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Dorset Spring Stars

William Carson, Northern Ireland Club Secretary

On Monday 25th March, Harrison and Hetherington will host ‘Spring Stars’, a brand new show and sale on behalf of the Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn Sheep Society. This major sale is timed to coincide with the commencement of the preparations for the Dorset Breed tupping season, which commences mid-April.

Entries have been received from across the four nations from many of the well-recognised flock names. Going under the hammer are a total of 106 rams and females, which includes 27 Shearling Gimmers,14 Ewe Lambs,14 Shearling Rams and 51 Lamb Rams.

Judging will commence at 11.30 am, followed by the sale at 1pm. The show will be judged by Rowland Davies of the Dolclettwr flock, West Wales, a past Society Chairman and judge of the first August Carlisle Sale, which was held at Carlisle 11 years ago.

Will Carson, Northern Ireland Club Secretary, who has initiated the sales, said: “We are delighted with the numbers, I initially hoped that we would secure 90 so I am very pleased that we have more than this, and with such well spread out representatives from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England!”.

Giving further background to this, Will continues: “Our Premiere Show and Sale, known as the May Fair, is not held until the first week of May, which is not well timed as it is a month too late for breeders to get their tups onto the farm and prepared for the Dorset tupping season. So, what has been happening, in recent years, is that that these top end rams have been traded privately – from farm to farm as opposed to on the open markets.”

“Members were keen to offer wider trading opportunities and as such, we have decided to hold a standalone show and sale at Carlisle.”

Currently, in the region of a ¼ of pedigree Dorset sheep breeders choose to lamb in the Autumn, which is historically the traditional lambing time for Dorsets. As Dorsets can lamb at any time of the year, some people will, of course, be purchasing their tups to keep them over the summer season.

H&H have been selling Dorsets in Carlisle for the last 11 years and are delighted that the Dorset Breed is now well-recognised across the North of England and Scotland. This is the first Spring sale for the Dorset Sheep.

Scott Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Harrison and Hetherington, said: “This is a top end sale of prime Dorset Rams, Gimmers and Females, and it is catering for those rams which were traded farm to farm and were not put forward for the May Sale.

This sale is geared for the pedigree market and will give opportunities for those wishing to start their own flock, for those looking to buy some tremendous genetics, and also for those who are looking to establish or improve their flock genetics. We see it as a great opportunity for the breed.”

The Dorset Breed is recognised for its flavours and good eating ability, having won the Great Taste Award in London three times. This is something which is certainly attired to the increasing popularity of the breed and its geographical spread.

Further details of the sale can be found at: https://harrisonandhetherington.co.uk/whats-on2/.

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