New 1350gns Oxford Down record at Worcester
The 2021 Worcester Show & Sale saw an excellent trade for all classes of stock. With an improved quality entry forward, there was good demand for females from both new and existing breeders alike, coupled with some very strong bidding for rams. Overall, it was the most successful Oxford Down sale at Worcester for over a decade.
Highlight of the day was the creation of a new Oxford Down breed record when the overall and male champion at the pre-sale show, a shearling ram from Vickie Jones’ Billesdons flock from Leicestershire sold at 1350gns to Andrew Rutherford for his 80-strong Langrigg flock at Guards Farm, Gretna, Dumfriesshire. The new record-priced ram is by Monkstone Jimmy out of a home-bred Billesdons ewe by Horsley Uncle Bob. The previous record of 1000gns was set at Worcester in 2009. The show judge Michael Hackling commented on the Billesdons ram: “He stood out to me during judging. He has a good Oxford head, a beautiful fleece with pink skin below, and was overall a very nice ram.”
Next best sale of the day went to a Greenlands shearling ram from Roland Williams, Aneddle, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion which made 720gns, selling into East Anglia as the new stock ram in the Caston flock run by Brendan Hall and Amy Chamberlin at Attleborough, Norfolk. This one is a son of Greenlands Chabal. Not far behind that price was a 680gns sale for another shearling ram from the Greenlands pen, heading to North Wales with R J Ryan, Llanerch Farm, Dolwen, Abergele, Conwy who was establishing a new flock at the sale. The sire was Greenlands Charlo, a ram credited by Roland Williams as the best Oxford Down he has bred.
A New House shearling ram sired by New House Hawkeye from Rex Vincent, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon made 660gns to Martin Lacey, Kasanga Manor, Hagnaby Lane, Keal Cotes, Spilsby, Lincolnshire for the Kasanga flock. Early in the sale in the MV accredited section, a shearling ram by Barley Park Ulysses from James Brown’s Monkstone flock at Tenby, Pembrokeshire sold at 580gns for crossing work to Parker & Bird, Chilton Grounds Farm, Chilton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
The pick of the ram lambs also sold very well. One from Rex Vincent’s New House pen, a son of Applewick Ideal, made 520gns to Katie Stanley for her Kateland flock at Armitage, Rugeley, Staffordshire. Next best was a Greenlands Ystwyth Lad-sired Monkstone ram lamb from James Brown, selling at 500gns to Simon Hartwright’s Spartan flock at Grove Farms, Milton Hill, Abingdon, Oxon.
It was, indeed, a red-letter day for Vickie Jones and her Billesdons flock, which in addition to taking the overall championship and creating a new breed record in the ram section, also had the female and reserve overall champion at the show, a shearling ewe which went on to make the top female price of the day at 500gns. It sold to Lesley Parry to add to her Bro-Alaw flock on Anglesey. The ewe has very similar breeding to the record-priced ram.
A feature of the female sale was the inclusion of two flock reductions, one for Martin Johnson’s Longfriday flock from Wollaston, Northamptonshire, and the other for Nicola Duggleby who runs the Beswickhall flock at Beswick, Driffield, East Yorkshire. The Longfriday pen comprised of an impressive string of good-bodied shearling ewes which met a strong and very level trade. Pick of this lot was a daughter of the imported German Schwarzkopf ram Bremen, which sold at 300gns to R J Ryan, Abergele. The same buyer took another three from the same home at 270gns and 260gns twice. Two other shearling ewes from Longfriday also made 270gns. One by Longfriday Hugo went at this price to local farmer D Manton, Camp Bungalow, Great Witley, Worcester. He was the sale’s biggest buyer, taking a total of 10 females and three rams. Another Bremen daughter also sold at 270gns to replenish the New House flock for Rex Vincent. He commented that he already has Longfriday ewes in his flock and they have bred very well for him. The Longfriday consignment averaged £273 for 11.
