Cumbria Crack

First Production Sale for New Blue Texel Breeder

Overall Champion at Carlisle in 2016, First Prize Blue Texel Ewe Lamb

[H]aving started his flock in 2012, won the Overall Champion at the Royal Welsh Show and the Three Counties Show in 2014, 24-year-old Rhys Cooke from Monmouthshire, is now embarking on his first production sale, offering buyers of the rare opportunity to buy into some tremendous pedigree Blue Texel bloodlines.

Leading genetics and a total of 68 animals including the entire 2016, 2017 and 2018 crop of females and ram lambs and semen from the Nantyderri flock. This includes, 8 ewes, 22 Shearling gimmers, 26 ewe lambs, 12 ram lambs and quantity of semen. All sheep are on the Heptavac P system and the two-year olds and gimmers are vaccinated against Enzootic abortion and Toxoplasmosis. The sale, will be held at 12.30pm on 3 August at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart in Carlisle.

The 100-head Nantyderri flock has made quite a name for itself since its conception, also winning the Overall Champion at Carlisle in 2016, which was also the highest priced ewe lamb – a title it holds to this day. With eight full sisters going under the hammer, in August, this sale provides a great chance to buy in to these exceptional genetics.

Commenting on his career in sheep farming Rhys said, “I used to show British Blue cattle, however having struggled with TB, decided to change over to sheep in 2012. I enjoyed the showing and wanted to select a breed that stood out and I really liked Blue Texel breed characteristics. I focussed on the genetics and spent two years researching the best bloodlines for shape, carcass and confirmation prior to purchasing anything.”

Rhys bought his first sheep at Carlisle in 2012 from Ivanhoe Livestock, Millend and Pen y Bec and used these genetics as a foundation for his current flock.

“I want to keep the flock small with a focus on selling genetics. With its excellent reputation and location Carlisle is a great place to sell livestock.  As all my sheep are eligible for export, Carlisle also gives international buyers the convenience of exporting direct from the mart.”

“This Nantyderri flock has had amazing success in an incredibly short time,” says Heather Pritchard, Pedigree & Marketing Manager at Harrison & Hetherington said: “Utilising embryo technology, Rhys has been able to make impressive genetic gains in his flock and add value through the animals he can now offer. Pen y Bec Vera, who won the Royal Welsh is a tremendous animal, and her progeny offers a great addition to any sheep flock.

“This sale offers a unique opportunity for people who buy quality animals and build up an outstanding flock.”

Going forward, Rhys aims to continue with his breeding programme, flushing his best ewes and in a few years, have enough progeny to have a second production sale.

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