With seven sheep strains on show and four sales rings in action, Skipton Auction Mart’s annual multi-breed show and sale of pedigree and pure-bred rams and females again proved a highlight of the autumn calendar. (Fri, Oct 1)
Ian Gregory, left, with his Skipton multi-breed Blue Faced Leicester champion, joined by judge Alan Barnes, of Cowden, Great Harwood.
At the busiest and most varied sheep gathering of the year at the North Yorkshire venue, with a turnout of almost 1,350, there was notable strength and depth in the Blue Faced Leicester classes, which produced good trade and the highest price of the entire day.
This fell at 1,750gns (£1,837.50) to a shearling ram from James Dewhirst, of Lothersdale, which joined Philip Metcalfe, Otterburn.
Granville and Paul Fairburn’s Marriforth Blue Faced Leicester flock at Thornton Steward, Ripon, which headed the day’s prices at last year’s corresponding fixture, was again to the fore when exhibiting the top price 1,000gns ram lamb, acquired by John Beckwith, Gargrave.
Richard Mawson, Addingham, sold a three-shear ram for 1,500gns to Robert Crisp, Calton, while two other shearling rams made 1,200gns – one from Martin Throup, Woofa Bank, Silsden, to David Plews, Kettlewell, a second from John and Claire Mason, Embsay, to A Newbould & Son, Dallowgill.
The first prize ram lamb and Blue Faced Leicester champion was shown by Derbyshire breeders and first-time Skipton sheep vendors, Ian and Tracey Gregory, of Slacks Dale Farm, Perry Dale, Peak Forest, Buxton. The home-bred son of a ram acquired from Messrs Lord, of Kirkby Stephen, sold for 500gns.
The reserve champion shearling ram from Ashley and Rachel Caton, of Otterburn Lodge Farm, Otterburn, made 450gns when knocked down to Lynne Throup, Malham. By X2 Midlock, bought in 2005 from South Lanarkshire breeder Alan White, of Crawford, Biggar, the runner-up sired the Catons’ Mule gimmer lambs that won three of the four championship classes at Skipton’s recent North of England Mule Sheep Association annual shows and sales.
In the Texel classes, 2009 champion David Towell saw three rams from his Moor Top flock at Glusburn Moor, Keighley, produce the leading four figure prices, headed by a 1,200gns sale to Frankland Farms, Rathmell. Geoff Harrison, Bentham, bought two Towell tups at 1,020gns each. Angela Nairey, Blackburn, sold a shearling ram at 1,040gns to P Dewhurst, Clitheroe.
The title-winning Texel ram lamb was presented by Geoff Riby, of Low Stonehills Farm, Fraisthorpe, Bridlington. He is a son of Humeston Pride of Kings, who was also responsible for Mr Riby’s supreme champion at last month’s Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders Association annual show and sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton. The latest victor, a full brother to the third placed ram lamb at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, joined TA Broderick at Denton, Ilkley, for 500gns.
The champion and top-priced Suffolk shearling ram was exhibited by 2008 title winner Chris Newsham, of Ribbleside Farm, Walton-le-Dale, Preston, who has been showing and selling Suffolks at Skipton for 50 years since the age of 14. The home-bred made 720gns when joining R Hall, Chopgate, Stokesley.
Reserve champion was a home-bred ram lamb from the South Craven-based Brighton House flock of Graham and Mandy Fort, Whitley Head, Steeton, purchased for 560gns by Colin Sutcliffe, Giggleswick.
The Charollais title fell to the Foulrice flock of breed stalwarts and multiple title winners Charles and Valerie Marwood, of Whenby, York, with a home-bred ram lamb son of Westonvale Jubilee. The victor, whose twin brother is being put to good use on the Marwoods’ pedigree flock, joined D Hardcastle & Sons, Killinghall, for 520gns.
Charollais prices were headed at 620gns by the reserve champion two-shear ram from Robert Tindall, Wetherby, acquired by S Willis & Sons, Northallerton. Mr Tindall sold ten rams in total to an average of £511.
The 2009 Charollais victor Stuart Beeforth, of Fellside Agricultural Services, Stillington, York, this year made his mark in the Beltex classes by sending out both the champion and reserve champion ram lambs. Both are first season sons of Burnside Jethro, acquired last year from David Findlay, of Coverham, Leyburn.
Four years after she first started breeding Zwartbles, Tracey Sutcliffe, of Holme Farm, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, marked her debut in the show arena by securing the championship with a ram lamb by a sire from the Garris flock of Joan Barker at Airton. Tracey and her husband Stephen are predominantly Swaledale and Mule breeders.
The Northern Region of the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association staged its annual show and sale on the same day, when the supreme championship again fell to 2009 title winner Mrs Eirlys Jones, of EB & SA Jones, whose Maes-Glas flock is at Haverfordwest in Pembrokesire, Wales.
Victorious with a home-bred shearling ram last year on her Skipton debut, Mrs Jones maintained her 100% record with a home-bred ewe lamb that sold for 900gns to Thomas Dent, of Greengill, Penrith.
She also sold a shearling ewe for the same price to Isaac Barrow, of Dunnerdale, South Lakeland. The same buyer paid top price in show at 950gns for another shearling gimmer, second in class, from the Lincolnshire-based Lindsey flock of TI & J Hunter, Fotheby, Louth.
Main show sponsors were Norbrook Pharmaceuticals Worldwide, represented by trade manager Nick Pledge, and Jonathan Guy, of JG Animal Health.
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