The Beswickhall reduction consisted of a pen of big-framed flock ewes. Heading this lot up was a 300gns sale for a Langrigg Westby daughter selling to Michael Blackwell who was buying for his Crookgate flock at East Hardwick, Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Association President Tudur Jones from Ysgubor Gylched, Lôn Cae Cwta, Llangefni, Anglesey went to 270gns to secure the next best from Beswickhall, a ewe by Woodside Pringle.
A Horsley Uncle Bob-sired shearling ewe from Vickie Jones, Billesdons made 400gns, also heading home to Anglesey with Tudur Jones. Harry Bishop brought a consignment of smart shearling ewes from his Astlebury flock at Manor Farm, Fencott, Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Astlebury was established in 1985 by Harry’s late grandmother, Liz Calcutt, and is now the oldest flock in the breed’s home county. These were the first females to be offered for sale from the flock in over a decade and the first time Astlebury has consigned to Worcester. Top price here was 250gns for one by Redhouse Aubrey which went to new buyer S J Parker, Instone Court, Munderfield, Bromyard, Herefordshire. The Astlebury pen averaged £231 for five sold.
Ewe lambs sold very well and were topped by a 250gns sale for Vickie Jones’ first prizewinner, a Horsley Uncle Bob daughter, going to Nicole Farmer, Aldermaston, Reading, Berkshire. The Billesdons flock also produced the next best ewe lamb price of 240gns for one by Monkstone Jimmy, sold to Simon Hartwright for the Spartan flock.
20 shearling ewes £276.15
4 ewe lambs £257.25
5 flock ewes £237.30
9 shearling rams £621.83
4 ram lambs £391.12
Overall, 42 head sold to 1350gns and averaged £354.75.
Oxford Downs to 520gns at Worcester
The annual sale of Oxford Downs at Worcester market saw a top price of 520gns paid for a shearling ram from Roland Williams’ 60-strong Greenlands flock based at Aneddle, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. Fellow Aberystwyth Oxford breeders Rob & Liz Edwards from Cwrt Newydd, Penrhyncoch were the buyers. The leading ram is home-bred on both sides of his pedigree, being sired by Greenlands Class Act out of a Greenlands ewe by Barley Park Monsieur Chabal.
A shearling ram from the New House flock run by breed President Rex Vincent at North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon made 400gns, selling to James Eustice for use on 50 Oxford ewes in his old-established flock at Treglinnick Farm, St Ervan, Wadebridge, Cornwall. This one is by New House Hawkeye out of a Longfriday dam.
The 400gns mark was reached for a second time later in the sale when a 2-shear Greenlands ram by the Aberdeenshire-bred Delmur Delboy sold at this price to Tom Lamb for the Fleetham flock at East Fleetham, Seahouses, Northumberland.
Amongst the ram lambs the best price was 280gns bid by new breeder Scott Flitter, Freefolk, Whitchurch, Hampshire for a Weeton White Walker son from Ruth Steele’s Weeton flock at Redhouse Farm, Weeton, Hull, East Yorkshire.
Two Greenlands ram lambs, both by Greenlands Delboy, sold at 250gns for Roland Williams. The first went to sister and brother team Holly Plante and Andrew Amor who are building up their Pauntley flock based at Orchard Grove, Brand Green, Redmarley, Gloucestershire. The second at the same money sold to Paul Dunnings for his Wolfhanger flock at Bramdean, Alresford, Hampshire.
A small entry of females was led at 300gns by a Wicken shearling ewe bred by Philip & Katie Ivens, Ash Tree House, Wicken, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, selling to Tom Lamb, Fleetham, who also bought a second shearling ewe from the same pen at 290gns. Both were sired by Applewick Wentworth.
Ewe lambs peaked at 250gns for a daughter of Weeton Bounty from Ruth Steele, Weeton, going to Scott Flitter to join the new flock he is establishing under the Freefolk prefix. A flock ewe by Rowan Banahan from Neil & Jackie Bridgen’s Rowan flock at Devizes, Wiltshire made 190gns to local breeder Peter Oliver, Mutton Hall Farm, Feckenham, Redditch, Worcestershire to replenish his Wood Hill flock.
