Annual shows for Wensleydale and Jacob sheep took centre stage at Skipton Auction’s Mart’s yearly highlight for the UK’s rare and native breed animals. (Sat, Sept 1)
Mark Elliott with his Skipton Wensleydale champion
A wonderful and varied turnout of the best of British - among them rare, minority and traditional breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs – filled the mart to the gunnels, attracting a huge turnout of breed enthusiasts and members of the public keen to see something different at their local auction mart.
The Elliott family from Ferrensby, near Knaresborough, again dominated the 121st annual show and sale for Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders’ Association when achieving a hat-trick of championship wins with a 2-shear ram shown by Mark Elliott.
The victor, unbeaten in ram show classes this year and reserve breed champion at both the Great Yorkshire and Ryedale Shows, received the Fawell Perpetual Challenge Cup from show judge Andrew Fisher, of Pateley Bridge.
The title winner sold for 500 guineas (£525), top price in show, to Shelagh and John Prescott, of Longhorsley in Northumberland, for their West End flock, which was also responsible for showing the best shearling ram bred by the exhibitor.
Reserve champion and best female honours fell to another North Yorkshire exhibitor, Ernie Sherwin, with a shearling ewe from his Nosterfield flock in Bedale, sold for 270gns to Chris Stacey, of Buckfastleigh in South Devon, to boost his Phillhays flock, established in 2011. Mr Stacey purchased a number of ewes, along with a ram lamb.
The long journey for Scotsman John McHardy, of Fife, was justified when he achieved a clean sweep in the lamb classes, winning best ram lamb and best fleshed ram lamb, sold for 260gns, and best ewe lamb.
The 76-strong turnout was over 20% down on last year and while the number of bidders and prices did not match up to those of 2011, of the 59 animals forward only eight remained unsold.
The average price paid for breeding rams was 189gns, against 205gns in 2011, and for ram lambs 145gns, which represented an increase over the 127gns achieved last year. For females, aged ewes averaged 152gns, shearling ewes164gns and ewe lambs 147 gns.
Of the seven Black Wensleydales entered for sale – they do not compete for trophies – four remained unsold, with the best price of 250gns being paid for a ram lamb from AR Holmes, of Cowshill, Co. Durham.
Challenge prizes were awarded as follows: The Fawell Perpetual Challenge Cup for the champion sheep, the Burton Silver Teapot, re-presented by P Ashby, for the best shearling or aged ram, and the Smalley Perpetual Challenge Cup for the best ram of any age - JA & F Elliott, Ferrensby.
The Fawell Silver Coffee Pot, re-presented by P Ashby, for the best ram lamb, the Nettleton Perpetual Silver Salver for the best fleshed ram lamb, and the Outlane Perpetual Challenge Cup for the best ewe lamb - John McHardy, Fife.
The John Percival Perpetual Challenge Cup for the best shearling ram bred by the exhibitor - Shelagh and John Prescott, Longhorsley. The Percival Trophy for the best female of any age - Ernie Sherwin, Nosterfield.
Robert Price with his Skipton Jacob championThe Northern Area Jacob Sheep Breeders’ 37th annual show and sale again proved a resounding success, with a total entry of 177 and good trade, notably for females.
The overall show champion was the first prize aged ewe and female champion from the Welsh-based Pentrenant flock of Robert and Jean Price in Churchstoke, Powys.
The four-year-old four-horned Pentrenant Angel was champion at the Royal Welsh Show in 2011 and is herself the dam of prize-winning stock, including both the first prize ram and ewe lamb at this year’s Royal Welsh, when the Prices again clinched both championship and reserve championship breed honours with a shearling ewe and ram respectively.
The couple, who have been breeding Jacobs since 1973, were only selling the Skipton title winner as she had produced triplets, including two ewe lambs, which have been retained in the flock, the oldest in Wales. The victor sold for 800gns, or £840, top price in show, to Messrs Denton & Bramwell, of Holmfirth.
The Prices were also responsible for the first prize ram lamb and reserve male champion, the January-born four-horn Pentre Chess, sold for 260gns to RM Guy, of Marrick, Richmond. In addition, the couple sold an ewe lamb at 410gns to AR Smith, of Spalding, along with further ewe lambs at 280gns and 260gns to Denton and Bramwell, and the Saxby family, of Long Preston, respectively.
The reserve championship fell to the Skipton-based Hurrsdale flock of Northern Area Jacob Sheep Breeders’ stalwarts Gavin and Rebecca Haworth with their first prize ram and male champion, the two-horn Pentondale Atom, acquired as a lamb two years ago. He has produced some notable shearlings over two breeding seasons and sold for 350gns to Paul Eckersely, of Darwen, Blackburn.
Show judge Arwel Jones, of Carmarthenshire, said the fixture had produced a good top end, along with some nice young lambs. He described his chosen champion as “showing style and character, still very good in the mouth and legs for her age, with a very balanced body.” He said the runner-up was “a ram with power and strength up front and excellent width over the shoulder.”
The Haworths were also responsible for the third prize and top price shearling ewe, a 320gns acquisition by I Richardson, of Wood Plumpton, Preston, also selling the fourth prize shearling ewe for 300gns to Denton & Bramwell.
The first prize ewe lamb and reserve female champion from David Sizer, who runs the Laurels flock at Cleatlam, Darlington, achieved top price in class at 440gns when falling to G A Ridout, of Congleton.
