The annual show and sale of Draft Ewes at J36 had an impressive catalogued entry of 5546 Swaledale, Rough Fell, Herdwick, Cheviot and other hill bred females.
The largest entry of draft ewes at J36, for some years, was met by demand from all over the North of England and further afield. The Swaledale pre-sale show was expertly judged by Mr M Crocker from Greystoke and Mr K Ireland from Frizington. They had an impressive line-up of Swaledale females put before them which is a testament to the improving quality of ewes at J36. The championship rosette was awarded to a tremendous pen of Swaledale ewes from E & A Wear, Hartsop which sold for £210.
The Swaledale average for ewes was £5 back on last year, with many consignments showing the effects of a wet summer, but good quality ewes were still in strong demand and selling as well as in previous years, with others being a more realistic trade.
There was a larger quantity of Swaledale shearlings in the market this year and therefore trade was not as fast as in previous years with the trade topping at £160 a pen of 10 from JA Alderson, Kirkby Stephen. The best shearlings got away nicely but second quality types were harder to place.
Swaledale gimmer lambs were the best seen throughout the North of England this year. A lot more were forward and following the wet autumn, many purchasers were concerned about winter forage. Strong gimmer lambs were still in high demand, topping at £75 from J Hunter, Tebay. Smaller, younger lambs were harder to place though.
North West Auctions are proud to keep their close working relationship with the Rough Fell Sheep Breeders Association which, again, saw good support and a strong entry from local breeders. Unfortunately a tougher trade was suffered, as reflected throughout the breeding sheep season.
The Rough Fell pre-sale judging was kindly carried out by Mr G Allison who had a strong line up of sheep to choose from. He awarded the championship to a pen of 10 ewes from SL Hoggarth, Birkhaw, Sedbergh, receiving the North Sheep Trophy. They later went on to sell for £92 to H Kelly, Staveley.
The Gimmer Lamb Trophy was won by W J Dawson and the Rayne Cup, presented on behalf of the Capstick family, was awarded to G & J Allan for the best pen of 10 Rough Fell ewes, 3 crop upwards.
There was also a tremendous show of sheep from W Beck & Son, Barugh House, selling for £105, £100 and £95 a head.
Following on from the Swaledales and Rough Fell females, there was a large entry of other hill breeds this year with Cheviots being in great demand, as they increase in popularity in the area, and more could easily have been sold. Cheviot Shearlings sold to a top of £102 from M & C Booth, Hartrigg with Ewes selling to £103 KM & KJ Curwen, Marshaw Farm.
There was also a greater number of Herdwicks in the Mart which always creates plenty of interest in a Lake District Auction Auction.