Overall, 20 head sold to 520gns and average £268.38 (compared to £254.01 for 26 in 2019).
A SMALLER entry than last year’s sale met a much improved trade at the breed’s annual Worcester Show & Sale. John Brigg, Warwick judged the pre-sale show classes and he found his champion in a strong shearling ram from Roland Williams’ Greenlands flock from Aneddle, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth. Philip Quick’s Applewick flock at Upper Bearfield Farm, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire produced the female and overall reserve champion, a ewe lamb.
The champion Greenlands shearling ram went on to top the sale at 700gns, going to James Brown for his Monkstone and Redhouse flocks at Tenby, Pembrokeshire. James quickly recouped that outlay with the next two best ram sales of the day. A Redhouse ram lamb made 560gns to Harry Bishop, Kidlington, Oxon for his Astlebury flock while a Monkstone shearling ram went at 540gns to David Harle from Stanley, Crook, Co Durham for his new Harlequin flock.
An impressive pen of shearling ewes from Martin Johnson’s Longfriday flock at Wollaston, Northamptonshire met a strong demand and produced the top female price of the day, a 320gns bid from David Harle. Caroline Clark, buying for her Greyland flock at Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, went to 290gns for another Longfriday shearling, with another making 240gns to David Harle. Matching that price was a shearling ewe from Andrew Rutherford’s Langrigg pen from Guards Farm, Gretna which sold to C R Lamb & Sons, East Fleetham, Seahouses, Northumberland to join the Fleetham flock.
Heading up the ewe lambs was a 200gns sale for the female champion from Philip Quick which sold to new breeder Andrew Amor from Brand Green, Redmarley, Gloucestershire.
Overall, 26 head sold to 700gns and averaged £254.01 (£185.35 for 46 in 2018).
Melton Mowbray 2019
THE 2019 EVENT proved to be another triumph for local breeder Vickie Jones’ Billesdons flock. Her shearling ram which had been breed champion in the inaugural Oxford Down classes at the Rutland County Show at the start of the show season, was again awarded the breed championship at the Melton Mowbray pre-sale show which was judged by Rex Vincent, Okehampton. The ram went on to make the top price in the ram section, 340gns, selling to Adam Atkins, Masons Green Farm, Halifax, West Yorkshire for his Mountainstorm flock. It was, however, a shearling ewe from the Billesdons pen which topped the sale at 360gns. The buyer was Martin Lacey, Kasanga Manor, Keal Cotes, Spilsby, Lincolnshire who added the ewe to his Kasanga flock.
Overall, 16 head sold to 360gns and averaged £210.33 (£236.69 for 12 in 2018).
Auctioneers: Melton Mowbray Market
THE CARLISLE sale this year included the dispersal of the remainder of Chloe Taylor’s Bowker flock from Chorley, Lancashire in addition to the annual consignment from Andrew Rutherford’s Langrigg flock at Guards Farm, Gretna. The Langrigg pen was bid to £180 three times, firstly for a gimmer which sold to A McKerrell, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and then for two shearling rams which went to S Swanston, Easter Crowbutt, Duns, Berwickshire and A N & N S Tomkins, Hailsford, Hethersgill, Carlisle, Cumbria. The Bowker dispersal peaked at £140 four times. S Swanston, Easter Crowbutt bought three ewes at this price, and a shearling ewe made the same money, selling to A N & N S Tomkins, Hailsford.
Overall, 10 head sold to £180 and averaged £143.00 (£146.67 for 6 in 2018).
Auctioneers: Harrison & Hetherington
Builth Wells 2019
A SMALL entry of Oxford rams at Builth Wells saw a top price of 500gns paid for a shearling ram from M G & J M Johnson’s Longfriday flock. This one went North for pedigree use on 40 Oxford ewes in Paul Tranter’s old-established Teesdale flock at West View Farm, Boldron, Barnard Castle, Co Durham.
Overall, 4 rams sold to 500gns and averaged £249.37 (£145.25 for 12 in 2018).
