Twin brothers Richard and David Findlay – old adversaries in the show arena - went head to head for championship honours at the Beltex Sheep Society’s eighth annual production show and sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart. (Sat, Sept 13)
Richard, left, and David Findlay, with the Skipton Beltex champion and reserve champion, joined by judge David Cruikshank, right, and sponsor Chris Windle, of Windle Beech Winthrop.
On this occasion, it was Richard, of Quarry Farm, Westerdale, Whitby, who took both the female and supreme championship with a shearling ewe, while David, who trades with his wife Diane at Birdridding Farm, Coverham, Leyburn, had to settle for reserve supreme honours with a shearling ram, the male champion.
The result represented a change in fortunes following last month’s annual National Progeny Show for pedigree and commercial Beltex sheep, also held at Skipton, when David clinched the supreme championship.
A good number of sheep entered at the National Progeny Show reappeared at the high profile follow-up fixture, including Richard’s title-winning gimmer shearling, Westerdale Lucky, which had won its class at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, only to finish second at the progeny show to another entry from brother David.
There was no mistake this time around for the well-bred daughter of the Irish import Burnside Jethro, the Findlay twins’ stock tup, acquired for 4,800 guineas as a shearling at Carlisle and now proving a sire of growing repute.
Out of Clary Heart Breaker, a former shearling class winner at the Royal Highland Show, the victor sold for 1,250 guineas to I Wilson, of Kendal.
The reserve supreme champion from David Findlay, a multiple winner of the annual highlight, was making a promising debut in the show arena. Northern Beltex Lionel Ritchie, a son of Cookstone Jim 4th, out of the home-bred Northern Beltex Joella, made 800 guineas when acquired by a local buyer, Harry Raw, of Eastburn.
Reserve male champion was a shearling ram from Cecil Hutchinson, of AC & C Hutchinson, Brickyard Farm, Kirkby Wiske, Thirsk, another National Progeny Show class winner and male champion at the 2008 Great Yorkshire Show. It joined David Wilson, Helmlsey, for 880 guineas.
The reserve female championship went to the class-winning ewe from Cumbrian breeder Mark Jennings, of Crake Hall, Selside, and was another purchase for I Wilson at 310 guineas.
On a day of robust trading levels, which highlighted both the increasing popularity of the breed and Skipton as a recognised Beltex venue, top price in show at 1,500 guineas fell to a shearling ram from Thomas Hunter, of New Town Farm, Hunmanby, Filey.
Skelton Whin Live Wire, by Brickrow Johnny Boy, had earlier this year been breed champion at Ryedale & Malton Show, and class runner-up at the Great Yorkshire. It was acquired by RN Mees, of Stafford.
Brian Breaks, of Newlaithe Farm, Newton-in-Bowland, Clitheroe, saw his second prize gimmer shearling sell for 1,100 guineas to fellow Lancastrian JD Holden, of Haslingden.
Cecil Hutchinson’s second prize ram lamb, male champion at this year’s National Progeny Show, also hit four figures when sold for 1,000 guineas to Scottish Beltex Club chairman Donald Douglas, of North Kessock, Inverness.
Open to all Beltex Society members, the show attracted a healthy 200-plus entry and a knowledgeable judge in David Cruikshank, of Castle Douglas. The champion sheep received a £100 cash prize from agricultural, rural, residential and commercial property estate agents Windle Beech Winthrop, based at Skipton Auction Mart, along with £50 for the runner-up from animal health products company Tithe Barn.
Aged rams to £336 (£287), shearling rams to £1,575 (£420.08), ram lambs to £1,050 (£320.46), ewes to £325.50 (£241.50), gimmer shearlings to £1312.50 (£291.29), ewe lambs to £399 (£204.75).
Aged ram – 1 Christopher Dean, Rathmell, 2 Brian Breaks, Newton-in-Bowland. Shearling ram – 1 and male and reserve supreme champion David Findlay, Coverham, 2 Cecil Hutchinson, Kirby Wiske, 3 David Findlay. Ram lamb – 1 Thomas Hunter, Hunmanby, 2 Cecil Hutchinson, 3 David Findlay.
Ewe – 1 & 2, including reserve female champion Mark Jennings, Selside. Shearling ewe – 1 and female and supreme champion Richard Findlay, 2 Brian Breaks, 3 D & MA Haigh, Holmfirth. Ewe lamb – 1 & 3 Michael Davis, Eldroth, 2 Mark Jennings.
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