Melton Mowbray Show & Sale 2017

The final official Southdown Sheep Society Show & Sale of the year took place at Melton Mowbray Market as part of the Traditional Native Breeds Show & Sale on September 8th -9th.

Support for the sale from the vendors’ point of view was encouraging, with in excess of 100 sheep entered for the show and sale. Buyers were selective in their choice of animals, with those animals that had achieved success in the pre-sale show finding ready homes at good prices.

Champion and Reserve Champions at 2017 Melton Mowbray Show & sale

Champion and Reserve Champions at 2017 Melton Mowbray Show & sale

Show champion was a ram lamb from the Sutherland flock of Mrs Amy Readhead-Higgins, of Leiston, Suffolk, Sutherland 17/00299, sired by Ridings 14/02126, out of a home bred ewe. This lamb was purchased by Ruth Judson of Bingley, Yorkshire, for 460 guineas. Judge Mr Adam Brown commented on the correctness and style of the ram lamb and considered it a worthy winner.

Reserve Champion in the show line-up was a shearling ewe from the East Dean flock of D, S & P Humphrey. East Dean 16/02778 was sired by East Dean 09/2131, and is out of an East Dean ewe 14/01655. She sold for 265 guineas to M J Dickens, of Bicester, near Oxon.

Taking the top price of the day was the first placed shearling ram from Miss Jessica Middleditch of Sudbury, Suffolk. Wakes Hall Jimmy Choo 16/00428 was sired by Chaileybrook 14/00005, out of a Goodwood ewe. This shearling ram was shown at the National Southdown Show at the Suffolk Show earlier this year and was placed Reserve Champion by judge Mrs Alexandra Long. He sold for the top price of 650 guineas to D A Geary, of Olney, Buckinghamshire.

There was keen interest in the ewe lambs. Placed first in her class, Sutherland Misty 17/00308, from Mrs Amy Readhead-Higgins, sold for 170 guineas to D A Geary. This was the top ewe lamb price.

Regular vendor Peter Oven from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, saw a total clearance of his large consignment of Harehill shearling ewes, the majority of which were purchased to start a new flock in Leicestershire.


1 aged ewe               80 guineas

24 shearling ewes   141 guineas

11 ewe lambs             108 guineas

2 aged rams            130 guineas

6 shearling rams      295 guineas

3 ram lambs            236 guineas

The Brompton Flock takes the 2016 National Championship title

The Brompton Flock takes the 2016 National Championship title


Top honours in the 2016 Southdown Sheep Society National Flock Competition go to the Glaves family’s Brompton Flock from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, with DG & MY Crundwell’s Ladywell Flock from Langton Green, Kent, being awarded the Reserve Champion Flock title. Both these flocks were entered in Class B for flocks comprising 10 – 39 ewes.

Winners of Class A for flocks of 40 ewes or more is Messrs Wakeham-Dawson & Harmer’s Ridings Flock from Offham, East Sussex.

Taking the honours in Class C, the Novice competition for flocks not having previously won a first prize, is the Huntspill Flock of Megan Chilcott and Percy Clatworthy from Highbridge, Somerset.  

Judge Mrs Alexandra Long from Kent commented that she was impressed with all class winners, but was especially impressed by the entries in class B where she considered that the quality and attention to detail were paramount. Most impressive of all flocks in this year’s competition was the Brompton Flock, where Southdown lamb, born and reared on the farm, is sold in the family butcher’s shop. The carcases on display in the shop are “a lesson for any breeder”, said Mrs Long. The Brompton Flock is also awarded the Hobgen salver for the best intake of shearling ewes.

Suffolk breeder Mrs Amy Readhead-Higgins achieved success with her Sutherland Flock, picking up the award for the best ewe lambs, in addition to the Jim Cresswell trophy for the best rams.

Mr & Mrs Crundwell’s Ladywell Flock receives the Paynter Wool trophy for the flock with the best wool, in addition to being awarded the Noakes trophy for best three lambs of each sex, sired by a named ram which is present and shown. 

The Beryl Marsh trophy for the best newcomer is awarded to Megan Chicott and Percy Clatworthy.

In her summing up of this year’s competition, judge Mrs Long made particular mention of new entrant Louise Chiswell - as a new entrant to farming and sheep, Louise rents in grass keep and stables for her sheep and fits all shepherding duties around the “day/night job” of milking.

Mrs Long thanked the Society and all the members who took part in the 2016 Flock Competition, concluding that it had been “most pleasurable and enlightening” to see flocks at home.