Author Archive for Soay and Boreray Sheep Society

18th Traditional & Native Breeds Show and Sale

18th Traditional & Native Breeds Show and Sale (our official show and sale)
Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray LE13 1JY – holding number 22/296/8000 (livestock access off Nottingham Road – LE13 0NP)  Tel:  01664 562971

10th & 11th September 2021, held at Melton Mowbray market (show held on the 10th and sale on the 11th)

Online entries now open – closing date 5th August

Entries are done via the Manage My Animals section, via the Grassroots online website.  There is an extra menu option – sale entries.  It is only open to fully paid-up members of the RBST and The Soay and Boreray Breed Society.  Only registered sheep can be entered.  Please register your sheep with Grassroots, before you try to enter them in the sale.  Select the animal, the class to be entered and enter individual comments about the animal or group of animals (at the bottom).  Click submit.  Link to paper copy of the entry form below, but it is much easier for everyone if you can enter online.

Maximum of two males per vendor.

Minimum upset prices:-

Soay – ram 50gns, ram lamb 30gns, ewe 40gns, ewe lamb 30gns

Boreray – ram 60gns, ram lamb 40gns, ewe 50gns, ewe lamb 40gns

We do urge you to set your own reserves.

Entry fees:  £10/sheep (including VAT) – pay the market directly via bacs and inform them via email when you have paid, with your reference (I suggest surname & breed if possible).

Melton Mowbray Market – Sort Code:  20-63-66 – Account number:  13632741 or send a cheque to Melton Mowbray Market (address above)

Any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me – Suzannah (

Looking forward to lots of entries and a great show and sale – as I have mentioned before this is your flock’s shop window, so please bring good quality sheep.


Gransden Show

Gransden Show – 25th September 2021 – Show Field, Caxton Road, Great Gransden, Cambs. Soay and Boreray classes – only open to sheep registered through Grassroots. Lambs need to be birth notified. Registration and birth notification numbers to be written on the entry form. Entrants to be members of the Soay and Boreray Breed Society. Closing date 4th September. We look forward to a great show with lots of sheep entered.
Entry fee: £5 – Prizes: 1st £14, 2nd £9, 3rd £6 – rosettes to 4th place.
Classes for each of our breeds:-
Ram, ewe, ram lamb, ewe lamb, group of three (ram, ewe, lamb) and champion
Links to entry form and schedule


The Soay and Boreray Sheep Society AGM is being held on the 9th October 2021 at Tatton Park at 11am. We look forward to seeing you there.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN (Sat Nav WA16 6SG)
Would you like to join our committee? If you are interested please email Philip Mapson before the 9th September with your details –

AGM 2021


The Soay & Boreray committee members invite members to attend the AGM on 30th January at 11am via Zoom.
It is has been certainly a difficult year for us all and given us thought on how to do things differently. We embrace the virtual opportunity to let our society AGM to take place via Zoom.
In order to join the meeting you are required to be a paid up society member. If you are not currently a member,  this is great opportunity for you to join our supportive society. Our membership starts from 1st January each year and is £10 (standing order). You will receive newsletter via post, and on-hand advice from the society members. So join now and get part of January free!!
In order to be sent an invite to the AGM please email the secretary Rosie Siddans on by end of Saturday 23rd January 2021.
In order to become a member of the society please email the membership secretary Alex Watton on
We look forward to seeing you at the virtual AGM.
Those current members will find the agenda printed in the latest December newsletter.


Despite the last newsletter saying the AGM would be on 10th October at Tatton Park, it has of course been cancelled.  New date is January 30th 2021 at the same venue.

A copy of the Chairman’s letter to this effect:


Julie Suffolk

Julie Suffolk, our enthusiastic member and highly efficient Secretary for many years, died this morning. She has been ill for five years, and modern  medicine has given her extra time from the initial diagnosis.  I am sure all our members will join me in sending our heartfelt sympathy to her husband John, and also to Steve Carpenter who has managed her Backforrest Flock for several years.

Proposed list of sheep for sale

Further to various posts on our FaceBook page, it has been agreed that The Soay and Boreray Breed Society will not back the Melton Mowbray vet inspected multi-breed sale of sheep being held on Saturday, 12th September 2020.

We are happy to put together a list of sheep that would have been entered in the Melton Mowbray Traditional Breeds Show and Sale, our official breed sale, which has been cancelled due to COVID-19. This list will then be put on our facebook page and this website. Please send details of sheep with photographs (these will be added if possible) to (Kerry) or (Suzannah) and we will compile a list of sheep for sale. This list will also be available if we get requests from new breeders or breeders enquiring as to where people can purchase sheep. All sheep on this list must be registered or birth notified. If birth notified they must be registered at point of sale (vendor’s responsibility).

The Society cannot endorse the quality of any sheep entered on the list, as they will not have been inspected by a Society member.

The Kinship programme – from Suzannah Long


Just a reminder to birth notify all your lambs before 31st October in the year of birth, the earlier you can do it the better. This keeps a record of the progeny each ewe produces. Birth notifying is free. Please don’t register all your lambs at vast expense, the system allows you to register ewes up to 2 years and rams up to 3 years. We register animals at time of sale or at their first tupping.

Please ensure any castrates are notified as castrates and not as males (entire rams). Also please kill off or transfer any animals at time of death or sale, to keep the numbers more precise.

Soays – there are 837 rams and 3678 females on the system.

There are 42 rams whose last progeny were born in 2009 – 2017, 203 rams born between 2005 and 2018 (registered prior to January 2019) who have no registered progeny and 84 birth notified born between 2007 and 2016. Are any of these animals alive?

Borerays – there are 416 rams and 1449 females on the system.

There are 14 rams whose last progeny were born in 2014 – 2017, 49 rams born between 2012 and 2018 (registered prior to January 2019) who have no registered progeny and 25 birth notified born between 2014 and 2016. Are any of these animals alive?

AGM and Members’ Visit 12th October 2019

The Soay and Boreray Sheep Society AGM, this year, is being held at the Natureland Seal Sanctuary, North Parade, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE25 1DB – on 12th October.
The AGM will be held in the cafe at 3pm, to enable members and their families time to look around beforehand. Lunch and drinks can be purchased in the cafe. Entry is free and the Society will give a donation in lieu.

Everyone is very welcome but only paid up members have voting rights.


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:
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.