Variety, quality and strong trade were seen at the annual multi-breed show and sale of pedigree and pure-bred rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart. (Fri, Oct 2)
David Lodge, Otley, left, is pictured with his Skipton multi-breed Blue Faced Leicester champion, joined by judge Ken Dickinson, Skipton.
On what is one of the busiest sheep days of the entire year, as the autumn sales season at Skipton moves into top gear, this year’s entry of more than 1,149 was 200 up on the 2008 fixture, with six different sheep breeds again competing for individual championship honours.
Demand and trade in the well-supported Blue Faced Leicester section was particularly buoyant. Top call of the day – and the entire show – was the 1,800 guineas paid for a shearling ram from the Marriforth flock of Granville and Paul Fairburn, Thornton Steward, Ripon, by John Stockdale & Sons, Burnsall.
Two further shearling rams made four figures – one from Ken Throup, Silsden Moor, at 1,400gns to David Plews, Kettlewell, a second at 1,050gns from John Mason, Embsay, to Derbyshire purchasers GR & SA Brocklehurst & Son, High Peak.
The Fairburns also sold a ram lamb for 900gns to Stephen Parker, Bentham, with top call in class at 1,100gns achieved by G Hinde & Son, Fewston, Harrogate, acquired by Robin Jackson, Blubberhouses. The Hinds also sold a second ram lamb at 900gns to J Bradley, Darley
The BFL champion, a shearling ram, was exhibited by David Lodge, Otley, who was securing his first title at Skipton. By a Reeth-based Riddings sire, the victor joined the Hope Valley holding of R & A White, Bamford, for 460gns. Mr Lodge also sold a second shearling ram at 320gns to JR Fothergill, Gayle, Hawes.
Title winner in the Texel classes was a shearling ram from David Towell’s Moor Top flock at Glusburn Moor, Keighley. Bought from the Hellifield-based Hull House holding of John Mellin and by his 30,000gns Irish sire Castleknow Matchmaker – also responsible for Mr Mellin’s 2008 Skipton Texel multi-breed champion – the victor sold locally for 920gns to John Stephenson, Bordley Green.
Mr Towell – last month he equalled the 4,200gns Skipton record for a shearling ram at the Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders Association’s annual fixture - sold a total of 14 shearling rams to an average of £679, among them 920gns and 910gns acquisitions by, respectively, Frankland Farms, Rathmell, and George Stapleton, Skibeden. In addition, Mr Towell sold the top-priced ram lamb at 720gns to Jim Caygill, Rylstone.
The top-priced Texel at 950gns was a two-shear ram from Graham and Sarah Taylor’s Thirsk-based Parkholme flock, which returned to its roots when joining N Peacock, Maunby. The Taylors were also responsible for the supreme champion at the September Texel show.
The first prize ram lamb and reserve champion from Margaret and Jill Perrings, Rathmell, sold for 280gns to S and PE Bowker & Sons, Earby.
Scottish Blue Texel breeder David Alexander, of Galston, Ayrshire, had a successful day when selling six gimmer shearlings to an average of £718. The best of them made 1,000gns when joining Tom Kitching, Hebden, followed by a 900gns sale to Welsh buyers DL & BWH Jones, Pencader.
With his Skipton multi-breed Suffolk champion
Stephen Bolland, Bolton Abbey, landed his first Skipton Suffolk championship with a home-bred shearling ram by a Aberdeenshire-based Cairness sire. It also headed the section prices at 900gns when returning to Bolton Abbey with its new owner Mrs CA Foster.
Stephen Bolland, right, receives the victor’s spoils
from judge Craig Bradbury, Diggle.
Mr Bolland also had the second in class, a 880gns acquisition by RD Metcalfe & Son, Brearton, Harrogate, while another of his shearling rams made 680gns to F Reeday & Son, Hetton. Shearling ram prices averaged a healthy £452.
Steeton-bred ram lambs dominated the class. The first prize winner and reserve champion from Mark Evans, Steeton, sold for 420gns to Geoff Lawn, Skipton, though it was the third prize winner from near neighbours Graham and Mandy Fort that headed the prices at 500gns when joining DW & SI Throup, Bradley. The Forts also sold their second prize ram lamb for 450gns to Gerald and Jonathan Beresford, Hellifield.
The best-priced Beltex at 820gns was a shearling ram from the annual 70-strong consignment of Cumbrian breeders Thomas and James Whiteford, of Brampton, which found a local buyer in Angus Dean, Threshfield. Champion Beltex for the second year running was a home-bred shearling ram from the East coast Skelton flock of Thomas and Judith Hunter, Hunmanby, Filey.
Another new exhibitor at Skipton, Stuart Beeforth, of Fellside Agricultural Services, Stillington York, returned home with the Charollais championship, which fell to a two-shear ram by a sire from the nearby Foulrice flock of Charles and Valerie Marwood, of Whenby, York. The buyer at 410gns was A Jones, Oswestry.
The Marwoods sent out the top-priced Charollais shearling ram at 480gns, acquired by Jim and Diane Wood, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, who also bought the couple’s supreme champion shearling ram at last month’s annual British Charollais Sheep Society show and sale of commercial rams at Skipton.
Tracy Harsley with her Skipton multi-breed
There was another debut championship success in the Zwartble section when Tracy Harsley, Greenhow, landed the spoils with a home-bred Littlegate-sired shearling ram that sold for 420gns to JM Abel, Bedale.
The show was sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health, represented by Ifor Jones, and JG Animal Health, represented by Jonathan Guy.
In addition, the Northern Region of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association staged its annual show and sale on the same day, when the supreme champion was exhibited by Mrs Eirlys Jones, of EB & SA Jones, whose Maes-Glas flock is based at Haverfordwest in Pembrokesire, Wales. [see separate report]
The home-bred shearling ram, which had already achieved many successes in the exhibition arena this year, sold for the show-topping price of 650gns to Michael Ratcliffe, of High Casterton, Kirkby Lonsdale.
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