Melton Mowbray 2018
THE BILLESDONS flock run by Vickie Jones from Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, Leicestershire produced, for the second year in succession, the day’s top price for Oxford Downs at the Melton Mowbray sale. It was a Billesdons shearling ram by Horsley Uncle Bob (18764) that secured the leading bid of 315gns, selling to local farmer S Booth, Church View, Ab Kettleby, Melton Mowbray for commercial work.
Two shearling rams sold at 250gns. First to go at this price was a Fleetham Gabe (18695) son from Bob & Jean Richardson’s Horsley flock based at Lamploughs Farm, Leven, Beverley, East Yorkshire. It went for crossing to R King, Johns Brook Farm, Thurlaston, Leicester. Next to make the 250gns mark was a New House shearling by Barley Park Taranto (18747) from Rex Vincent at Ducklington, Witney, Oxon. The buyer was Richard Hampshire from Elvington, York who will use the tup on 25 pedigree Oxford Down ewes in his Prospect flock.
Ram lambs sold to 235gns for one by Horsley Hugh (18867) from Bob & Jean Richardson’s Horsley consignment which went to R J G Hudgell buying on behalf of Michael Lacey who is setting up a new Oxford Down flock at Kasanga Manor, Keal Cotes, Spilsby, Lincolnshire.
Females peaked at 300gns for a New House shearling ewe from Rex Vincent which was champion at the pre-sale show. A Barley Park Taranto (18747) daughter, she sold to Anglesey to join the Bro Alaw Oxford Down flock run by Lesley & Bob Parry at Bryn Drofa, Llanbabo, Rhosgoch. Next best for shearling ewes was a 255gns sale from Vickie Jones for one by Horsley Uncle Bob (18764). The ewe went to Brendan Hall & Amy Chamberlin, Church Farm, Caston, Attleborough, Norfolk, buying for their Caston Oxford Down flock. The Billesdons pen of shearling ewes averaged £229.25 for three sold.
Leading the ewe lambs was a 200gns sale from Rex Vincent, New House to Michael Blackwell, Moorglen, East Hardwick, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, buying for his Crookgate flock. This lamb was sired by the breed’s record-priced ram, Barley Park Tribute (18400).
4 shearling ewes sold to 300gns and averaged £250.68 (compared to £194.25 for 5 in 2017)
2 ewe lambs sold to 200gns and averaged £183.75 (compared to £215.25 for 2 in 2017)
4 shearling rams sold to 315gns and averaged £266.43 (compared to £395.50 for 3 in 2017)
2 ram lambs sold to 235gns and averaged £202.12 (compared to £126.00 for 3 in 2017)
Overall, 12 head sold to 315gns and averaged £236.68 (compared to £228.17 for 13 in 2017).
Auctioneers: Melton Mowbray Market
LEADING THE Oxford Downs at the Carlisle native breeds sale was a £180 bid for a Langrigg shearling ewe by Beswickhall Cherrytom (18746) from Andrew Rutherford, Guards Farm, Gretna, Dumfriesshire. It sold to R & S A Rawsthorn, Mill Barn, Low Row, Cark-in-Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. The same buyers took another three shearling ewes from the same pen at £160 apiece, resulting in the Langrigg consignment averaging £165 for four.
Overall, 6 head sold to £180 and averaged £146.67 (compared to £161.25 for 8 in 2017).
Auctioneers: Harrison & Hetherington
Builth Wells 2018
TOP PRICE for Oxford Downs at the NSA Builth Wells Ram Sale was 230gns, paid for a shearling ram by Barley Park Taranto (18747) from M L, G E & R Vincent’s New House flock at Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire. The ram sold to John & Joshua Brigg, Bishop’s Gorse, Lighthorne, Warwick, buying for pedigree work on 12 Oxford Down ewes in their old-established Gorse flock.
Overall, 11 head sold to 230gns and averaged £147.00 (compared to £199.50 for 21 in 2017).
TRADE FOR Oxford Downs peaked at 420gns at the breed’s annual show and sale at Worcester market.
