The annual Rare & Native Breeds Stockbreeder Auctions at Skipton Auction Mart proved a runaway success, with crowds turning out in their droves for the high profile event. (Sat, Aug 30)
Jack and Jessie Watkinson with their
Skipton Wensleydale title winner.
The popular show and sale of rare, minority and traditional breeds was again staged in association with the Dales Support Group of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
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It also incorporated the 117th annual show and sale for the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepbreeders’ Association, the third annual show and sale of pedigree breeding sheep for the Northern Region of the Jacob Sheep Breeders Society, the annual show and sale on behalf of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders Association and the Craven Feather Auctions show and sale.
In addition, the day was further supplemented with the Midsummer Festival of Border and Beswick trading staged by Gray’s of Shenstone, Staffordshire, one of the UK’s leading supplier of Border Fine Arts figurines.
Also on the action-packed agenda were the ever-popular bi-monthly Agri-Trader Auctions of machines, reclamation and salvage, furniture, garden and general items of interest to farmers, collectors and the general public.
In the Wensleydales show, supreme champion was a shearling ram from the Leyburn flock of Jack Watkinson, based at Hutton Ghyll, Burton Constable. The ram had been second in its class at the Great Yorkshire Show and sold for 130 guineas to Fred Sunderland, of Wadsworth, Hebden Bridge.
The female and reserve supreme champion came from the Elliott family of Ferrensby, Knaresborough, and sold for 500 guineas to Mr and Mrs Orkney, of Manor Farm, Carperby in Upper Wensleydale, who purchased the shearling gimmer as part of their foundation flock of Wensleydales.
Manor Farm has historic connections with the Wensleydale breed. It was owned by the legendary Willis family, whose flock was founded at the farm in 1814 and who were responsible for suggesting the breed name in 1876. They are recorded as breeding Wensleydales at Manor Farm until 1978. The last ram used in that year came from the Elliott flock!
The Elliotts also headed the ewe lamb prices at 330 guineas, sold to North Devon buyer T Elston, of Torrington. There was strong demand for females, with ewe lambs averaging £131 and ewes £169.
The best ram lamb and best fleshed ram lamb came from the Widehope flock of Mrs Barbara Metcalfe, of Oxmoor House Farm, Houghton Bank, Co Durham. Mrs Metcalfe also sold a ewe for 150 guineas to Mr and Mrs Orkney.
The average price for ram lambs sold for breeding was £133 and for rams £79, this section headed by Yvonne Mudd, of Knareborough, whose charge sold locally for 155 guineas to John Garnett, Draughton. Show judge was Frank Pedley, of Hunton, Bedale.
Welsh breeder Jean Price, of Welsh Pool, Powys, took the Jacob sheep female and supreme championship with a shearling ewe that had landed multiple show successes in Wales this year, including first prize and reserve female champion at the 2008 Royal Welsh Show.
The victor, bought as a lamb from well-known mid-Wales breeder Ann Crosland, was purchased for 240 guineas by Nigel Heaven, from Hasfield, Gloucester, who also acquired Mrs Price’s first prize ewe lamb for 230 guineas.
The reserve champion was a two-shear ewe from Clive Richardson’s Border flock at Swarthe Moor in Ulverston, Cumbria, who was taking the runners-up berth for the second year in succession. His 2008 entry was among the first prize group at the 2007 Royal Show and fleece first prize winner at both this year’s Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire Shows. It sold for 220 guineas to Gavin Haworth, Skipton.
John Fozzard, of Goole, exhibited the male champion, a shearling ram, sold to G Wood, of Scales, for 260 guineas, with Jean Price’s Pentrenant flock also responsible for the reserve male champion, a ram lamb. Ewe lambs averaged £86.20, shearling ewes £110.69, ewes £111.72 and rams £182.
Organisers reported an impressive attendance, with strong interest in the Jacob breed. Judge was Dennis Lowther, of Kearby, Wetherby, a legend in the Jacobs world, who was in his first year of retirement after being a show organiser for the last 20 years,
Both the champion and reserve champion in the Hampshire Down show were exhibited by Norfolk husband-and-wife breeders Jim and Patsi Cresswell, whose noted Wattisfield flock is based at Casons Farm, near Diss.
The victor, a ewe lamb, was one of the winning pair of lambs at this year’s Royal Show and sold for 390 guineas, top price in class, to P Thompson, Wolsingham. The reserve champion was a three-shear ewe in lamb to the noted Wattisfield What What.
Top price in the shearling ewes class at 340 guineas was achieved by D & J Smith & Atkinson, Market Rasen, the buyer being J Galbraith & Son, Endmoor. Ewe lambs averaged £257.77 and shearling ewes £228.75. Show judge was breed expert David Gardiner, of Stoke-on-Trent.
Native breeds cattle champion was a home-bred two-year-old Highland youngster and show debutant from the renowned Hellifield Highlanders herd of Robert Phillip, exhibited by stockman Tom Sample and judged victor by Pat Beginn, of Grimsby.
The champion pig was a British Lop from Carole Batt and Isaac Thompson’s Cumbria-based Ashygill herd of pedigree pigs at Crook Barner, Torver, Coniston.
Of the other rare breeds sheep, R & A Small, of Southport, sold a Hebridean shearling tup for 45gns and a shearling ewe for 40gns, while Mrs D A Goodman, of Hovingham, York, sold two Leicester Longwools – 100gns for a shearling ram and 58gns for a shearling ewe.
In the Ryelands section, L Walsh, of Longridge, achieved 160gns for a shearling ram, while a 3-shear White-Faced Woodland ram from Middlesborough Council made 85gns, the same vendor also attracting a successful bid of 140gns for a Badger-Faced Welsh shearling ewe.
Local poultry farmer Richard Pickles, of Bent Lathe Farm, Lothersdale, Keighley, achieved back-to-back supreme championship successes at the Craven Feather Auctions.
Champion last year with a trio of Silver Pencilled Wyandottes, Richard repeated the feat again at the 2008 renewal, this time with a trio of Light Sussex Bantams, which sold for £180.
The 860 birds on view were judged by husband-and-wife poultry experts Eric and Daphne Hope, of Thornton-le-Clay, York, who are well known on the poultry show circuit. Sponsor was avian health products specialist Crossgates Bioenergetics, of Settle.
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