What is believed to be the UK’s only commercially-sized herd of certified organic alpacas is set to be auctioned off next month.
The sale will be held at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart in Carlisle, on Monday, May 4.
Judith and Jonathan Russell’s award-winning Northumberland herd of white Huacaya alpacas is based close to the Scottish border at Ridge End Farm near Falstone.
The herd was established in March 2007 when the first foundation female alpacas were selected from the ‘Dream Selection’, imported by Bozedown Alpacas from Peru. Since this time, using stud services from the best bloodlines available in the UK and a selective breeding process, the Northumbrian Alpaca herd has built a reputation for its outstanding and distinguished pedigree and top-quality breeding stock.
A total of 58 of the herd of 82 alpacas will be going under the hammer on the day and include the following: nine junior/open females; 21 pregnant females; 21 unproven entire males (includes 10 young males); two males expecting first progeny this year and five proven stud males.
The Russells have succeeded in their aim of producing top-quality, healthy white huacayas with correct conformation, bred to have a very fine, dense, valuable fleece – which is organically certified.
This has been demonstrated by the many awards they have won, including three Supreme Championships in three years.
Commenting on the sale, Judith said: “From junior boys through promising and pregnant females to top-quality, proven stud males with world-class fleece, we have something for everyone.
“Our animals will provide a great start for a new herd, add value to existing herds, or be great pets – and excellent for guarding lambs, chickens and the like from predators.
“Although the animals will lose their organic status when they move to non-organic farms, that status means you can be sure they have been bred to a very high standard.”
Harrison and Hetherington are one of the largest firms of auctioneers selling alpacas in the UK. In the last year they held the dispersal of the Syke House Herd, one of the pioneering alpaca herds of the UK, and have a growing reputation for this market.
Heather Pritchard, pedigree sales and marketing manager of Harrison and Hetherington, said: “Over the past few years we have seen a marked increase in the alpaca industry, and have seen many more of the animals passing through our marts.
“Keeping alpacas for their fleeces is an interesting and cost-effective diversification for farmers.
“We expect, as this sale is of such a unique quality, that it will attract interest from across the UK.”
In addition, there are the following entries with the total number lots in the sale being 123; Appletrees – 9 entries, Arran – 6, Blueberry – 3, Cockerham – 8, Gilmourbank – 5, Hawthorn – 4, Hebbs – 2, Ivy Dene – 1, Little Eskrigg – 7, Lowry – 2, Penwerris – 7, Popplemire – 4, Stagshaw – 6, Westyett Alpacas – 2. The full catalogue is on www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk