Blue Faced Leicesters again set the trend when, as in previous years, proving the pick on price at the Skipton Ram Sales, CCM Auctions’ annual multi-breed sheep show and sale of pedigree and pure-bred rams and females. (Fri, Oct 5)
Will Wildman with his Skipton Blue Faced Leicester champion, joined by judge James Huck.
With show classes for six breeds and a total entry of 1,145 head, which were traded between, 547 customers in four separate sales rings, quality sheep performed well throughout.
The BFL section saw virtual total clearance of the 200-plus entry, among them a good number of high-class crossing rams with bloodlines responsible for ewe lambs sold at Skipton’s two main North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) fixtures the previous month.
John and Claire Mason, of Oddacres Farm, Embsay, were again at the top of their game when achieving four figures with three shearling rams at 1,800gns, 1,500gns and 1,100gns. The leading performer, by a Smearsett sire from the Booth family in Feizor, joined N&J Taylor in Sheffield.
The 1,500gns ram, again by a Smearsett sire out of an Ilkley Moor dam, was acquired by J&AJ Coates & Sons, of Westhouse, with the 1,100gns ram, by a home-bred tup out of a Caton family Otterburn dam, finding a new home in Kettlewell with H&M Plews.
The Masons were also responsible for the third prize ram lamb - again by a Smearsett sire out of the same Ilkley Moor dam as their 1,500gns ram - which joined JC Wade, of Linton, for 900gns. They also achieved 750gns with a shearling ram by a Hundith sire, out of a Smearsett ewe, which joined A Newbould in Dallowgill. To cap a good day, the Masons also presented the first prize female and reserve show champion, another Smearsett out of an Asby Hall dam, which sold for 500gns to Frank Brown, of Halifax
Sixteen-year-old Will Wildman, of Church End Farm, Kirkby Malham, a familiar face on ITV’s ‘The Dales’ programme, and who is now becoming a regular in the show arena after leaving school to pursue a career in farming, picked up his first-ever Skipton championship with his first prize home-bred BFL ram lamb, by his Welsh-bred C19 Tanhouse sire, who has already produced ram lambs to 2,200gns and 1,800gns, the latter a full brother to the Skipton title winner.
It sold for 700gns to JJ Beckwith & Son, of Gargrave, with Will also breaking four figures with a 1,050gns Midlock-sired shearling ram bought by V Verity & Son, of West End, along with a second Midlock-sired shearling ram that found a new home in Derbyshire with Buxton’s P Beresford for 750gns.
Ashley and Rachel Caton, of Otterburn Lodge Farm, Otterburn, fresh from their three championship victories at the previous month’s annual NEMSA shows, were again to the fore when presenting the first prize shearling ram, by a Tanhouse sire out of a home-bred dam, which joined John Mellin in Long Preston for 900gns. They also sold a second shearling ram, bought as a ram lamb at Skipton last year and by a Will Wildman sire, to H&M Plews for 800gns.
Ken and Lynne Throup, of Woofa Bank, Silsden Moor, who put up the top price 1,800gns shearling ram and reserve breed champion at last year’s fixture, were again prominent when taking second prize in the same class with their Agglethorpe-sired ram out of a Midlock ewe, which sold for 1,250gns to Stuart and Debbie Robinson, of Heseldon Lodge, Litton. The Throups also achieved 800gns with two further entries.
FA Caton, of Weston, Otley, sold BFL entries at 1,100gns, 800gns and 750gns, with K&GJ Huck, of Austwick, also to the fore with sales at 1,100gns and 950gns. Two further 800gns performers were presented by Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, and E&SCL Harker, of Lofthouse.
Blue Faced Leicester shearling rams averaged £537, lamb rams £404, aged rams £373, aged ewes £262, shearling ewes £252 and ewe lambs £175. This compared favourably with an overall BFL selling average of £325 a head at the 2011 fixture.
Strong Texel and Suffolk entries, Texel/Beltex crosses in particular, were keenly sought after, which was reflected in the selling prices.
Top performer in the Texel ring on price for the second consecutive year was the first prize shearling ram and reserve champion from the prolific Moor Top flock of David Towell at Upper Leys Farm, Glusburn Moor, Keighley.
Moor Top Sunrise, by Moor Top Outlaw, shone when knocked down for 1,020gns to show judge Nick Dalby, of Hartwith, Harrogate. The same sire was also responsible for many of Mr Towell’s entries at Skipton’s annual Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders highlight two weeks earlier, when the breeder again achieved top price honours at 3,400gns with a shearling ram.
John and Alison North, who run the Loxley Texel flock at Fenwick, Doncaster, produced the show champion, the first prize ram lamb, who is unbeaten in the exhibition arena this year, including successes at both Otley and Nidderdale Shows. The son of Garngour Patriot, acquired by the Norths four years ago, returned home and will no doubt get another opportunity to shine in the sale ring.
The Hull House flock of Hellifield’s John and Linda Mellin figured among the prizes in all three show classes. Their female first prize winner sold for 350gns to S Blythman, of Bishopton, Stockton-on-Tees, the second prize shearling ram joined EJ Fort, of Silsden, for 820gns, and the third prize ram lamb was a 380gns acquisition by Colin Whitelock, of Gargrave. P Jewitt & Son, of Hutton Buscell, Scarborough, also sold a shearling ram at 900gns to B&EE Newhouse, of Wigglesworth.
