Borderway to hold the sale of one of the most renowned Suffolk flocks in Scotland

31st May 2016

Friday 8th July will see the complete dispersal sale of one of the most renowned Suffolk flocks in Scotland, the Mair family’s Deveronside flock.

Taking place at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart in Carlisle, this stand alone sale will see 80 lots going under the hammer.  This is the entire female flock, which will include 16 ewes, 34 gimmers and 30 ewe lambs.  All rams will be sold through the annual tup sales and channels, which the Mairs attend.

The Mair family from Kinnermit Farm, Turriff,  Aberdeenshire are now in the third generation with Barclay and wife Lucy running the 800 acre unit in partnership with father Kenny snr and wife Muriel.  Eldest son Kenny works full time at home with daughters Judy and Sally and youngest son Archie all helping out when home from school and university.

The family farm has been home to the Suffolk breed for over 60 years with Barclay’s father Kenny snr establishing the original flock Muiresk Suffolks. After the dispersal of the famous Muiresk flock, Barclay then established the Deveronside flock and in 2004.

Although home to one of the most noted Suffolk flocks in Scotland, the family’s main farming enterprise on their farm is dairy, milking 370 cows.  With the challenges facing the dairy industry, and the family’s absolute commitment to future generations, the difficult decision has been made to sell their beloved Suffolk flock.

On hearing of this dispersal John Christie, President of the Scottish Suffolk Sheep Society said:  “The Deveronside flock has some of the best genetics in the breed at this current time, and their champion at last year’s Royal Highland Show was one of the best in the breed.  The Mair family have been stalwarts of the breed, and I would like to wish the entire family all the best, I hope that the younger generation will re-establish a flock at Kinnermit in the future.”

Often seen on the show circuit, sheep from the Deveronside flock have regularly attracted awards, accolades and high prices.  Last year their tup prices averaged in the region of 2500gns with the top priced tup selling for 10,000gns.  A homebred ewe NAJ:13:57 won the overall Suffolk at the Royal Highland Show (RHS)  in 2015, and in 2014 they won the male championships with a tup lamb .

One of the most noted sheep, a bought in ewe JT0:H28, was unbeaten in her class at the RHS four times, and went on to be breed champion twice and reserve in the interbreed once, with some of her progeny being offered at the upcoming sale.

The breeding lines being sold at Borderway come from some of the most renowned Suffolk ewes in northern Britain in the last decade.  The line-up of sheep includes ewes, the dam of the 2014 Highland show tup lamb as well as the dam and sisters of 2015’s Deveronside Doodlebug the 10,000gns tup lamb.

The last Deveronside reduction sale was held in 2013, which saw a top price gimmer selling for 5500gns, and an overall average at the sale of 1400gns.  Many of the females being sold at Borderway in July are direct progeny from the females of this sale.

The Mairs will also be donating the money made from the first lot; NAJ:K32 to the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) and the RHET(Royal highland educational trust).  This ewe has one of the best back breeding in the flock, being three quarters sister to Deveronside Whistleblower (11,000gns) and full sister to 5,000gns Deveronside Mountroyal.

Speaking in advance of the sale, Scott Donaldson, Sales Director for Harrison Hetherington said: “This family name is synonymous with some of the best Suffolk sheep in Scotland and I have been associated with sales involving the Mair family for most of my working career, in fact for as long as I can remember.”

“It is an absolute privilege to be acting on their behalf and we are delighted that they have decided to bring the entire female side of their flock to Carlisle next month.  Borderway is very well placed and offers breeders from the length and breadth of the country easy access to secure great bloodlines from one of the best Suffolk stock breeders in the UK.”

Giving further background to the sale, Kenny (jnr) said: “This sale is about future proofing our family’s future.  It will be a sad day for the whole family; however we need to think about the long term sustainability of the family farming enterprise here in Turriff.  This dispersal will provide us with the necessary injection of time and support for the dairy side for the next few years, which is the main part to our business.

To conclude Kenny jnr added “Yes it is sad to see the flock go,  but already I am looking to the future, and I only hope that we can at some stage once again establish a Suffolk flock here on the farm, with the passion and drive still strong for the breed in all three generations..”

For further information on the sale, contact Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart office on 01228 406200.