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Charollais Stalwarts Dominate Skipton Pedigree Ram Sale

Two mainstays of the Charollais sheep breeding world and the British Charollais Sheep Society – the Cumbrian-based Geldards and the Marwoods from near York – dominated the society’s annual show and sale of commercial rams at Skipton Auction Mart. (Tues, Sept 18)

Richard Geldard with his Skipton Charollais ram lamb champion.

Charollais ram lamb

While both shared joint top price honours at 750gns (£787.50) when presenting the red rosette winners in the two show classes, on top yet again – and supreme champion for an unprecedented fourth time in the past five years – was North of England chairman Richard Geldard.

The victor, a stand-out ram lamb from JA and R Geldard & Sons’ Wraycastle flock, based at Low Foulshaw Farm, Gilpin Bridge, Kendal, was - like their 2011 ram lamb title winner - a son of Parkgate Jack, acquired by the family in 2009 from Herbie Kennedy’s Parkgate flock in Dumfries.

The prolific sire has this year been champion at Westmoreland, Garstang and Cartmel Shows and the 2012 Skipton frontrunner, a December-born twin out of a Geldard flock ewe, returned to Cumbria when joining Tim Winder, of Gaisgill, Tebay.

The champion certainly impressed Devon show judge Harold Keast, of Coldridge Baron, Crediton, who enthused: “In an exceptional ram lamb class, he stood out when entering the ring.”

The first prize shearling ram and reserve champion from the Foulrice flock of Charles and Valerie Marwood, from Whenby – Mr Marwood chairs the British Charollais Society’s finance and general purposes committee – was an 18-month-old son of Southfield Jack, bred by Tom Sands in Perth

The dam is a grand daughter of the renowned Ash Charollais Filibuster, who the previous week was also responsible for the Marwoods’ top price £1,200 shearling ram at Kelso. The Skipton runner-up joined S Webster, of North Stainley, Ripon, who also paid 600gns for the Marwoods’ third prize shearling ram.

With a Skipton consignment of seven shearling rams and seven ram lambs, the Marwoods also presented the second and third prize ram lambs, sold respectively at 290gns and 360gns to P Leeming, of Cononley, and Thomas Binns, of Downham, Clitheroe.

In addition, Mr Binns, a former National Farmers Union livestock board chairman, paid 440gns for the fourth prize ram lamb from fellow Red Rose breeder M Worthington, of Ramsbottom, while the same exhibitor also presented the second in class, a 630gns acquisition by Jim and Liz Metcalfe, of Arncliffe.

With five ram lambs on offer, the Geldard family sold their fifth prize winner for 400gns to GW Turner, of Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon, while the fourth prize shearling from Lincolnshire breeder T Mawer, of Grantham, made 440gns when joining local buyer David Berry, of Thornton-in-Craven. The fifth prize shearling ram from Derek Pickles, of Green Hammerton, York, sold for 320gns to J&J Forster, of St Helens.

From the total entry of 67, on a par with last year, 41 rams found new homes. Shearlings averaged £525 per head, up on last year’s £465, with ram lambs averaging £354.48, compared to £361 in 2011.

Richard Geldard commented: “The breed is doing very well and getting stronger year-on-year across the country. The Charollais is a well renowned and diverse terminal sire that crosses well on a wide range of commercial breeding sheep.”

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