Standalone shows and sales for Wensleydale and Jacob sheep were staged as part of Skipton Auction’s Mart’s annual Rare & Native Stock Breeder Auctions.
Mark Elliott with his shearling ram, which won the Skipton Wensleydale breed championship.
The yearly highlight for rare, minority and traditional breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs, poultry and wildfowl, which once again attracted a huge turnout, incorporated the 120th annual show and sale for the Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders’ Association and the Northern Jacob Sheep Breeders’ 36th annual show and sale.
The Wensleydale breed championship fell for the second year in succession to the Elliott family for a shearling ram from Mark Elliott’s flock at Ferrensby, Knaresborough, which also won three other association challenge trophies, and sold for 360gns.
The reserve breed and female champion was a shearling ewe from the West End flock of John and Shelagh Prescott, of Longhorsley in Northumberland, which went on to achieve the highest price of the day at 430gns.
With a strong entry of 96 Wensleydales and 77 forward for the show, the fixture attracted many more bidders than have been seen in recent years, with some new faces at the ringside and brisk bidding. This reflected the high quality of the entries and resulted in across-the-board prices significantly higher than in 2010.
The average price for rams sold for breeding was 205gns, with a number of bids topping 300gns. Ram lambs averaged 127gns, headed at 400gns for the second placed lamb from John McHardy, of Fife.
The champion ram lamb from Nick Oliver, of Carperby, was bought by association membership officer Barbara Metcalfe, who had earlier won the trophy for the best fleshed ram lamb.
There was a strong entry of quality ewes, with average prices of 173gns for aged ewes and 211gns for shearlings. Ewe lambs averaged 169gns, with Barbara Metcalfe's best ewe lamb making 260gns.
Although not eligible to compete for Association trophies, all the black Wensleydales forward sold well, with the highest price of 380gns paid for a ram lamb from Tracey Ranger, of Woodbridge in Suffolk. Full details of the show and sale, together with information about the breed, can be found at www.wensleydale-sheep.com
Jackie Lewis with her Skipton Jacob champion.Champion at the Northern Area Jacob Sheep Breeders’ annual show and sale was the first prize ewe lamb from Shropshire breeder Jackie Lewis, of Alderbury, Shrewsbury, which made 580gns (£609) to Scottish buyer Linda McKendrick, of Cupar, Fife.
This was bettered by the reserve champion ram lamb bred by Pat & Trevor Black, of Gowthorpe, York, which sold for 700gns (£735), top price in show, to Messrs Denton & Bramwell, of Holmfirth
Show judge was Mrs B Webster, Newburgh, Fife, and sponsors JACS Trade and DIY Warehouse, Skipton, and Marr & Macgregor Feeds.
Breeds galore again turned out for the Rare & Native Stockbreeder Auctions, with some good trade achieved, notably for Ryeland ewes, which sold to a high of £390, with Ryeland rams peaking at £290 and Kerry Hill ewes £230. In the cattle classes, Belted Galloway heifers sold to a high of £590.
The overall sheep champion was a Ryeland ram lamb shown by 12-year-old Liam McGill, of Lindley Moor, Huddersfield, who has made quite a mark at the Skipton fixture, also winning first prize in class last year.
The 2011 reserve championship fell to a Whiteface Woodland ram lamb shown by the 2010 supreme champions, Middlesbrough Council’s Newham Grange Leisure Farm at Coulby Newham, a popular visitor attraction in the north-east.
Top prices: Hebridean ewes to £62, North Ronaldsay ewes to £68, Kerry Hill rams to £110, Whiteface Woodland ewes to £130, Whiteface Woodland rams to £80, Shetland ewes to £62, Welsh Mountain Badger Face rams to £170, Black Welsh Mountain ewes to £65 and Balwen ewes to £125.
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