Post Show and Sale message from Libby


Melton Mowbray
Traditional Native Breeds
National Show & Sale 2019


Huge thank you to all of you for helping to make this event such a great success.  Show and Sale results for each breed have now been published on our website and can be downloaded from:   home.grassroots.co.uk
Click on For Farmers,  click on Melton,  selected View and Download Show and Sale Results.  Please feel free to republish on your own websites or point your members to our site.

In summary,  overall clearance and prices were good, we were very lucky with the weather, and the event was extremely well supported.  It was a real celebration of the diversity of British Livestock Breeds, with almost 200 people selling stock, many of whom were also buyers, and then another almost 200 people who were buyers. There was a real buzz and a great atmosphere.   

 A big thank you to all the breed secretaries, volunteer stewards, inspectors, judges and members, who make this event possible, and are on hand to help advise and encourage those new buyers.

The date for next year will be 11th and 12th September 2020.

We will be having a ‘Wash Up’ meeting with the auctioneers in October and would be very please to have any feedback you have.   From our point of view the whole event seemed to run pretty well.

However, the Market struggled with getting the printed catalogues out, apparently the post office managed to lose a good number of them.   There were some congestion issues around ring two linked to the fact that one of the auctioneers selling ewes was a lot slower than I had calculated when planning the penning, and there was clearly a real problem with the auctioneers office and the queue for buyers.

Top of my list for the wash-Up meeting at the moment are:

Talking to the auctioneers about how to avoid the issue with long queues

Getting the catalogues out in a timely manner (Grassroots had them on the web and the camera ready copy ready for the printers on 23rd August.)

Rethinking the Friday Night dinner – in our view the Ceilidh band was great but the food was not up to its normal standard.

Reviewing how we sell the sheep.  Currently we sell ewes off the  boards in their pens and then 2 hours later the rams thorough the ring.  It would be interesting to know if this is how people want to continue.  We are thinking about sending out a questionnaire to exhibitors and asking how they would prefer their breed to be sold.  We would be interested in your thoughts. There are three options and we could potentially do different ones for different breeds, depending on demand.  The options could be for a breed to opt to sell:

  • As now with ewes off the boards in their pens and rams through the ring
  • Both ewes and rams sold in their pens.  We would sell the ewes and then the rams for each breed and then move onto the next breed. This would probably be quicker than the current system, but would all happen in the lines.
  • Both ewes and rams sold through the ring.  If every breed wanted to do this it would make it a very long day, we would only have two auctioneers working instead of four.  There might also be  welfare and health and safety issues to consider, but we could perhaps do it for some breeds.

 Showing Cattle in their pens
The majority of cattle this year were un-haltered which did actually work quite well in the new building.  The Gloucesters had a little show ‘in the pens’ which may have helped buyers.  Would other cattle breeds like to do the same ?

Selling Goats
The goats were sold through the sheep ring.  It is a bit of a struggle getting them there, but there is a lot of interest.  Would goat breeders prefer to sell in the pens ?  or perhaps through the cattle ring before the cattle ?

The date for next year will be 11th and 12th September 2020.  

Transfers – We will be sending you transfer information as soon as possible (we have a bit of trouble getting it from the auctioneers on Saturday evening).

Thanks for your continued support

Libby Henson and the team at Grassroots Systems Ltd.
PO Box 251, Exeter. EX2 8WX.  Libby@grassroots.co.uk