Leading the sale was the male champion from the pre-sale show, a shearling ram from James Brown’s Monkstone flock at Redberth, Tenby, Pembrokeshire which went to Northumberland breeder Tom Lamb, East Fleetham, Seahouses, for use on 20 pedigree ewes. The Lamb family have the oldest Oxford Down flock in the UK, established in 1934. The 420gns tup is sired by Duntarvie Robert The Bruce, bred by Tommy Nimmo at Winchburgh, West Lothian and is out of a home-bred ewe.
Next best price for rams was a 400gns bid from Andrew Rutherford, Guards Farm, Gretna, Dumfriesshire for a shearling from the Greenlands flock run by Roland Williams at Aneddle, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth. This one is by the home-bred sire Greenlands Class Act out of a Barley Park dam and sold for pedigree work on the Rutherford’s 50-strong Langrigg Oxford Down flock.
An Applewick shearling ram from Philip Quick, Upper Bearfield Farm, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire sold at 340gns to Lesley Parry, Bryn Drofa, Llanbabo, Rhosgoch, Anglesey for her Bro Alaw flock. The tup is a son of the 840gns Barley Park Lincoln, which was breed champion at the last Royal Show in 2009.
Ram lambs sold to 300gns for one from Ruth Steele, Redhouse Farm, Weeton, Hull, East Yorkshire, selling to R C & D E Shepherd, The Grange, Hellifield, Skipton, North Yorkshire for their new Grange flock. This lamb is out of a ewe imported from Finland and is sired by the home-bred Weeton Bounty.
Top price in the sale of females went to the pre-sale champion, a shearling ewe from Rex Vincent’s New House flock at Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire which made 400gns to Ruth Steele for her Weeton flock of 20 performance-recorded Oxford ewes. The champion is by Barley Park Taranto out of a Longfriday-bred dam. The New House consignment averaged £238.87 for four. Andrew Rutherford’s smart pen of Langrigg shearling ewes sold to 230gns for a Beswickhall Cherrytom daughter, going to Lesley Parry, Bro Alaw. Langrigg averaged £210 for four.
A ewe lamb by Barley Park Tornado from Martin Johnson’s Longfriday flock at Wollaston, Northamptonshire which was reserve female champion at the pre-sale show, claimed the second best price of the day for females, attracting a 300gns bid from J S K Rawlings, Finham, Coventry.
Type No sold Top (gns) Avg (£)
Shearling ewes 27 400 165.67
Ewe lambs 3 300 213.50
Shearling rams 14 420 202.50
Ram lambs 2 300 288.75
Overall, 46 head sold to 420gns and averaged £185.35 (£232.12 for 42 in 2017).
Melton Mowbray 2017
Top price for Oxford Downs at the Melton Mowbray native breeds sale was a 520gns bid for a Billesdons shearling ram by Horsley Uncle Bob from Vickie Jones, Husbands Bosworth, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. It sold for commercial use to regular Oxford ram buyer Reg Phillips, Bridge House Farm, Ladmanlow, Buxton, Derbyshire.
The same buyer also went to 370gns for a shearling ram by Barley Park Pegasus from Roger & Sue Banks’ Thistledown flock from Holly Croft Farm, Great Ellingham, Norfolk. Next best from the Thistledown pen was a 240gns sale to B Hall, Church Farm, Caston, Attleborough, Norfolk for another shearling ram bred the same way.
In the females, Roger & Sue Banks had a string of good prices, selling a shearling ewe by Barley Park Pegasus at 240gns to J Burford, Woodborough, Nottingham followed by sales of 210gns and 200gns for ewe lambs by Horsley Brexit Bob, which both went to Lancashire breeder Chloe Bowker, Balderstone Hall Farm, Balderstone, Blackburn.
Buckinghamshire vet Philip Ivens from Ash Tree House, Wicken, Milton Keynes, sold four shearling ewes by Netherby Ambition to a top of 185gns, with all four selling to the same buyer, B Hall, Church Farm, Caston to establish a new flock in Norfolk.
