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Stackyard News Feb 09

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    Leading Breeder Takes 2009 Dalesbred Show Title at Bentham

Leading Dalesbred specialist Richard Close followed up his ‘Best in Breed’ Championship win at the 2008 Great Yorkshire Show with victory in this year’s Dalesbred Sheep Breeders’ Association Annual Show of individual in-lamb sheep, held at Bentham & District Farmers’ Auction Mart in North Yorkshire (24th February).

Richard Close (right) receives his Dalesbred Sheep Breeders' Association trophy at Bentham Auction Mart from judge Kevin Wilson and Jean Bradley, Secretary of the Association.

Dalesbred Sheep Breeders’ Association trophy

Judge Kevin Wilson picked out Richard’s gimmer shearling as the 2009 Bentham Dalesbred Champion. The class-winning mature ewe of Michael Carr from Horton in Ribblesdale was Reserve Champion out of an impressive entry of well over 30 excellent quality Dalesbreds.

The second-placed shearling was sent out by John Bradley of Settle, with another from Christine Scott of Slaidburn, in third. Brian Coates of Kingsdale presented the second-placed mature ewe, and a ewe from R. H. Brown of West Burton, near Leyburn, took third.

Richard Close from Starbotton, who is “at least the third generation” of his family to specialize in the hardy Dalesbred hill breed and whose grandfather was a founder member of the Association in the 1920s, has around 500 Dalesbreds on land at Buckden Pike, in Upper Wharfedale, which rises to 2,300ft: “The breed has to be very hardy for the conditions and the sheep we have bred have always done well wherever they have gone. The winner here at Bentham is a sister of the Great Yorkshire Show Champion, but you can never be confident about winning because the competition is always strong,” he said.

Following the show, the Champion shearling sold in the Bentham auction ring for £650 to M. Thorpe of West Burton, with the Reserve Champion ewe selling for £900 to Richard Close. The second- and third-placed ewes sold respectively for £400 (bought by Paul Bowdin of Ouhteshaw, Buckden) and £250 (J. Dawson Jnr. of Bleak Bank, Clapham). The second- and third-placed shearlings both fetched £200, bought by John Kelsall of Clapham and J. M. Wilson & Sons of Beckwithshaw, near Harrogate.

Other leading prices paid were: Shearlings to £500 from Richard Close (average £275.83); second shear/ewes to £400 from M. J. & A. Carr (average £235.56); third shear/ewes to £900 from M. J. & A. Carr (average £344); fourth shear/ewes to £500 from A. & M. Brennand & Sons.

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