Graham Fort, chairman of the North & East England Lleyn Sheep Breeders Club, was supreme champion at the Lleyn Sheep Society’s annual pedigree sheep show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Thus, Oct 2)
Graham Fort with his Skipton Lleyns champion, joined by judge Linda Barnard. They are chairman and secretary respectively of the North & East England Lleyn Sheep Breeders Club.
At what was the society’s final Maedi Visna-accredited sale of the season, Graham, of Brighton House Farm, Whitley Head, Steeton, Keighley, took the title with a home-bred shearling ram by his own sire (No 1099), acquired for 3,000 guineas after becoming male champion at Ruthin in 2006.
The victor went on to sell for 440 guineas to J Vickerton & Sons, of Grange Farm, Atwick, Driffield.
Graham has 760 Lleyns on his Yorkshire hill farm, where, earlier this year, he and his wife Mandy hosted a highly successful open day for breed enthusiasts, when one of the keynote aims was to demonstrate the benefits of choosing the Lleyn in commercial prime lamb production.
Back at Skipton, the Vickerton holding also bought the reserve champion, another shearling ram from Welsh breeder AW Davies, vice-president of the Lleyn Sheep Society, of Morfa Nefyn, Pwllheli, for 410 guineas.
Top price in show at 900 guineas was achieved by a ram from Charles Sackville-Hamilton, of Thrussendale Farm, Acklam, Malton, joining DC Redgate, of Brinsley, Notts.
The third prize shearling ram from Frank Kavanagh, Eldwick, Bingley, was bought locally for 370 guineas by RW Chapman, Skyreholme.
Best of the shearling ewes came from Scotsman David Alexander, of Galston, Ayrshire, acquired for £175 by show judge Linda Barnard, of Malton, secretary of the North & East England Lleyn Sheep Breeders Club.
The first prize pen of gimmer lambs from FS Dinsdale, Musgrave, Kirkby Stephen, sold for £70 to another Welsh purchaser, J Roberts, of Sarn, though the second prize lambs, again from AW Davies, achieved top price in class at £75, also to Linda Barnard.
Linda noted a quality showing of rams among those competing for honours, part of a 1,500-plus total sale entry. She commented: “The breed originates from the Lleyn peninsula in Wales and until recently was relatively unfamiliar in the UK, being classed as a rare breed in the 1960s.
“However, in recent years the Lleyn has grown in popularity and there are now close to 1,000 flocks throughout the country. The breed is renowned for its ease of management, prolificacy and good mothering abilities.”
Prices: Shearling rams to 900gns (av £265), senior rams to 250 guineas (£194), shearling ewes to £175 (£70.67), ewes to £66 (£51.81), ewe lambs to £75 (£54.13).
Grattans Grab Craven Dairy Auction Glory
Sheep Trade Buoyant at Skipton
Moorland Mules Land Spoils at Skipton NEMSA Show