Texel rams have once again led the way in the latest results from AHDB’s RamCompare project.

The breed had all of the top five ranked rams for overall carcase merit in each of the project’s three breeding seasons (2016-2018).

In addition, a total of seven of the top 10 rams for carcase merit were Texels in the same period, said the society’s breed development chairman, Peter Mitchell. “The carcase merit index combines EBVs for carcase weight, carcase conformation and carcase fat class, providing an overview of the genetic merit of sires used in typical commercial flocks.

“As such, it is the most complete measure of a ram’s potential to influence their progeny. Having Texels ranking so well on this overall measure is further proof of the breed’s well recognised ability to add value to prime lamb production across the UK,” he added.

The most recent season’s results also point a positive picture for the breed, with two of the top three rams for overall carcase merit being Texels and the breed also claiming six of the top 10 places in the 2018 season, said Mr Mitchell.

Topping the rankings for sires used from 2016-2018 was Roxburgh Shotgun Willie, a ram bred by John Elliot and owned by the Prince family, Derbyshire. He led the way with a breeding index of 9.64, more than two points ahead of the next placed ram, another Texel in the form of PAP1501802 from Alwyn Phillips’ Penygelli flock. This had a breeding index of 7.39.

Close behind in third spot with an index of 7.28 was PRH1500573 from the Handbank flock, of the Payne family, with another from the same breeders, Hanbank Super Nova, taking fourth with an index of 7.00.

Fifth place in the 2016-2018 rankings went to Gaynes Major, bred by Gaynes Park Farm and owned by Trinidad Investments. He has an index of 6.99.

Leading the rankings for sires used in the 2017-18 breeding season was Handbank Super Nova, with Arkle Sandiago taking third and Boghouse Ultra Muscle, bred by Kenny Johnstone and owned by Alwyn Phillips, fourth with an index of 5.64.

In the individual traits, Texels also performed well, with Handbak Super Nova topping the rankings for sires used in 2018 and between 2016 and 2018 for muscle depth with his value more than 50 points ahead of his nearest rival for rams used across the three years and more than 60 points up on the second placed tup in 2018.

Garngour Nijinksy also fared well in these rankings, taking second in the 2018 sire listings and fourth in the 2016-18 rankings with a value of 149. He was bred by the Clark family and is owned by Claybury Texels.

Second in the 2016-18 rankings for scan weight was Beeford Warrior with a value of 134, just six points behind the first placed ram. He was bred by SJ Curtis and is owned by EA and L Jackson.

Society chief executive, John Yates, said the strong performance of Texels in RamCompare wouldn’t come as a surprise to Texel breeders or commercial farmers: “The breed’s ability to add value to its progeny as well as deliver quick growing lambs which grade well and are in demand from independent butchers and mainstream processors alike is well recognised across the UK.”