2018-11-07  facebooktwitterrss

Irelands take CCM Skipton Prime Lambs Hat-trick

Ribble Valley father and son, Richard and Mark Ireland, of Heys Farm, Whalley, were in sparkling form again when landing a hat-trick of consecutive monthly prime lamb championships at the November ‘Guy Fawkes Day’ show and sale. (Mon, Nov 5)

Like their previous winners in September and October, the latest victorious pen of five Beltex-cross were all by the highly regarded Ireland stock tup, Shamrock Beast, the first ram they bred in their pedigree Beltex flock, established three years ago.

Richard and Mark Ireland, right, with their latest champion Beltex pen at Skipton, joined by, from left, CCM’s Andrew Fisher and judge Paul Watson

Richard and Mark Ireland, right, with their latest champion Beltex pen at Skipton, joined by, from left, CCM’s Andrew Fisher and judge Paul Watson

The immaculately presented 45kg pen topped both the day’s gross and by-weight prices when selling for £124 per head, or 275.6p/kg, to regular Red Rose retail customer Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop and Restaurant in Lancaster Leisure Park.

The Irelands, whose main breed is the Heys Texel flock, say they are now looking forward to defending their first-ever prime lamb supreme championship coup at Skipton’s annual Christmas primestock highlight last year, when the champion pair sold for a heady £520 each.

The high profile festive fixture takes place this year on Sunday, November 25, and they will be entering two top-notch Beltex-cross pairs in the untrimmed lamb show classes, plus three more in the lamb carcase competition. All are again by Shamrock Beast, whose reputation for producing first-class butchers’ lambs is improving in leaps and bounds.

Back at the latest monthly show, judge Paul Watson, of Hellifield, awarded the reserve championship to the second prize Continental pen, five 40kg Beltex-cross from Trawden’s Hayley Baines, which sold for £104 each, or 260p/kg, to Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, who also paid £112 per head or 254.5p/kg, for the third prize 44kg Beltex pen from Michael Hall, of Airton.

The Suffolk-cross show class was won by a 51kg pen from the Hartley family in Beamsley, sold for £80 each to Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson, while the first prize 45kg Mules from North of England Mule Sheep Association chairman Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, made £72.50 each when claimed by Darley’s Nick Dalby.

The show classes formed part of the weekly Monday prime sheep sale, when another solid entry of 4,197 head were sold, with the increased turnout of 3,762 lambs creeping back topside of 170p/kg, a fair achievement given that over a third of the lambs scaled in at 46kg or more, producing a whopping SQQ average of 176.1p/kg. With plenty of other three-figure and 240p/kg-plus Continental pens, the overall per head average was £75.55.

As anticipated, handy weight 37-41kg export lambs were significantly dearer on the week, with a nice skinned Texel lamb making 190-210p/kg and commercial types 175-190p/kg. While heavy lambs weighing 47kg+ were similar on price, hill-bred entries again met a nice trade, with Mule and horned lambed both maintaining the previous week’s improved trade.

Also penned for sale were 433 cast sheep. Cull ewes sold to a top of £96.50 per head for a Texel pen from Stephen Holt, of Queensbury, averaging £42.66. Cast rams averaged £54.88.

Countrystyle’s top price prime cattle coup

Countrystyle Meats’ Alan Beecroft then turned his attention to the same day’s monthly prime cattle show, taking home both leading price performers among his five purchases.

Top gross was a 585kg Limousin-cross heifer from the Kitching family at Grisedale Farm, Threshfield, which made £1,460, or 249.5p/kg. Mr Beecroft also paid the day’s top by-weight price of 273.5p/kg, or £1,367, for the second prize heifer, a 580kg Limousin-cross consigned by the Critchley family, from Hutton, Preston.

Overall show champion was the first prize heifer, a 525kg Limousin-cross also from the Kitching family. Shown by Charles Kitching, the heifer, bought out of Skipton this Spring and further improved at home, sold for £1,357, or 258.5p/kg, to Keelham Farm Shop.

The same vendors, who regularly sell their cattle at Skipton and have won multiple championships, were also responsible for the the first prize bullock and overall reserve champion. The 580kg Limousin-cross made £1,453, or 250.5p/kg, when also joining Keelham Farm Shop.

Keelham’s James Robertshaw was again the principal buyer on the day when securing 11 of the 24 under 30-month clean cattle on offer, other prizewinners among them, for his award-winning family-run shops in Skipton and Thornton.

Show cattle were judged by Mytholmroyd’s Stephen Horsfield. Other retail butcher buyers were Skipton-based Stanforths with three, a brace for Hamlet’s Butchers in Garstang and one for Charlie Clough for his shop in Queensbury,

While the 43 cull cows also presented for sale to a full complement of buyers saw well fleshed cattle in short supply, there was a steady trade throughout, producing an overall selling average of £555.21 per head, or 82.23p/kg, and reflecting the quantities of culls hitting abattoirs and auction marts at the moment. Top call of £870, or 117.5p/kg, fell to a Blonde-cross from Fred Stephenson, of New Farnley, Leeds.

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