2014-08-22  facebook twitter rss

Breeding Sheep Season Opens with Gimmer Shearling Highlight

Skipton Auction Mart’s high profile opening gimmer shearling show and sale attracted a quality turnout of 4,019 sheep, over 600 up on the previous year, with solid trade much in line with expectations producing an overall selling average of £150.05 per head, an increase of £7.53 on 2013. (Tuesday, Aug 19)

Ribble Valley sheep farmer John Greenhalgh, still going great guns at the age of 80, presented the champion pen of ten Mules at the annual highlight, which remains one of the largest fixtures of its kind in the North of England and is the traditional pipe opener to Skipton’s 2014 breeding sheep season.

Gimmer Shearlings Greenhalgh Mule champions and judges

Gimmer Shearlings Greenhalgh Mule champions and judges

Mr Greenhalgh, of Rugglesmore Farm, Bashall Eaves, a regular prize winner with his Mules at the fixture - he also won the same show class in 2012 - saw his latest victors sell for the day’s joint top price of £215 per head to co-judge Warwick Gill, of Melton Mowbray.

The title winner, who received the Edgar Boothman Memorial Trophy, presented by his brother James Boothman, of Linton, consigned all 92 of his current crop of Mule gimmer shearlings, which he buys in as ewe lambs and brings them on to sell the following year. Mr Greenhalgh, who also breeds Charolais-sired store cattle, sold further pens at £200 and £190 each.

As usual, there was ardent interest at the ringside in NEMSA-tagged consignments from frequent vendors, many of which had been purchased at last year’s annual Skipton Mule gimmer lamb show and sale, one of the UK’s top fixtures of its type.

Peter and Edward Fox, from Withgill, Clitheroe, presented the second and fourth prize Mule pens, with the runners-up also achieving the joint £215 high when again snapped up by Mr Gill, while Threshfield’s Angus Dean went to £210 per head to secure the Fox’s fourth prize pen. The same vendors also had a pen at £200.

The third prize pen from Coniston Cold’s David Coates fell for £185 each to Ken and Lynne Throup, of Silsden Moor. Also prominent with high priced pens were James Towler, of Grindleton, at £200, Margaret Liddle, of Summerbridge, at £195 twice and 2013 Mule gimmmer shearling champions James and William Hall, of Darnbrook, at £195 and £190.

Norfolk breeders Henry Harvey & Son, of Waxham Hall, Waxham, won the Texel show class for the third year in succession, with their pen of ten twice-crossed home-breds selling at £200 per head, joint top price in class, to Malcolm Campbell, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, who also bought the Harveys’ 2013 victors.

Harvey Texel Gimmer Shearlings champions

Harvey Texel Gimmer Shearlings champions

Harvey’s Ben Harvey was making the annual trip to Skipton from the family’s 500-acre holding near the Norfolk coast with a consignment of 320 Texels and Mules. He also presented the second prize Texel pen, knocked down at £185 per head to J&I Whitaker, of Clapham.

The third prize pen from LW&EJ Coverdale, of Beckwithshaw, sold for £195 per head to Skyreholme’s Owain Chapman, with the fourth prize pen from Robert Towers, of Farleton, Lancaster, joining JE&ME Grange in Follifoot at £140 each. The Coverdales also sold another Texel pen at £195.

The other joint Texel high of £200 fell to Bob Newby, of Wetherby, who sold further pens at £195 and £185, with Blackburn’s Angela Nairey also prominent with pens at £195 and £192.

Mr Towers also sold a Charollais pen at £145 per head, with class prices peaking at £148 for an entry from Mark Crabtree, of Kettlesing.

First prize in the show class for ten Masham shearling gimmers was awarded to Chris Douthwaite & Partners, who run over 1,000 sheep, also breeding Swaledale and Dalesbred, and farming 150 acres of arable land at High Snape Farm, Kirkby Overblow, Harrogate. Their charges sold locally for £130 each to Skipton’s Keith and Jeanette Marshall.

Douthwaite Masham Gimmer Shearlings champions

Douthwaite Masham Gimmer Shearlings champions

Overall breed numbers and averages, with 2013 comparisons, were: 3,425 Mule shearlings - av £149.57 (+£4.95), 569 Texel shearlings - av £154.07 (+£18.36), 15 Charollais shearlings - av £116 (-£5.74).

Cowling’s Andrew Ogden also co-judged the Mule show class, with Rathmell’s Stuart Currie adjudicating in the Continental shearling show classes. Sponsors were the British Wool Marketing Board, JACS Trade & DIY, Armstrong Watson Accountants, JG Animal Health and Tops Tags.

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  Related Links
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link Shires on Parade at Packed Skipton Dispersal Sale
link Keelham Strikes Again to Secure Prime Champions
link Sean Hickey Champion at Craven Dairy Auction
link Skipton Weekly Roundup

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