Sheep Trade Booming At Easter Lamb Show
There were 1312 sheep forward in total at Chelford's weekly Prime Stock Sale last Thursday, including the Annual Easter Lamb Show, which traditionally signals the start of the new lamb sale season.
Producers came from far and wide, bringing with them the best of the New Year's crop of Spring Lambs for a sale widely renowned as one of the best in the country. Sponsored for the last 25 years by Alan Read, who has built up a steady list of other sponsors, the sale has attracted a reputation for setting the trend for lamb sales throughout the year.
This year was no exception. Included amongst the total entry were 157 New Season lambs and some 17 buyers crowded around the pens at sale time, seeking to buy the best for their retail customers to enjoy over the Easter festival.
The Judge this year was veteran livestock buyer Roy Schofield who went about the task with his usual determination, and chose as his Champion Lamb a 40 kg Texel cross from Paul Read, son of the chief sponsor. It was the first time for some years that the Read family have won their own trophy, and it was with great pleasure that Alan Read was able to present the trophy to his son Paul at sale time.
The lamb attracted lively bidding, and was eventually snapped up for 355p/kg (£142) by local butcher Tony Boon. Tony demonstrates his support for local farm producers every week by buying his lambs at Chelford, and retails them through his A J Boon Ltd shop within the village.
The Reserve Champion Lamb was another Texel cross, this time from Mark Hazelhurst, Gee Cross near Hyde. This one weighed 41 kg, and was bought by David Kidd on behalf of Macclesfield butcher Nigel Wilcox of Park Lane, for 295p/kg.
Tony Boon was in again for the Champion Pair of lambs in Class 2. These Texel cross lambs presented by Mrs Claire Tomlinson from Malpas, Cheshire weighed 36 kg and made 310p/kg, with the second placed pen, 37.5 kg Texel crosses from Messrs Read, making 292p/kg to Roy Schofield, buying for M J Birtwistle, Worsley.
Claire Tomlinson also won the first prize in Class 3, the group of more than 4 lambs, this time with 43.2 kg Texel crosses, which again Tony Boon dived in to buy at 305p/kg.
Second in that Class went to 33.1 kg Texel crosses from Iwan Evans, Ruthin, these being bought for 255p/kg by Emyr Williams, for Euro Quality Lambs Ltd, Craven Arms.
Altogether the 157 New Season lambs on offer averaged 278.1p/kg.
There were also just over 1,000 Old Season lambs, peaking at 252p/kg for 49.3 kg Texel Crosses from Roger and Simon Bailey, Rushton Spencer, with a large number of pens of lambs grossing up to over £110 per head.
The Auctioneers would like to thank the sponsors, in particular chief sponsor Alan Read, for all his efforts in arranging the show and the other sponsors for their continued strong support, BOCM Pauls; Hornby Snape Insurance; Massey Brothers Feeds; British Charollais Sheep Society.