Blimey! What a day! Just as with the cheviots at Lockerbie these Swaledale tups at the Chapel took a bit of footing. Good bodied commercial sheep were close to the four figure mark all day with most of Shep's neighbours having to pay that magical £1,000 to get themselves a stock hill tup.
No stupid prices though, the top price I saw was £6,000 for a cracking sheep off Billing Shield. The champion of the day realised £4,700 off East Unthank.
Yep, you're right, Shep was on the wanders again. Into Durham this time to St Johns Chapel to view some Swaledales. Again I was fortunate enough to travel with a neighbour.
Swaledales are a hardy hill breed with quite a number of flocks residing in Tarset and nieghbouring areas. Different to the blackfaced sheep although you could be forgiven for thinking they are the same - there are similarities in that both breeds have horns, similar leg colour and as the present day blackie can also sport a grey nose and eyes then a confusion could arise. Swaledales have a coarser hair, different skin (wool) type, generally longer legs and very striking black and grey faces. They are also renowned for having a poorer carcase.
Shep hadn't been to the Chapel for teens of years (if not longer) and was pleasantly suprised. Always noted as a sale venue for having sheep of a stronger carcase I was well and truly impressed with the carcases on show, there were some remarkably broad swales to be found, but they did take some buying.
There were many good sheep to view, and as already said they weren't bought for pennies, with many having to dig deeper into their pockets than they had hoped to but all (hopefully) satisfied with what they loaded up and took home.
Shep had had a good day away, viewed some cracking good sheep and met up with faces, some almost long forgotten,a pleasant break from bending over all day tailing ewes that's for sure!
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