Mark and Helen Keighley, of Leathley, Otley, sold entries at 760gns and 660gns, with FA Nairey, of Blackburn, also performing well with three clearances at 740gns, 700gns and 620gns. Two other high price achievers were JS Lodge, of Moss, Doncaster, at 700gns and F&HJ Booth, of Wigglesworth, at 620gns
Texel shearling rams averaged £426, on a par with last year, aged rams £406, lamb rams £209, shearling ewes £169 and ewe lambs £149.
Ayrshire’s David and Jennifer Alexander, of Millside Farm, Galston, making their annual visit to Skipton, were the headline performers in the Blue Texel classes, clearing eight entries at between 460gns and a high of 730gns, this joining J Vickerton & Son in Driffield. Shearling rams averaged £738, lamb rams £462 and shearling ewes £448.
The Fort sheep farming family – parents Graham and Mandy, and their children Terry and Beverley - from Brighton House Farm, Whitley Head, Steeton, secured their second championship success in as many days when sending out the Suffolk title winner, the first prize shearling ram, a home-bred by one of their stock tups, which performed best of the prize winners when joining Derbyshire’s R Etches, of Buxton, for 600gns. The same buyer also paid 400gns for the third prize shearling ram from Ian Briggs, of Guiseley.
After 20 years of Suffolk breeding, the Forts were showing and selling their final two rams at Skipton – their second entry scooped second prize in class, selling for 480gns to RJ&R Greenbank, of Roecliffe, Boroughbridge – though daughter Beverley will continue to breed from two retained ewes, which she will register as the Beverton flock.
The Forts also sold a second home-bred shearling ram, by the same sire as their show champion, at 500gns to JB&SB Bowdler, of Whitewick, Wolverhampton. “It was good to bow out on a high,” said Graham. The family is now concentrating on Lleyn sheep, having presented the shearling ram champion at the previous day’s annual Lleyn Sheep Society registered show and sale.
First and second prizes in the ram lamb class fell to Stephen Bolland, of Bolton Abbey. The red rosette winner and reserve champion sold for 460gns to John Roberts, of Farnhill, the runner-up selling for 480gns. Mr Bolland also sold a shearling ram at 540gns to David and Jill Pennock, of Bolton Abbey, while Mr Roberts was again in action when paying 370gns for the third prize ram lamb from Mark Evans, of Steeton.
Matthew Reeday, of Hetton, topped the Suffolk prices with two shearling rams that both made 740gns when selling to Michael McKenzie, of Arncliffe, and Stuart and Stephen Lund, of Litton. Mr Reeday sold further entries at 560gns and 500gns.
David Towell transferred his interest to the Suffolk ring when selling a shearling ram at 550gns to David Sayer, of Threshfield, while G&MA Lawn, of Skipton, achieved 500gns with a shearling ram sold to SG Entwistle, of Darwen. Suffolk shearling rams averaged £368 and lamb rams £273.
Northern Area Beltex Society chairman Robert Garth, of Peaks View, Bentham, proved his mettle in the show ring when sending out the class champion, the first prize home-bred shearling ram sold for 420gns, joint top price, to GW&J Mercer, of Ramsbottom, who also paid 370gns for the second prize ram from Thimbleby Farms, of Northallerton.
Skipton’s Chris Windle also sold rams at 420gns and 370gns, with Beltex shearling rams averaging £269 and ram lambs £115.
All-conquering stars of the Charollais sheep world, Charles and Valerie Marwood, from Whenby, York, clinched yet another Skipton championship – they also won the title at the previous month’s British Charollais Sheep Society annual commercial rams fixture - with their first prize shearling ram, a well-bred son of Ballynoe House Isaac, acquired from Ian Craig in Northern Ireland. The victor headed the class prices at 550gns when joining ST Gardner, of Bleasdale, Chipping.
The Marwoods also had the third prize ram lamb, again top price in class at 320gns when purchased by P Lofthouse, of Grewelthorpe. They sold a further entry at 420gns, three at 400gns and two at 380gns
Reserve champion was Robert Tindall, of Wetherby, with the second prize shearling ram, which made 420gns when joining JD Simpson, of West Marton. Mr Tindall also achieved 420gns with a second entry, selling a third at 400gns.
The first prize lamb ram from John Stott, of Stainton, Kendal, sold for 280gns to J Bonsall, of Asbourne. Charollais shearling rams averaged £271 and lamb rams £247.
In the Continentals class, two annual consignments from regular vendors stood out. Eighteen Texel-x-Beltex ram from R&C Robinson, of Pannal, Harrogate, sold from 380gns to a high of 980gns, among them two 680gns performers, while Cumbrian vendors James and Thomas Whiteford, of Tercrosset, Brampton, sold 30 Texel-x-Beltex rams from 400gns to 850gns, including three at 820gns and others at 800, 780, 760, 750, 700 and 680gns.
Continental shearling rams sold to an overall average of £412, shearling ewes £169 and lamb rams £169.
North Craven vet Sam Purcell, of Rawlinshaw, Austwick, shone in the Zwartbles show class when presenting both the first prize shearling ewe and champion, and the first prize shearling ram and reserve champion, which sold, respectively, for 200gns to Mr A Clark, of Leeming Bar, and 180gns to V Verity & Son, of West End.
Sam, who works at Daisy Street Veterinary Surgery in Blackburn and has been breeding Zwartbles for four years, also stepped up with the second prize ram lamb.
Show judges were: Blue Faced Leicesters – James Huck, Suffolk – Tony Shepherd, Texel – Nick Dalby, Beltex, Charollais and Zwartbles – Richard Caton. Main sponsor was Jonathan Guy, of Worcestershire-based JG Animal Health.
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