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Most Popular Safari Yet

The 5th annual ram safari of the South Wales Club on Sunday 8th August 2010 was the best attended yet; so much so that the Red Lion, Llangors had difficulty in dealing with the demand for food at its conclusion!

The day started well with a visit to safari first timers the Stelfox flock of the Williams family Dale Road, Pembrokeshire. Originally from Cheshire, the Williams’ farm 200 acres of prime south Pembrokeshire land within sight of the Haven oil refineries. The notes to their Shearling pen for the Welshpool sale claim that: “This run of rams all have fantastic skins, loins and gigots.” All present can certainly attest to that and also the Dutch influence apparent in the shearlings, although this blood was introduced 4 or 5 generations back at least. Anybody looking for a ram lamb with great length but that doesn’t lack behind the shoulder would do well to have a look at Stelfox Royeston, a Mellor Vale Oyster son, bound for Worcester.

Stelfox shearling tup bound for Welshpool
Stelfox shearling tup bound for Welshpool

The members then ventured on to the coalfield for the next three flocks. Alfryn “Dads” Davies and family have had a good year in the shows. Most recently he took the championship at Gower after a string of reserve tickets. Dads has two smart lambs by Aman Paradwys (a Knock Nugget son) bound for Welshpool. He was the reserve champion at the club sale last year and has left lambs with character and style. Drawing most attention however were two gimmers on display. The first heading for Welshpool is a stylish Lindstair Nic Nak daughter. The other was a fantastically strong gimmer by Thinacres Ottowa, the “Best Stock Ram” in the Club flock competition. Not for sale she was conveniently penned: “to keep company to the other one!”

Ifan Ddu Gimmers
Ifan Ddu Gimmers

Members partook of their packed lunches and a well earned cup of tea at the Aman flock. The Davies’ have been ubiquitous hosts of the Safari, however there was no visit to the Teilo flock this year for the first time. Three of the Aman lambs on display were by Knock Nugget out of Tophill Kiwi dams. This was the cross that produced Teilo Pegasus, of whom more to follow. The other two lambs on show were by Teilo Pel Draediwr, a Plattin Orlando son out of a Cambwell Jake dam bred by Cai Davies. They both had the same carriage and attitude that attracted John Davies to his grandson’s lamb, paying him a 1,000gns for a half share at the main NSA sale Builth Wells.

Aman ram lamb
Aman ram lamb

The biggest eye opener of the day awaited members at Davicia. David Meek was hosting the safari for the third time. The improvement in his stock seen over the two intervening years has been phenomenal. David has spent money on females, AI and ET work and this has certainly paid dividends. He has Douganhill McFly progeny, some by ET donors bought at the Muiresk dispersal. His “best lamb”, and (arguably) the best lamb seen all day, is Davicia Ringmaster, a son of Teilo Pegasus bound for Worcester. He saw Pegasus on last year’s safari and bought him at Worcester where he was part of the Teilo double of first prize ram lambs in the open and performance recorded classes. David can take pride in the quality of his national sale ram lambs and his gimmers, some of which will be for sale, but it is his ewe lambs, many by Pegasus, of which he feels most proud.

Davicia Ringmaster
Davicia Ringmaster

Members were then treated to stunning scenery on a trip along the steep winding roads of the north Glamorgan valleys and over the Brecon Beacons to Llangors and the Tynewydd flock. Deri Morgan has taken the all Wales flock championship for the second time in 4 years. Married just two weeks previously, members are most grateful to him for hosting a flock visit to close this year’s safari in style and all wish him and his new bride a happy marriage. Tynewydd literally means “new house” in Welsh, but as you might guess is a very old farm. The land is old red sandstone and very powerful and this allows Deri to run on the majority of his lambs without creep or dry feed until their first late autumn at least. A select few lambs and shearlings are elevated to the show team and some ram lambs are selected for sale and together are given more attention. One of these, Tynewydd Rameses by Arkle Pacific Star, was champion at Brecon County the previous day and heads with another two by the same tup to Welshpool. The main target of the flock however, is to produce 50 or so shearlings of each sex for sale each year. Deri’s plan to achieve this is quite simple. He buys the best tup he can, usually in Lanark. That tup is then used heavily across the flock and as part of a progression. All of his 120 or so lambs this year are by 2 tups, 90 or so by Pacific Star. This has produced a flock of remarkable uniformity. Each class of stock seen was consistent in its quality throughout. Another sign of the powerful land was the strength of the older ewes in the flock which was truly impressive. There are not many flock masters in Wales (or further afield) that can so clearly demonstrate that all of their stock conform to their selected type and this really is a credit to Deri and his mother Madge.

Deri Morgan and a field of shearling tups
Deri Morgan and a field of shearling tups

The members suitably worn out, fed and watered (well, almost all were fed) left Llangors eagerly anticipating the autumn sales. They will also be listening out to hear the advertising of the Llandovery club sale on the 3/9/10 on Radio Ceredigion, Radio Carmarthenshire and Radio Pembrokeshire.


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