One of the most widely anticipated flock dispersal sales in the Suffolk breed for many years is to take place at Harrison and Hetherington's Borderway Mart on November 29.
Founder of Strathisla Suffolk flock, Robbie Wilson, has decided he can no longer maintain the commitment required for his vast number of pedigree sheep and will therefore be putting the entire flock up for sale.
The event, which will begin at 1pm, will be seen as a major highlight for both the Suffolk Sheep Society and the 2013 sheep farming calendar. Included in the sale will be 182 MV accredited registered Suffolks – 47 ewes, 64 gimmers, 67 ewe lambs and stock rams – as well as a quantity of semen.
This internationally renowned flock, founded in 1991 by Wilson and his family at North Dorlaithers in Aberdeenshire, has been a major source of Suffolk genetics since 2002.
Further Glenisla females were added in 2002 and in more recent years, only a few very select purchases have been made, including a 7000gn Wells gimmer, a 7,200gn Lakeview gimmer and a 5000gn Jubilee gimmer.
As part of the flock’s development, stud rams have been carefully selected, often including the top-priced animal of that specific generation. In addition, the flock has relied heavily on ET work, increasing the genetic input of its fop females. Regular drafts of females have been sold annually, so that the flock on sale is largely devoid of aged ewes and retains a fresh youthful aspect.
On five occasions, the flock has attracted the Bristol Gold Cup, awarded to the best flock within the UK. The sheep have also won national sales on five occasions, four Royal Highland Show Championships and four Royal Highland Show Reserve Championships.
Mr Wilson said: “I have absolutely loved my involvement with Suffolk sheep and the Suffolk Sheep Society. This has been a very difficult decision and one which I have been thinking about for a while. However, I realise that I am no longer able to put in the commitment that is needed to maintain what is now a sizeable pedigree flock, so I have decided to have a complete dispersal sale.”
The catalogue of the sale can be viewed at the H&H website, www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk/general/sale-catalogues/ . Visitors are also welcome to view the flock at North Dorlaithers on Saturday, November 23, between noon and 4pm. Those interested should contact Mr Wilson on 07971 206 748.
H&H sales director Scott Donaldson, said: “This has to be the most widely anticipated full flock dispersal in the Suffolk breed for many, many years.
“The Strathisla flock has had numerous headline prices and successes at national shows and sales, and the prefix ‘Strathisla’ had a place in Suffolk breed history long before the Wilson family decided to disperse their flock.”