2017-09-06   facebooktwitterrss

11,000gns Record High at Skipton Beltex Highlight

South-west Scotland lowland sheep farmer Jock McMillan set the ringside alight when achieving a new all-time Skipton Auction Mart record high livestock price of 11,000gns. (Fri & Sat, Sept 1&2)

Mr McMillan, who runs the Clary flock at Carse of Clary, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, in Dumfries and Galloway, landed the Supreme Championship at the society’s 17th annual show and sale of pedigree rams and females with his first prize home-bred ram lamb and male champion, Clary Cosmos ET.

Ross Campbell and the pedigree Beltex supreme champion, which set an all-time record high price of 11,000gns at Skipton, joined by breeder Jock McMillan and judge Ian McConnell.

Ross Campbell and the pedigree Beltex supreme champion, which set an all-time record high price of 11,000gns at Skipton, joined by breeder Jock McMillan and judge Ian McConnell.

Cosmos is one of February-born triplets to the Belgium import Henry V/H/Vrijbos, out of Clary Wild Thing, Ayr show champion in 2015 and herself a well-bred daughter of Clary Supersonic.

While Mr McMillan judged the Skipton show several years ago, it was the first time he had exhibited sheep at the North Yorkshire venue. He established his flock in 1991 and currently has some 35 pedigree breeding ewes and 200 cross-bred Beltex.

Earlier this year, Mr McMillan sold a full brother to Cosmos for 7,000gns, a price more than eclipsed by his Skipton supreme champion, which became the highest price ever achieved by the vendor when attracting keen interest at the ringside before falling to Cheshire buyers, Boden & Davies, of Mellor Hall Farm, Mellor, near Stockport.

The family only moved into Beltex sheep 12 months ago and currently have five breeding ewes, on which their new acquisition will go to work with a view to producing top-class show progeny. Cosmos will also be put to commercial use on their long-established Texel flock, which only recently sold a ram for 130,000gns.

As well as their farming interests, Boden & Davies is a third generation wood recycling, pet and equine bedding business based at Astley, near Manchester, with sites across the UK and a global distribution network.

Mr McMillan completed a great day at Skipton when a full brother to his supreme champion champion, Clary Cracket ET, sold for 2,500gns and returned to Dumfries and Galloway with C Birrell & Co, of Castle Douglas.

Judge at the Friday evening pre-sale show was Ian McConnell, who runs the Ian’s flock in Dumfries, and described his chosen champion as “an outstanding lamb, true to type with tremendous breed character.”

Not only was his title winner top price by a country mile, but the adjudicator was right on the money yet again when his chosen reserve supreme champion achieved the day’s second top price at the Saturday sale of 4,200gns (£4,410).

It came from Northern Ireland breeder Elizabeth McAllister, who runs the Artnagullion pedigree flock with her brother William at Kells in Ballymena. Their first prize shearling ram and reserve male champion, Artnagullion Bull, is one of March, 2016-born embryo twins by the Irish-bred Ardstewart Armani, from Wade McCrabbe in County Donegal.

The McAllisters have sold sons by the same sire to 6,000gns. Out of the Clary Platform daughter, Artnagullion Sinderella, their Skipton reserve supreme champion, a strong and well admired ram, sold locally to Nick Brown and his partner Charlotte Ormonroyd, from Claughton Hall Farm, Claughton, Lancaster.

While they have a solid farming background, the young couple have just taken over what is their first farm and will put their new ram to use on their 11 pedigree Beltex breeding ewes. He will also be utilised for commercial production on Texel ewes.

The fixture is a happy hunting ground for the McAllisters. Following their supreme and reserve championship double at last year’s show they returned with several prize-winning entries from their annual 14-strong home-bred consignment of six shearling rams, six shearling ewes and two ram lambs.

They also picked up the reserve female championship with their second prize March, 2016, shearling ewe, Artnagullion Babble, who is among the first crop of lambs to their Belgium import, The Bare Boy, who has sold sons to 2,600gns and daughters to 2,500gns. Out of another Clary Platform daughter, Artnagullion Snappy, the ewe sold for 1,000gns to North Craven’s Mike Davis, who runs the Rathbone pedigree flock in Eldroth.

