All rings were packed with buyers seeking to secure the best of rams and trade was buoyant for most classes, especially Suffolk, Texel and Texel-Beltex crosses.
Texeland Blue Faced Leicester rams led the trade at 2,000gns (£2,100) at CCM Auctions’ annual multi-breed sheep show and sale of pedigree and pure-bred rams and females. (Fri, Oct 4)
Traditionally one of the busiest days of the year at Skipton Auction Mart, there were standalone shows for seven different sheep breeds, with four separate sales rings required to process the 1,115 head entered. All rings were packed with buyers seeking to secure the best of rams and trade was buoyant for most classes, especially Suffolk, Texel and Texel-Beltex crosses.
The joint top price 2,000gns Blue Faced Leicester ram lamb was a home-bred from the North Craven Smearsett pedigree flock of WA&A Booth, of Old Hall Farm, Feizor. The son of Black Tag B13, who has bred some of the Booths’ best sheep, out of a dam by D15 Smearsett, a former Kilnsey Show supreme champion, joined Skipton branch NEMSA chairmanKevin Wilson in Blubberhouses.
The Booths, who landed a memorable championship double with pens of ten and 20 Mule gimmer lambs at last month’s opening NEMSA show at Skipton, also sold a second ram lamb by their David Lawson tup, out of a Z4 ewe, at 1,200gns to Ken and Lynne Throup, of Silsden Moor, who themselves sold a shearling ram son of their Otterburn Lodge sire at 1,100gns to Stuart and Stephen Lund in Littondale.
Nidderdale’s Dick Burley, from Wath, also impressed with a home-bred BFL shearling ram sold locally for 1,400gns to Joe and Nancy Throup in Draughton, while the Embsay-based Oddacres pedigree flock of John and Claire Mason again presented a solid pen of shearling rams, with a Smearsett-sired son performing best on price when joining A Newbould & Son in Dallowgillfor 1,300gns.
Two more shearling rams each made 1,100gns. The first from E&SCL Harker & Son, of Lofthouse, sold to V Verity & Son in West End, with the second from Richard Mawson, of Addingham,by a Robert Crisp ram, joining John Lancaster in Bordley. Mr Mawson also sold a second shearling ram at 1,050gns, while Malham’s Neil Heseltine was another four-figure performer with a 1,000gns shearling ram.
In the BFL show classes, champion was the first prize home-bred ram lamb from Otley’s David Lodge, like his 2009 title winner by a Reeth-based Riddings sire. Reserve champion was the first prize gimmer shearling by a home-bred ram, out of an Ilkley Moor ewe, from Ashley and Rachael Caton, of Otterburn. The first prize shearling ram was shown by Thirsk’s N Peacock.
A 96% clearance rate was achieved for Blue Faced Leicesters, reflecting the strength of the commercial trade at this high profile annual sale. Averages: Aged Rams £525, Shearling Rams £506, Lamb Rams £403, Shearling Ewes, £236, Ewe Lambs £139.
In the Texel section, shearling rams met a ready trade, which was maintained with ram lambs. A home-bred shearling ram from the Heys Farm pedigree flock of Whalley’s Mark Ireland became the second 2,000gns joint top price achiever.
Heys Tim Whisky, an 8,000gns son of Hull House Sam Whisky, bred locally in Hellifield by John and Linda Mellin, and the first prize ram lamb at last year’s Great Yorkshire Show, was bought by Hartwith’s Nick Dalby.
Giggleswick’s John and Alison North successfully defended their 2012 Skipton multi-breeds Texel title with the first prize shearling ram. By the renowned Garngour Patriot, who has been responsible for multiple North title winners, out of a home-bred ewe, the victor sold for 800gns to Long Preston’s John Mellin.
Thomas Harrison, of Clifford House Texels in Skipton, presented the first prize ram lamb and reserve champion, which made 480gns on joining JK&CA Bretherton in Feniscowles, Blackburn, while Glusburn’s David Towell, who always does well with his popular Texels at Skipton, sold seven high-priced entries, among them two shearling rams both at 1,200gns to J Bradley, of Darley, and P Dewhirst, of Waddington.
Scottish breeder John Green, who made the long trip down from Lilliesleaf, Selkirk, was among the leading performers with six pure-bred Texels that averaged £800. The top 1,000gns performer, by the 10,500gns Ettrick Rainbow Warrior, joined Bill Turner, of Skelton-on-Ure.
The same sire was responsible for four of Mr Green’s consignment, with the remaining two by the 7,000gns Ellen Valley Knight Rider also selling well at 980gns and 820gns. The vendor said the journey had been extremely worthwhile, noting: “I shall be back again next year.”
Texel averages: Shearling Rams £557.65, Lamb Rams £356.53, Shearling Ewes £261.75.
A standalone class for Blue Texels produced keen demand, notably for an annual consignment from Scottish breeders David and Jennifer Alexander, of Galston in Ayrshire, who successfully sold nine entries from 450gns to a class-topping 750gns twice. Their leading performers joined EC McDonald, of Chesterfield, and W Pinder, of Newton-in-Bowland. Averages: Shearling Rams £698, Lamb Rams £391, Shearling Ewes £332, Ewe Lambs £469.
The quality of the entries in the non-MV Texel section continued to improve, demonstrated by flying trade in both this and the pedigree Texel sale rings at the same time.
