2014-07-30  facebook twitter rss

Skipton Young Farmers Showpiece

Young people who represent farming’s future generations had their chance to shine in the exhibition arena at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual young handlers’ prime lamb show and sale. (Mon, July 28)

A total of 24 youngsters participated across three age groups, with 20 years separating them and, coincidentally, both the championship and reserve championship falling to the oldest and youngest competitors – 25-year-old Laura Robinson, who retained the title she also won last year, and Isobel North, just turned five.

Laura Robinson, left, with her 2014 Skipton young handlers’ prime lamb supreme champion, joined by reserve champion Isobel North and judge Martin Brown.

Laura Robinson, left, with her 2014 Skipton young handlers’ prime lamb supreme champion, joined by reserve champion Isobel North and judge Martin Brown.

Judge Martin Brown, of Newton-le-Willows, Bedale, deliberated long and hard before awarding the championship to a three-quarters Beltex wether lamb from Laura, again winner of the 17-26 years show class.

Her father Trevor and uncle Clive Robinson farm at Middle Brayshaw Farm in Tosside, though Laura is now based in Barnoldswick, where she runs her own Texel and Beltex-cross flock with her partner Scott Robinson. It now stands at 50-strong and will be further developed. Laura also works part time for Pearson Farm Supplies in West Marton.

The 2014 victor, weighing in at 36kg, sold for £104 to a regular Skipton buyer, Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate, who was purchasing on behalf of Hartshead Meats in Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne. It was among his three prize-winning acquisitions on the day.

Isobel North, who also won the young handlers’ title in 2012 when aged just three – possibly the youngest-ever champion in the history of Skipton Auction Mart – first picked up the red rosette in the under-10’s class with a black Texel wether lamb bred in Giggleswick by her parents John and Alison North, and weighing 61kg.

Isobel, now a pupil at Giggleswick Primary School, then watched on as her reserve champion sold for the day’s leading prime lamb price of £122 to Hellifield’s Paul Watson.

Ten-year-old Sam Phillipson, of Netherwood Farm in Briercliffe, Burnley, winner of the under-10’s class in 2013, this year stepped up to the 10-16 years age group and picked up another red rosette with his 45kg Texel-cross-Beltex ram lamb, again to the delight of his parents James and Christine Phillipson. This also fell to Mr Watson for £100, who acquired four prize winners in total.

Show sponsors were Craven Cattle Marts, Carrs-Billington and the Wynnstay Group. Class results, selling prices and buyers were as follows:

Under 10 – 1 Isobel North, Giggleswick, £122 to Paul Watson, Hellifield, 2 James Garnett, Draughton, £94 to Vivers Scot Lamb, Annan, 3 Holly Wain, Ashbourne, £74 to Vivers Scot Lamb, 4 Nancy, Amy and Emma Lawn, Skipton, £86 to Woodhead Bros Butchers, Colne.

10-16 years – 1 Sam Phillipson, Briercliffe, £100 to P Watson, 2 Jacob Ogg, Lincoln, £91 to Vivers Scot Lamb, 3 Alice Throup, Silsden, £83 to P Watson, 4 Kyle Handy, Stainforth, £87 to Andrew Atkinson, Felliscliffe,

17–26 years – 1 Laura Robinson, Barnoldswick, £104 to A Atkinson, 2 Daniel Ellis, Addingham Moorside, £88 to A Atkinson, 3 Rob Ellis, Addingham Moorside, £98 to P Watson, 4 Mel Pickard, Bolton-by-Bowland, £84 to Woodhead Bros.

Other young handlers taking part in the show classes were Henry Preston, Miles Barbour, Jacob Reeday, Henry Shorrock, Henry Ogg, Jack Hutchinson, Megan Booth, Rebecca Dobson, Daniel Dobson, Freddie Shorrock, Heather Reay and Annie Shearsmith.

Show organiser Kelly Armitage explained: “It was a great competition, aimed at introducing youngsters not only into the art of preparing and showing a lamb, but also of presenting the lamb in the sale ring, experiencing the live auction system and understanding exactly what happens to the lamb that they have produced. “

The mart’s livestock sales manager Ted Ogden added: “These young farmers represent the future of agriculture and we are very keen to encourage and support them through educational initiatives such as this. We would like to thank all involved – our judge, sponsors and buyers who again gave such willing support at the ringside.”

The young farmers’ prime lambs were among a total headcount of 3,115 prime sheep at Skipton’s weekly sale, with the 2,706 lambs among them trading much as anticipated to achieve an overall average of £68.91 per head, or 167.3p/kg, slightly down on the week.

Nice lambs 40-44kg proved in decent demand, with smarter lambs 36-40kg also meeting trade described as reasonable. Mr Ogden commented: “As numbers grow, then, as usual, the first things to get discounted are the 37kg-39kg under-finished types. For best return, vendors are advised that lambs should be kept well fleshed and also take due note that Farm Assurance is also now an increasing factor with several buyers.”

Of the 409 cast sheep on parade, cull ewes averaged £32.10 per head, selling to a high of £90.50 each for a Texel pen from DW&SI Throup, of Bradley. Cast rams averaged £73.50 per head.

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