Local Swaledale sheep-breeding specialist Roy Nelson again scooped top price honours at 2,200gns (£2,310), one of the highest prices achieved in recent years, at the annual evening show and sale of rams at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, Oct 8)
Roy Nelson, right, lines up for the judges, before seeing his two-shear ram go on to head the Skipton Swaledale prices.
The fixture, which grows in stature year on year, attracted a solid turnout of 109 rams and Mr Nelson, who trades as C Nelson & Sons at Lainger House, Bordley, stepped up considerably on his 1,700gns top price shearling at last year’s corresponding fixture with his 2012 first prize aged ram.
The two-shear home-bred, by a tup from Jonathan Brunton’s Moor House flock near Carlisle, out of a dam bred in Middleton-in Teesdale by John White, sold to Alan Greenwood, of Beaver Farm, Trawden. It also won the prize class for the best conformation ram.
Mr Greenwood will put the ram to good use on his flock of 200 Swaledale breeding ewes. “We are always seeking to improve by introducing fresh blood,” he said.
In addition, Mr Nelson stepped forward with the third prize and top price shearling ram, a 900gns acquisition by TB Moorhouse, of Dacre, Harrogate. He also sold two further shearling rams at 700gns and 550gns, along with two aged rams at 500gns.
The shearling ram class was also responsible for both the champion and reserve, with the victor shown by another Swaledale specialist, Bill Cowperthwaite, of Tennant Gill, Malham Moor.
The home-bred, by a Stanhope Gate ram from Middleton-in-Teesdale, out of a dam sired by a Cumbrian-based Matt Ridley tup, made 650gns when joining South Yorkshire breeder Michael Wynne, of Midhopestones, Sheffield.
The second prize shearling ram and reserve champion from John and Jean Bradley’s Pen-y-ghent flock at Penny Grange, Giggleswick, a home bred by a sire from the 2011 Skipton champions, the Booth family in nearby Feizor, sold for 450gns to Bob Wearmouth, of Mallerstang in East Cumbria.
John and Claire Mason, of Oddacres Farm, Embsay, champions in 2010 and reserve champions last year, were again prominent with a 1,000gns six-shear aged ram, by a sire bred by the Dent family in Naby, Kirkby Stephen.
Bought as shearling, he has performed well for the Masons over five breeding seasons, producing sons to 1,500gns and also responsible for their Skipton 2011 aged ram reserve champion. He found a new home with Geoff Pickles in Chapel-le-Dale.
The second prize shearling ram from Stuart and Debbie Robinson, of Heselden Lodge, Litton, sold for 850gns to Maurice Horsfield, of Foulridge. Also to the fore in the shearling class were John Smith, of Carleton, with a 700gns sale to Rosemary Berry, of Cowling, while John Hirst, of Halton Gill, and GJ&ME Walker, of Dunsop Bridge, sold aged rams at 650gns and 520gns respectively – the former to Gary Schofield, of Buckden, the latter to Robin Jackson, of Blubberhouses.
Four further exhibitors sold shearling rams at 550gns – Ken Dickinson, of Skipton, Alan Lodge, of Malham Moor, DA&JM Robinson, of Litton, and JC Walker & Son of Dunsop Bridge.
Aged rams sold to an overall average of £445 per head, while shearlings rams averaged £238 each. Show judges were Wilf Buckle and Alan Birbeck, both from Kirkby Stephen. The title winner was presented with both the Robert Young Perpetual Challenge Trophy and the M & J Spensley Trophy, with the leading aged ram receiving the Stephen HK Butcher Trophy.
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