A total 20,000 sheep will be yarded for Forbes’ annual first cross ewe sale on January 10.
The sale is in its 40th year, with a big yarding expected at the Central West Livestock Exchange this Thursday.
It’s a milestone for the sale, and for the Glamis Shield which is awarded annually to the best-presented pen of ewes.
John Martin and Clive Herbert initiated the sale, and Border Leicester stud owner Edgar Brown founded the Glamis Shield with the PA and H Association.
“(Dad) wanted to promote quality first-cross ewes,” Mr Brown said.
“Forbes saleyards is a very prominent prime lamb saleyards and you can’t have quality prime lambs unless you have quality first-cross ewes to breed them.”
The shield is awarded to the best-presented pen of young ewes, as judged by an independent panel.
The industry has grown in recent years, from what many would have considered a sideline to a dedication to producing ewes for this Forbes sale.
Buyers now attend from all over the State and Victoria as well.
This year the yarding for sale includes ewes from Forbes district, Trundle, Eugowra, Grenfell, Cowra, Tottenham, West Wyalong, Young, Condobolin and the Parkes District. A full list is available on the Forbes Central West Livestock Exchange Facebook page or in The Land.
The numbers represent a significant increase – agent Adam Chudleigh from McCarron Cullinane said it represents and increase of 5000 to 6000 head up on an average year.
Mr Brown says that’s particularly impressive given the harsh conditions breeders are facing: stock are being hand-fed and many hand-watered.
Troff Pastoral, which has won the Shield the past two years, returns with 1300 ewes.
The first-cross ewe sale is at the Central West Livestock Exchange on Thursday January 10 and commences at 11am. The recipient of the Glamis Shield will be announced just before the start of the sale.