A YOUNG livestock auctioneer has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps after joining the team at Hexham and Northern Marts.

Jack Walton (21) has taken on the role of trainee auctioneer at the mart after graduating in rural land management from the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, this summer.

In his new role, he’ll be following his grandfather, and idol, Michael Walton.

“I have always wanted to be like my grandfather and one of my big aims was to sell Suffolk tups in front of him which I was able to do at Hexham in October,” said Jack. “He had a big smile on his face so he must have thought I did a good job.”

The Walton family, originally from Roseden near Wooler, has been synonymous with auctioneering – and Suffolk sheep – for years.

Jack hopes to keep another family tradition going as he aspires to his own flock of Suffolks one day.

His involvement with auction marts began in Worcester market when he was just 13. “I love having the adrenalin rush when you are selling and working for the vendor, but it’s not just about the selling, it’s the whole aspect of auctioneering – the community spirit.” said Jack.

When he was 18, Jack raised £7,400 for the RABI by visiting 25 markets across the country selling a pen of sheep at each market.

Rob Addison, Hexham and Northern Marts’ managing director, said: “I’m pleased to welcome another young auctioneer to our team and Jack is a great addition with his experience and enthusiasm for the job.

“I am keen to encourage young auctioneers into the auction mart system and see their development.”