STRONG demand for breeding rams resulted in record gross takings – up a massive £43,000 on the year and for 36 more sold – at the Wales and Border Early Ram Sale at Builth Wells.

In all, some 426 rams, compared to 390 last year, were cashed to bring in a record breaking £256,880, with a top price of just 1750gns. Clearance rates also improved at 76% against 72% in 2016.

“Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, with good sheep making good money," said event chairman, John Owens. The better sheep found a new home and all breeds enjoyed a strong demand and sold well, with many showing increased averages.”

Sale leader at 1750gns was a Texel shearling ram sold by Welsh Language TV’s S4C presenter, Meinir Howells, and her husband, Gary. The tup, Tycam Y Bard is by the home-bred Tycam Solo and was bought by K and J Davies of Cefn Coch, Heyhope, Powys. The couple sold 15 Texel shearling rams to average £757.

Second top price was 1200gns paid for a Peacehay Your Special, from the Chave family, Wellington, Somerset, purchased by Tom Elliot, Kislingbury, Northants.

Charollais sold 980gns twice from Charles Marwood, Foulrice flock from York, and from WC and RL Bowen. Suffolks peaked at 920gns from Charles Harding and a Beltex cross from Adrian Dufosee led the crosses at 800gns.