2015-10-05   facebook twitter rss

Cowperthwaite Coup at Swaledale Female Highlight

Swaledale females took centre stage at Skipton’s Auction Mart’s annual Saturday show and sale of draft ewes and gimmer shearlings, when an increased entry of 3,939 head sold to an overall average of £104.23 per head. (Sat, Oct 3)

The cream of the turnout received plenty of interest at the ringside, producing some good top end prices. However, it was a more commercial type of ewe that saw the most disparity in prices on the year, as buyers looked to source the smarter end.

Pictured with the champion pen of Skipton Swaledale ewe lambs are, from left, co-judge Robert Tarbatt, exhibitor Robert Cowperthwaite, co-judge Ian Lancaster and his 15-year-old son Richard, who assisted with the adjudication.

Pictured with the champion pen are, from left, co-judge Robert Tarbatt, exhibitor Robert Cowperthwaite, co-judge Ian Lancaster and his 15-year-old son Richard, who assisted with the adjudication.

Malham Moor father and son Bill and Robert Cowperthwaite, of Tennant Gill Farm, presented the first prize and champion pen of ten Swaledale ewes, which more than justified the choice of co-judges, Ian Lancaster, of Wiswell, and Robert Tarbatt, of Darwen, when they sold for by far and away the day’s leading price of £270 per head to MA Harryman, of Keswick.

The home-bred 4-shears were by five different rams in total – Stanhope Gate, Lightfoot, Paul Hallam, Stockdale Farm and Haltcliffe. They added to multiple award wins achieved over the years by the Cowperthwaite pedigree Swaledale flock, which numbered around 500 ewes this year. Almost all of them are descended from a single ewe given to Mr Cowperthwaite Snr as a boy by his grandfather. The same vendors also sold a second ewe pen at £195 each.

Alan Alderson, of Barras Farm, Barras, Kirkby Stephen, stepped up with the first prize and reserve champion pen of ten gimmer shearlings, again home-breds by a selection of tups, including some by a £16,000 ram acquired from Askrigg’s Ian Bell two years ago that has performed well in its first breeding year. They sold for £190 per head to Mr Lancaster. Mr Alderson also sold further shearling pens at £195 – these to Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside - £190 and £160 twice.

John and Jean Bradley, of Giggleswick, produced the second prize ewe pen for the second year in succession, their charges selling for £200 each, while the third prize pen from 2014 champions Stuart and Debbie Robinson, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, made £162 each.

The Robinsons also presented the third prize gimmer shearling pen, sold for £145 per head, while the second prize pen from 2013 champion Chris Akrigg, of Cray, made £185 each.

Top price in the shearling section of £200 per head fell to Neil Richardson, who farms near Buxton in Derbyshire and has consigned sheep at the fixture for many years. The buyer was L Horwell, of Leek in Staffordshire.

Mr Richardson, a former Great Yorkshire Show sheep shearing champion, is well-known to many local Swaledale breeders from when he worked as a sheep shearer in the north. He sold further shearling pens at £160 and £135.

Prices and averages: Swaledale Ewes - 2 Shear to £122 (av £106.72), 3 Shear to £180 (£115.76), 4 Shear to £270 (£96.41), Swaledale Shearlings to £200 (£114.93).

Show sponsors were Windle Beech Winthrop Surveyors, JACS Trade & DIY Warehouse and VG Energy.

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