The first prize shearling ewe from Linda McKendrick, of Cupar, Fife, made 270gns when becoming a further I Parkinson acquisition, while the same exhibitor also presented the second prize shearling ewe, which performed better at 270gns when also falling to the Saxbys. Mrs B Palmer, of Grindleton, made 300gns with another shearling ewe sold to A Urwin, of Turton, Lancs.
The first prize shearling ram from Cumbrian breeders Geoff Wood and Sheila Dickinson, of Scales, Ulverston, headed the class prices at 440gns when joining Quay Community Farm in Gateshead. The second prize shearling ram from another Cumbian vendor, P Murray, of Arlecdon, Frizington, joined Miss KM Lowthian, of Gamblesby, Penrith, for 310gns.
Ewe lambs averaged £135.98 per head, gimmer shearlings £163.94, aged ewes £188.93, ram lambs £147.14, shearling rams £194.25 and aged rams £210.
The show was supported by JACS Trade and DIY Warehouse, Skipton, Marr & Macgregor Feeds, Massey Feeds and CM Auctions.
Results and prices: Aged ewe – 1 and female and overall champion R&J Price, Churchstoke, 2 Mrs B Palmer, Grindleton, 3 Mrs JA Lewis, Welshpool. Shearling ewe – 1 & 2 Linda McKendrick, Cupar, 3 Gavin & Rebecca Haworth, Skipton. Ewe lamb – 1 David Sizer, Cleatlam, 2 & 3 R&J Price.
Ram – 1 and male and overall reserve champion Gavin & Rebecca Haworth. Shearling ram – 1 Geoff Wood and Sheila Dickinson, Ulverston, 2 P Murray, Arlecdon, 3 GA & V Ridout and Mrs HV Higginson, Congleton. Ram lamb – 1R&J Price, 2 David Sizer, 3 Mrs B Webster, Newburgh.
Breeds aplenty were again in evidence at the rare and native stockbreeder auctions, where the cattle champion was a Hereford heifer from the multi award-winning Cornriggs pedigree herd of Harry and Janet Elliott at Cowshill in Weardale, Co Durham.
Exactly one-year-old on the day of the show, the title winner, Cornriggs Vanity, is a son of Spurstow Victor, bred by Peter Whittaker in Cheshire, out of a cow from the noted Wilson Romany herd based near Kelso.
The sire was acquired two years ago by the Elliotts, who are members of the Hereford Cattle Society – Mr Elliott is a former chairman of Northern Hereford Breeders. They rear all their cattle in wildflower meadows at 1,400ft and above and were making their first-ever visit to Skipton.
The native breed sheep championship fell to a Black Welsh Mountain ewe lamb from another first-time Skipton exhibitor, Lynne Hodgson, of Witherslack, Grange-over-Sands, who has been involved with the breed for five years, producing pure-breds at home by her own tup. The victor sold for 90gns.
Reserve champion was a February, 2011-born Ryeland shearling ram from local breeders Phillip Gallie and Joe Pepper, of Foulridge, who were also making their first appearance at Skipton. The son of the well-known Broomwell Fuzzy sold for 180gns.
Helen Barker and her miniature donkeys
Two miniature donkeys were also offered for sale at Skipton for the first time ever by Helen Barker, of Haven Farm, Harecroft, Cullingworth. They originate from Texas and Helen was one of the first people in the UK to start breeding them seven years ago.
Other commitments mean that she has taken to decision to come out of breeding and Helen was offering her final brace of donkeys – a colt standing 31 inches tall and a gelding at 25.5 inches, both fully grown. The stallion made £500, the gelding £400 when successfully found new homes by Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager Jeremy Eaton, one of his more unusual sales!
Prices: White Faced Woodland gimmer lambs to £88.20, gimmer shearlings to £168 and ram lambs to £199.50. Ryeland gimmer lambs to £189, gimmer shearlings to £157.50, ram lambs to £84, rams to £210, Shetland gimmer Shearlings to £78.75, ewes to £86.10, rams to £42. Hebridean rams to £131.25. Black Welsh Mountain rams to £42, gimmers to £94.50. Dorset Horned ewes to £136.50, shearlings to £152.25, gimmer lambs to £178.50. Herdwick shearlings to £136.50. Balwen gimmers to £73.50. Badger Face gimmer lambs to £66.
Completing a busy day at Skipton was the Craven Feather Auctions summer show and sale of poultry and waterfowl, when brothers Andrew and Richard Gascoyne, of Wakefield, made it a hat-trick of championship successes at the popular seasonal fixture.
The Gascoynes, who also won the title at the previous Spring show and sale, again ruled the roost with a trio of free range grass-fed Buff Orpingtons pullets hatched in April this year and bred from exhibition quality parent stock that have been responsible for many major award winners.
The point of lay victors sold for £110 with the reserve champion Silver Lace Wyandottes from Calderdale dairy farmer Stephen Hitchen, of Ludendenfoot, Halifax. Top price in show at £175 fell to a pair of Ne Ne Hawaiian Geese.
Show judge was Geoff Marston, of Wetherby, a renowned showman and adjudicator who specialises in Wyandottes.
Further Craven Dairy Auctions are scheduled to take place at Skipton Auction Mart on Saturday, October 13, and Saturday, November 10, culminating with the high profile Christmas show and sale on Saturday, December 15. Entries close on Friday, December 7.
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