Undeterred by winter blizzards sweeping over the Yorkshire Dales, Oxenhope sheep farmer Stephen Pepper followed up his second and third placings at Skipton Auction Mart’s pre-Christmas prime lamb championship, to beat all rivals for the top honour in this week’s February event (Mon 2 Feb).
Pictured with the February prime lamb champions at Skipton are, from left, Stephen Pepper (Exhibitor), James Dewhurst (Judge), Joe Pepper (nephew of exhibitor), Michael McKenzie (Chairman of Craven Cattle Marts) and January’s prime show winning exhibitor John Garnett.
His pen of five Beltex Crosses (average weight 50 kilos) was placed first by judge James Dewhurst and sold for £100 per head to Mick Etherington, buying on behalf of Stuart Price Butchers at Cross Flatts near Bingley.
Excellent prices of £78 per head were also achieved by the class-winning pen of 10 Swaledale wether lambs (average weight 53 kilos) from C. Nelson & Sons, of Lainger House Farm, Bordley – the Nelson family’s fourth annual victory in a row in the same event at Skipton. Rosettes were sponsored by the Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association. The buyers of the winning lambs were P. & J. Watson of Hellifield.
Despite the weather conditions, Skipton’s February show attracted more than 1800 sheep which sold for an average price of 165.1 pence per kilo.
The winner of the prime cattle championship was a British Blue heifer sent out by Anthony Hewetson of Newton Hall Farm, near Gargrave.
The 450-kilo victor, also judged by James Dewhurst who regularly buys at Skipton Auction Mart on behalf of Skipton’s Stanforths Butchers, sold for £911.25 (202.5p per kilo) to Jeff Burrow of Kirby Malham.
Ever-popular weekly prime cattle and lamb sales are held at Skipton Auction Mart, with the prize championship shows being staged on the first Monday of each month.
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