Their small flock of pedigree Topwood Texels is making headlines at sheep sales, winning championships and commanding record prices.
This week the couple, of Woodhouse Farm, continued this year’s run of successes with 2,400 guineas for their Topwood Texel ram lamb.
Their Texel ewe was a champion at the Three Counties Show this year, and they achieved a family record with 16,000 guineas at the English National Sale in Worcester, after topping the Scottish National Female Sale at Lanark with a ewe selling for 9,000 guineas and another for 3,000 guineas.
The couple are thrilled with the success of a flock that began with just one ewe in 2019. It has transformed their ‘bit of a hobby’ into serious business and Mrs Amphlett admits they’ve now ‘got the bug’.
“We don’t want to have loads,” she said.
“We’d like to continue and expand them a little bit. We’ll retain a couple of our own gimmers this year, but we just enjoy them really.”
The couple have six Topwood ewes and breed from embryos at the family’s farm. They artificially inseminate the ewes, flush them and then put them into their own MV Mule ewes.
They are both familiar faces in the livestock world. Mr Amphlett is a livestock auctioneer with McCartneys, with responsibility for the pedigree sales at Worcester. He comes from a successful sheep breeding family, with pedigree Charollais sheep as well as flocks of Texel x ewes and Cheviot ewes.
Mrs Amphlett and her family are renowned pedigree sheep and cob breeders. She and her sister Hannah, who also works at McCartneys, are involved with John and Philippa Owens’s Woodhouse Kerry Hill and ram breeding flocks. They also have the Cascob Stud of Welsh Cobs.
Mr and Mrs Owen are each celebrated exhibitors and judges and in 2014 Philippa judged the Welsh Cob classes at the Royal Welsh Show, including the George Prince of Wales Cup. Most recently, Mr Owen judged four interbreed championships at the Great Yorkshire Show this year. Mrs Owen judged the Native Breed Cattle pairs championship at the Royal Welsh Show this year.
The family has had a run of Kerry Hill championships at the Royal Welsh Show and last year they topped the society sale at Ludlow with a record 10,500 guineas. There is also a strong connection with the NSA Wales and Border Ram Sales.
Mr Owens has been selling at the Builth event every year since the first sale 45 years ago, having begun with his father, Ivor Owens. He is a previous chairman of the committee and remains a committee member, alongside Mr Amphlett.