when a pure Oxford carcase from the flock took third prize in a native class with 31 entries. It graded R3L. This success highlights the Oxford ram's capability as a terminal sire.

Oxford Downs consigned to the Carlisle native breeds sale 2023 by Andrew Rutherford of Guards Farm, Gretna, Dumfriesshire peaked at £450 twice, for both rams and gimmers from his Langrigg flock.

There was strong demand for the gimmers and more could have been sold. Leading the females at £450 was a gimmer sired by the former breed record holder Billesdons Braveheart and which has been running with service sire Greenlands Garrosh. It sold to Jack Richardson to add to his Rose-Dene flock at Newton-on-Derwent, York. Another two gimmers went to the same home at £400 apiece.

Just behind the top bid was a £420 sale to Adam Atkins of Atkins Agriculture, Mason Green Farm, Halifax, West Yorkshire buying for the Mountainstorm flock.

Local breeder Matthew Tomkins from Hallsford Farm, Hethersgill, Carlisle, Cumbria took a further two Langrigg gimmers at £400 each to join his Hallsford Oxford flock which runs alongside a Llanwenog flock that is used to supply the Tomkins’ farm shop business.

Top price for rams was a £450 Langrigg shearling selling to Tom & Sue Lamb for the Fleetham flock at East Fleetham, Seahouses, Northumberland. This one is a son of Billesdons Braveheart out of a Langrigg Ranger ewe. Two Langrigg shearling rams made £300, firstly to Matthew Tomkins, Hallsford and the second crossing the Border to go for commercial work with Messrs Andrew, Newmills of Monkwood, Maybole, Ayrshire.

Sale Summary

7 gimmers sold to £450 and averaged £395.71

3 shearling rams sold to £450 and averaged £350.00

Overall, 10 head sold to £450 and averaged £382.00

Auctioneers: Harrison & Hetherington

The annual sale of Oxford Downs at Melton Mowbray attracted a much-increased entry of 27 head catalogued compared to last year’s sale. Despite the larger number forward, trade held up well on the day.

Leading the sale was a 360gns shearling ewe from Vickie Jones’ Leicestershire-based Billesdons flock. Sired by Horsley Uncle Bob and out of a Barley Park Norman home-bred ewe, it sold to Richard Hampshire from Elvington, York for his Prospect flock. A second shearling ewe from the same pen made 300gns to Holly Plante & Andrew Amor who run the Pauntley flock at Redmarley in Gloucestershire. This one is by Monkstone Jimmy.

Not far behind the top price were two Weeton flock ewes from Ruth Steele, Hull, East Yorkshire. Both by rams imported from Finland, they made 340gns each to the same buyer, Paul Emery, Smithy Farm, Gratwich, Uttoxter, Staffordshire. Mr Emery was establishing a new registered Oxford Down flock at the sale, purchasing a total of five females.

The Weeton flock also topped the ewe lamb section with a 250gns sale for a Weeton Greyjoy daughter to Jack Richardson who was buying for his Rose-Dene flock at Newton-on-Derwent, York. The same buyer paid the next best ewe lamb price of 220gns for one by Longfriday Hugo from the Longfriday pen consigned by Martin Johnson of Wollaston, Northamptonshire.

Rams peaked at 300gns for a Weeton shearling, again sired by Weeton Greyjoy, from Ruth Steele, selling to Jack Richardson, Rose-Dene. A Longfriday ram lamb from Martin Johnson sold at 280gns. A son of Longfriday Hugo, it went to Tom Davis, farm manager at Mudchute Park & Farm, Isle of Dogs, London for the Mudchute flock.

Overall, 17 head sold to 350gns and averaged £235.94.

Auctioneers: Melton Mowbray Market

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