Texel Breeder

North West
Texel Breeders’ Club

Chairman's Report

2011 was another tremendously successful year for the North West Texel Breeders Club.

Our year began with the now well established “In- Lamb” sale held at Chelford. With a good quality of sheep put forward, trade was buoyant with the top price of 2000gns going to Charlie Bodens Sportsman’s flock. Our thanks go to Alec Steff of the Micklehurst flock for judging.

Our “Flock Visit,” to a selection of colleague’s farms, which traditionally includes the Club’s annual Social Weekend, was again held in May and our destination was North Wales and Anglesey.

We eventually got to Llangwm Texel’s two hours late due to our transport breaking down only half a mile from our starting point!  The wheels on the bus were definitely not going “round and round” as we tried to embark on our journey! Although timing may never have been our strong point, we had of course had the presence of mind to ensure body and soul were well cared for on the trip, so luckily, in what we believed to be an act of kindness, we had been provided with an excellent late breakfast before we left our meeting point at Richard Fitton’s Maestro Texel’s. Thus spirits remained high and waiting for support provided us with the opportunity for more friendly banter and some early morning relaxation!

At Llangwn, we saw a strong flock of beautifully presented sheep which gave us the best possible start to the weekend.   Our special thanks go to Iolo Jones and his family for their hospitality and their coping so well with the enforced delay in our arrival. Despite our tardiness, we had a wonderful time.

 After an entertaining evening in the Bulkley Hotel on Anglesey, the following day, we visited Idris Morris of the Fachell Flock and John and Heulwen Thomas’ Bryngarth Texel’s. At both venues, sheep were of a particularly high standard, being a credit to the breeders and demonstrating just how good the Texel breed can be. During their observations, many of the visiting North West breeders picked out Mrs Thomas’s ewe lamb to win the Royal Welsh Show, which it duly did. Perhaps the Club really does have members with the talent to recognise top quality in the breed! Once again hospitality was second to none and our thanks go to out both families for all their hard work and kindness.

The journey home the next day travelled via Penparc Texel’s home of Steve and Helen Smith. Our final stop again presented us many quality sheep.  Steve was also kind enough to spend time showing us his many birds of prey at his falconry centre and flying some of the birds for us to watch. This was a most memorable experience and a fantastic finale to our weekend.  Our thanks go to Steve and his family for providing such a special end to our trip.

Chelford hosted the now established “Elite” sale in August.  This year’s show was judged by Jeff Aiken. It was the first year we had held a show at the venue rather than just a sale and it proved a great success. We are grateful to Jeff for accepting our invitation. The overall champion was a gimmer from Tophill flock, selling for 4100gns.  Trade was good for all sections of the sale with Frank Ruston owning the 1st prize shearling ram which made 1500gns. Many commercial buyers attended the sale and were clearly prepared to buy good quality sheep.

Clitheroe Auction Mart hosted our September sale in conjunction with Lawrie and Symington.  A large number of entries gave the judge John Mellin a difficult task but eventually he placed Proctor Farms’ Shearling Ram as Champion.  This went on to take the top price of 1300gns.  Once again thanks to John for judging the sale.

Our flock competition was judged by Club Vice Chairman, Peter Woof.  Awards for the various classes were presented at our Winter Social Evening at Farington Lodge, Leyland in November.  It was a great evening well attended by a wide variety of our members. The Hotel provided an excellent meal which was later supported by entertainment which was to say the least “memorable!”

Prior to the festivities, the AGM was held, followed by a most interesting talk on web-site construction from Fiona Sloan from Pedigree Farmers Web Design.

The evening ended with a charity auction, which, with much vigour from the auctioneer – Alec Steff, raised in excess of £2600 for the North West Air Ambulance.

As my tenure as Chairman ended at the AGM, it is time to pass the reins of the Club to Peter Woof. I have had a great time as Chairman and hopefully the changes and additions I have overseen to the Club and its programme will serve to enhance its stability and provide Peter with a sound base for the future.

I Hope the members of the club have enjoyed the year and I would like to wish Peter woof every success as our new chairman.

David Houghton

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