Mart's the Heart 2018 Award Winners Revealed!


Our lanes are busy with tractors who are cracking on combining and getting in a much needed second cut. The swallows have sadly departed and the trees are just on the turn, so autumn feels around the corner. Although feeding the sale ewes first thing this morning in the promising sunshine with blue skies above was warmly received.

Sheep breeding sales both pedigree and commercial are in full swing and while records continue to be broken at the top end of the pedigree sale, commercial trade is somewhat sticky.

The Farmers Guardian - supported show and sale of Cheviot Mules at Longtown saw a strong trade for shearlings, with the top call of £210 going to R. McNee, Over Finlarg, matching last year’s record price from the same home.

Texel trade topped at 4,300gns at Ballymena last week for the sale champion shearling ram from Brian Williamson. At Carlisle, at what I understand is the first sale of Dutch Spotted sheep in the UK, trade peaked at 3,500gns for a ram lamb from Megan Rowlandson. There was a fair crowd of folk around the ring. This breed may be the next big thing... who knows?

New male and female Jacob records were set at Skipton at the weekend when Pentrenant Pimms, a ram lamb from Jean Price, Powys, sold for 4,600gns and a shearling ewe from Wyn and Siwan Harries' Hope flock, Carmarthenshire sold for 2,700gns.

NEMSA gimmer lamb sales are getting underway but with a shortage of grass still in the South and a steady trade for shearlings so far, it will be interesting to see how much buyers are prepared to pay.

I had the pleasure of hosting the judging day of the Mart's the Heart Awards on Friday for Chris Dodds of the Livestock Auctioneers Association, Andrew Wright of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, and Will Evans, host of the Rock and Roll Farming Podcast.  They had a real task ahead of them, as the competition this year was stronger than ever. Some tough choices were made, but am pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Mart’s the Heart awards are as follows:


Lifetime Achievement 
John Thomson Sr.


Auctioneer of the Year
Russell Steer, Kivells


New Auctioneer of the Year
Jonty Cliffe, Wright Marshall


Auction Cafe of the Year 
Thrapston, Bletsoes


Thank you to everyone who voted for the finalists in our Mart's the Heart Awards. We've had a phenomenal response, it really shows the crucial role auctions play within our community.  We're proud to spotlight your local stalwarts of the agricultural sector with our awards.

Sales coming up this week


Thursday, September 6 – Wright Marshall will be hosting the Western Holstein Club's annual Wexham Cup Bull show and sale at Beeston Castle Auction

Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8 – Melton Mowbray will be holding its 16th National Show and Sale of traditional and native breeds held under the auspices of the participating breed societies at Melton Mowbray Market

Monday, September 10 – Gwilym Richards is holding a dispersal sale of the entire herd of 106 Holstein Friesians, 3 Ford Tractors, machinery and dairy equipment on behalf of Mr W.G. and Mrs S.J. King at Brookfield Farm, CV2 2AD

Tuesday, September 11 – Ruthin Farmers will be holding the 13th annual production sale from the Whiteley Hey Flock on behalf at Ruthin Farmers Market

Jessica Wood

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