When we bought our new ram, we were given ‘luck money’ and his show halter. This was something that had not happened before and perplexed us slightly, but we took it as a nice gesture. The luck definitely came, as he has sired some cracking lambs for us!
Since then the thought of luck money had fallen from memory – until we went and picked up the Blue-Faced Leicesters. While we were chatting with the breeder mentioned that he had recently been to a sale ‘up country’ (lets face it, everything is ‘up’ when you’re in Devon) where many people had asked ‘Does this come with luck?’. Out of context it is a bit of an odd question, but when you know the background it makes sense.
So, what is the background?
Luck money seems to be mostly a farming ‘tradition’, but it also occurs in equestrian circles and is either a nominal note value (eg. £5, £10, £20), or a percentage of the cost which is returned to the buyer. It is a little bit like a goodwill discount. If you’re buying a single, higher value animal such as a ram, then notes are more common. However, if you are buying a pen of sheep people may give £1 or £2 per head as luck money for the first pen bought. It isn’t something that is regulated or recorded so giving luck money (or not) isn’t likely to influence a sale if the animal in question is a good one.
Points to take away:
- Lucky money is more common ‘up North’
- You don’t have to give it, but don’t expect to receive it either!
- Check out the local etiquette, and if you are selling take a few notes (depending on what you think you’ll get for you sales) just in case
We didn’t get any luck money for the BFLs, but then we don’t tend to do luck money with our sales either. Karma – what goes around comes around!