5 shearling ewes sold to 240gns and averaged £194.25
2 ewe lambs sold to 210gns and averaged £215.25
3 shearling rams sold to 520gns and averaged £395.50
3 ram lambs sold to 160gns and averaged £126.00
Overall 13 head sold to 520gns and averaged £228.17.
Auctioneers: Melton Market Auctioneers
THE ANNUAL sale of Oxford Downs at Worcester market peaked at 750gns for a shearling ram. An improved quality entry met a good trade with 42 head selling to average £232.12, up £38 on the year. Ewe lambs and shearling rams were in demand with the best of the shearling ewes also selling well.
At the pre-sale show, judge Michael Hackling awarded the championship to a shearling ram from J W & M F S Brown’s Monkstone flock at Redberth, Tenby, Pembrokeshire. Sired by Barley Park Promethious out of a home-bred ewe, the ram went on to take the top price of the day, going to David Holt, Rectory Farm, Levisham, Pickering, North Yorkshire for use on his 50-strong Ravenswick flock.
Two shearling rams from M, G & R Vincent’s New House flock based at Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire claimed the next best prices of the day at 390gns and 370gns. Both sons of Barley Park Taranto, they went the same way home to the Peak District to regular Oxford ram buyers R & M Phillips & Sons, Bridge House Farm, Ladmanlow, Buxton, Derbyshire for commercial use. Bec Bradley from Clanfield, Bampton, Oxfordshire sold a shearling by Monkstone Keifer from her Upper Thames flock at 320gns to Miss Lottie Tobin for her new Oxford flock at Little Box Farm, Awre, Newnham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire.
Topping the female section was a ewe lamb from Mrs R J Steele’s Weeton flock at Redhouse Farm, Weeton, Hull which made 360gns to J Griffiths, Park House, Rhiwderin, Newport, Gwent, who was buying on behalf of his neice Miss Hannah Graham for her Montrose flock. This lamb is by the home-bred sire Weeton Galaxy out of a Barley Park ewe. Next best in the ewe lambs was a 280gns sale from J W & M F S Brown for one by Barley Park Promethious selling to J Rawlings, Finham, Coventry. The Vincent family sold a New House ewe lamb sired by Barley Park Taranto at 250gns to Messrs Phillips, Bridge House Farm.
Shearling ewes sold to a top of 310gns from the much-admired Langrigg pen from A W Rutherford, Guards Farm, Gretna, Dumfriesshire. A Langrigg Ranger daughter, the top Langrigg sheep went to Mrs Vickie Jones who runs 12 Oxford ewes at Glebe Farm, Billesdon, Leicester and uses Oxford rams on her family’s commercial flock of Texel x Mule ewes. Mrs Jones took another from the pen at 280gns for one by Beswickhall Cherrytom. A further Langrigg shearling by Ranger also made 280gns, selling to Owain Tudor who is building up his Lynon flock at Glasfryn, Llanfhyddlad, Holyhead, Anglesey. The Langrigg consignment averaged £283.50 for 4 sold.
Bec Bradley also achieved a 280gns sale for an Upper Thames shearling ewe by Monkstone Keifer sold to J W & M F S Brown, buying back some of their own bloodline for the Monkstone flock.
Ram lambs made a top price of 220gns for a Weeton Sean son from Mrs R J Steele, which went to C Clark, Fox Cottage, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey who established a new flock at the sale. Amongst the flock ewes, the best price was a 190gns sale for a 2-crop Vellow ewe by Applewick Twinaxel consigned by D Holt, Ravenswick. It sold to Messrs Phillips, Bridge House Farm.
Type No sold Top (gns) Avg (£)
Shearling ewes 18 310 210.29
Ewe lambs 10 360 225.75
Flock ewes 4 190 157.50
Shearling rams 6 750 404.25
Ram lambs 4 220 162.75
Overall 42 750 232.12
Overall: 42 head sold to 750gns and averaged £232.12 (£193.65 for 44 in 2016).