The annual consignment of non-MV Texel shearling rams from Anne Robinson, of Pannal, Harrogate, once more brought many repeat customers to the ringside, with her top-notch entries once again leading the trade and selling to a high of 980gns to GH Mellin, of Black Lane Ends. Further shearling rams sold at 950gns and 900gns twice.
The annual consignment of full Dutch Texel shearling rams from Cumbrian vendors James and Thomas Whiteford, of Tercrosset, Brampton, again generated a ringside full to capacity, producing a top price of 840gns, along with nine shearling rams in excess of 700gns, among them three consecutive lots at 800gns.
The Whitefords were also responsible for the four top price Beltex-x-Texel class entries with shearling rams from 700gns to a high of 840gns, while Skipton’s Chris Windle sold three shearling rams, one the third prize winner, to a top of 560gns.
The non-MV Continental sheep section achieved a 98% clearance rate. Beltex show champion was Robert Garth, of Burton-in-Lonsdale, with his home-bred first prize shearling ram, sold for 400gns. The second in class from G&SE Parker & Son, of Slaidburn, was awarded the reserve championship. Averages: Shearling Rams £435, Ram Lambs £154.
Trade in the Suffolk section was buoyant throughout, with local breeders providing the highlights. Bolton Abbey’s Stephen Bolland made 700gns with his first prize shearling ram and reserve champion, with the same price also achieved by shearling rams from Matt Reeday, of Hetton, and Skipton’s G&A Lawn. Mr Bolland also sold ram lambs at 650gns and 600gns.
Mark Evans, Jubilee Flock, with his
Suffolkshow champion was the first prize ram lamb from Steeton’s Mark Evans. Home-bred by a Strathisla ram acquired last year, the victor sold for 450gns to RJ&R Greenbank, of Boroughbridge. Mr Evans also sold two further ram lambs at 550gns. Averages: Aged Rams £264, Shearling Rams £396, Lamb Rams £311.
Championship honours in the Charollais show classes fell to a home-bred shearling ram from Deborah Whitcher, who runs the Galtres pedigree flock near York. The son of Galtres Highlander also achieved top price in show when falling for 920gns to O Whitely, of Harrogate, who also paid 520gns for a second shearling ram from the same pen, which was also responsible for the second top price with a further shearling ram bought for 700gns by John Mellin, of Long Preston.
Deborah’s parents, Charles and Valerie Marwood, of Whenby, York, sold shearling rams at 460gns and 380gns to regular customer Denton Park Estate in Ilkley, and were also responsible for the first and third prize ram lambs, the former awarded the reserve championship and selling for 440gns to J Mares, of Darwen. The third prize winner made 390gns, while Leyburn’s Kenton Foster also sold a ram lamb at 360gns. Averages:Shearling Rams £369, Lamb Rams £263.
Zwartbles again had their own show class, in which Margaret Watkinson,of Sessay, Thirsk, landed the championship with her home-bred first prize ram lamb, out of an Irish-sired dam acquired from Kath Hewitt, of Giggleswick. Mrs Watkinson, who is better known as a Masham sheep breeder and only started with Zwartbles two years ago, saw her victor progress to achieve top price in show at 155gns when falling to JM Swales, of Ripon.
Reserve champion was the first prize ewe lamb from MJ Beckwith, of Gargrave, which made £100. C Braithwaite, of Colne, sold five entries to a high of £130. Averages:Shearling Rams £126, Lamb Rams £120, Aged Ewes £74.55, Shearling Ewes £126, Ewe Lambs £83.62.
Of the remaining breeds, leading prices and averages were as follows: Lleyn - P Knowles, Kendal, £210 (av £154), Rouge - P Strickland, Eldroth, £231 (av £231), Berrichon – K Watson, Barnoldswick, £336 (av £217).
Show judges were: Suffolk - GT Carr, Texel - Mick Verity, Blue Faced Leicester - P Webster, Beltex and Charollais – John Mellin, and Zwartbles – Ryan Middleton. Sponsors were JG Animal Feeds, Dudgale Nutrition, Carrs Billington and Craggs Energy.
In a standalone official annual show and sale staged by the North East region of the Hampshire Downs Sheep Breeders’ Association, both the 2012 champion and reserve champion retained their titles at this year’s renewal.
The victor was the first prize shearling ewe from the Graylen flock of Graham and Judith Galbraith, of Endmoor, Kendal. The February, 2012-born daughter of Graylen D’Artagnan, who was also responsible for last year’s victor, went on to achieve top price in show of 700gns when bought by G Mountain, of North Rigton, who also paid 320gns for the Galbraiths’ first prize ewe lamb, again by the same sire.
Standing reserve once more with the first prize shearling ram were Irish breeders KP&A E McCarthy, whose Ballycreelly flock is based in Comber, County Down. Their Yarcombe Topper son achieved top price in class at 600gns, with the McCarthys also selling second entry at 600gns, plus a third at 500gns.
Females were sought after, though ram trade was more selective than last year, with a dispersal sale on behalf of the Highlander flock in Tetford, Lincolnshire, achieving trade much in line with expectations. Averages: Shearling Rams £288, Lamb Rams £207, Aged Ewes £286, Shearling Ewes £365, Ewe Lambs £345.