Female champion was the first prize shearling ewe from Brian Hall, of the Ainstable Hall pedigree flock in Ainstable, near Carlisle, who judged the Beltex showcase in 2016 and was also making his first appearance as an exhibitor in the Skipton show arena.

His home-bred Ainstable Baize, one of April, 2016, twins to Airyolland Thunder, bred in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, by Neale and Janet McQuistin, out of Ainstable Wendyhouse, sold for a class high of 1,400gns to A Wood & Sons, of Whittington. Mr Hall’s pen sold to a top of 2,000gns for a home-bred March, 2016, shearling ram, Ainstable Ballast, by Airyolland Wizzard, claimed by a buyer from Ireland, Downpatrick’s D Murray.

Procters Farm, from Tatham, near Lancaster, topped at 3,000gns with their pen-leading shearling ram, Proctors Banker ET, one of January, 2016, twins to their main stock ram, the Drumchapel Scooby son, Rathbone Wallace, bred by Mike Davis, out of the Graham Ringo’s daughter, Artnagullion Sizie. The ram returned to the Lune Valley with James Wannop, from Heaton, Morecambe.

Also catching the eye at 2,200gns was the second prize shearling ram from Cumbrian breeders Thomas and James Whiteford, who run the Tercrosset flock at West Hall, Brampton. Their Tercrosset Bedhead, one of February, 2016, triplets to Airyolland Nailer, out of the home-bred dam, Penelope Pitstop, found a new home in Penyffordd, Chester, with L&SE Hewitt.

Local breeders Karen and David Shuttleworth, who run the Heber Park flock at Heber House Farm, Gargrave, saw their consignment peak at 2,000gns for a shearling ram, the February, 2016, Heber Park Bodywork, by Kingledores Walter, also selling a second February, 2016, shearling ram, Heber Park Big Banger, by Woodies Ring A Ding, at 1,800gns. The respective buyers were Paul Slater, of Macclesfield, and the Robinson family, from Pannal, Harrogate.

The Shuttleworths were also responsible for the first prize aged ewe, the three-year-old Rathbone Wippet, again bred by Mike Davis and a son of Holmebeck Tonto, from Anne Moss in Rokeby, Barnard Castle. The couple have used the ram successfully for three breeding seasons and he was also placed fourth as a shearling at the Great Yorkshire Show and fourth this year at the Beltex Progeny Show. He made 1,600gns when joining WN Avison & Son, of Melmerby.

The first prize ewe lamb from John Barclay’s Beachy flock in Maybole, Ayrshire, was Beachy Cute As A Button ET, a daughter of Kingledores Battleaxe, out of the home-bred Beachy Welcome. The January-born youngster sold for a class-topping 1,000gns to Jeff Mellin, of Higham, Burnley.

Three other vendors hitting 1,700gns were Stuart Wood, who runs the Woodies flock at Skene in Aberdeenshire, with a shearling ram, Cumbrian breeder Anne Story, of the Borderesk flock in Hobbiesburn, Longtown, with another shearling ram, and Irish breeder Matthew Burleigh, whose Matt’s flock is based near Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, with a ram lamb.

Welsh breeder Hywell Williams, of the Llechach flock in Llanddeusant, Llangadog, won the aged ewes show class his 2014-born Llechach Wonka, which returned home, though the same vendor’s second prize Llechach Wheeley found a buyer at 220gns.

The annual highlight attracted a 459-strong entry, with ram averages taking a healthy lift, notably ram lambs, which averaged £844 per head, compared to the previous year’s £524, while the shearling ram average also increased to £780 per head, as against £710 in 2016. Gimmer lambs averaged £423 (2016 £653), shearling gimmers £443 (£497), aged ewes £231 (£326) and three aged rams £875 (£682).

Northern Beltex Club chairman Martin Brown, of Leyburn, said:
“We were delighted with the way the sale went and the quality of the sheep on show was a credit to all vendors. The fixture continues to grow in stature and is now one of our leading breed sales.”

Show sponsors were JG Animal Health, Carrs Billington and Kingsway Vets.

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