May Fair 2024 Report

Dorset Horn & Poll & Dorset May Fair Show Report

Exeter Livestock Market, 7th & 8th May 2024

Total Sheep: 1497

Sheep Sales:

Shearling Rams: Up to 4000gns

Ram Lambs: Up to 2200gns

Individual Females: Up to 800gns

Pens of MV & Registered Females: Up to 550gns

Purebred Hoggets: Up to £270

Crossbred Hoggets: Up to £275

Older Ewes: Up to £260

Individual Females (31):

Top Price: 800gns for lot 203, the third prize shearling ewe from Emma Crosfield, Lower Langham Farm Partnership, Gillingham, sold to Jeremy Durrant of Hydes Farming, Essex.

Reserve Champion: Ewe Lamb (lot 218) sold at 600gns to Denis Rankine of Lochore, Fife.

Champion: Sandy Lane Capercaillie sired shearling exhibited by Rob & Richard Hole of Sherborne, Dorset, sold at 600gns to Messrs Smith and Taylor of Derbyshire.

Horned Hoggets: Sold at 500gns & 480gns for JH Kemball & Son of Woodbridge, Suffolk.

MV & Registered Females (383):

Champion Pen: Fooks Bros, Poorton, near Bridport, sold at 550gns apiece to Arthur Jones of Salisbury.

Quality Runs: Les and Heather French of Launceston, with hoggets selling at tops of 370gns twice.

Ewe Lambs: Sold at 280gns for Rob & Richard Hole's first prize-winning pen.

Non-MV Females (918):

Registered Non-MV Hoggets: Peaked at £245 for pens from Messrs S & D Cole of Torrington.

Purebred Ewe Lambs: Peaked at £225 twice, from Alan Bickley.

Berrichon x Dorset Shearlings: Met spirited bidding, realizing £275 twice and £255 for the remaining three pens from Mervyn Brice of Stoodleigh.

Older Ewes:

Chris Carr of Shillingford Abbot: Mainly purebred Dorset’s sold to £260 twice, £255, and £250 for the 4-6T ages. 

Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn Breeding Rams (157): 

Shearling Rams:

Top price of 4000gns for lot 39, a tremendous shearling ram from Thomas Wright, Ballytaggart Fritz was a January born shearling, sired by Wilsey Dreckly, he was the lead ram from Thomas Wright’s Ballytaggart flock from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, he sold to Richard Fitton of Bolton, Lancashire. Second top price came early in the sale when Keith May of Bodmin parted with the second prized shearling ram Newtoncoombe Falcon, sired by Lisnafillan Elvis he sold at 3200gns to Fooks Bros, Bridport for their Poorton flock.

Ram Lambs:

Third-highest price of 2200gns for Ballytaggart Groucho (lot 45) from Ballytaggart, sired by the Dreckly tup, sold to Matthew and Adam Care for their Burhos flock near Looe, Cornwall. Hydes Farming of Essex claimed both the overall Champion and Reserve Champion in the pre-sale show and sold the reserve at 1600gns to Richard and David Rossiter of Kingsbridge for their Huish flock and the overall champion made 1000gns to Thomas Wright. David lewis had a cracking sale with two high priced ram lambs, with lot 169 Pembroke ghost selling at 1800gns and going home with Les French and his lot 170 Pembroke grasshopper, sold for 1500gns to Christina Johnston for her Bamburgh flock.

Four rams at 1400gns and countless rams trading 1000-1300 to give an overall average of £857 for the 115 rams sold, which is up £36 on the year with only a few less changing hands.

A special mention:

In every breed, there are members who you associate with always being part of the action. For the last 50 years, Andrew Kingdom from Cornwall has been a stalwart member of The Dorset Horn & Poll Dorset Sheep Society. Only foot-and-mouth disease and COVID have stopped him from bringing his stock to May Fair during those five decades. Similarly, another steadfast presence in the scene are Les & Heather French from Launceston, who have rarely missed May Fair except during periods of foot-and-mouth disease and COVID-related restrictions. These breeders will always be known for the love they have poured into the society, and their dedication must not go unnoticed.

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