With a well established flock of 3,600 breeding sheep, the Strainge family run North Country Mules, Suffolk cross and Highlander cross ewes.

The decision to reduce numbers came as the family looked to restructure the workforce and its farming operations while offering purchasers an opportunity of buying some marvellous breeding both in Suffolk cross ewes with lambs at foot and also the rare opportunity of a quantity of the composite bred Highlander cross North Country Mule ewes.

Randal Strainge, who owns the flock, said the weather was good and he was very pleased with the sale. “They sold better than I expected, and I may organise a similar sale in future.” He withdrew 90 of the oldest lambs which were not as good as he wanted them to be.

With 1,700 ewes and lambs through the ring a marvellous trade prevailed with sheep finding new homes in Yorkshire, Somerset and the counties between the two. These sold to an average of £64.46. Double theave Suffolk ewes set us off well, carrying three week old Charolais twins beside them, selling to £72 per life (£216) and bought by a buyer from Bristol.

Plenty of others ranged between £64 to £71. Singles of the same description topped at £77.50 went to Skipton. Highlander ewes caught plenty of interest with buyers keen to try the breed renowned for its prolificy and buoyed by the sheer size and confirmation of the quality on offer. With the Highlanders full mouthed, these landed at £67 per life for ewes with doubles (£201) with others £53 and upwards per life. Full mouthed Suffolk ewes were again in great demand selling to £69.50 at 2.7 lives.

One hundred and seventy eight Suffolk ewe lambs, winter sheared, were given provenance by the quality of the stock preceding them and sold for a top price of £114 to a renowned Leicestershire shepherd with the total run averaging £106.

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