Tom Boden and family’s Cheshire-based Sportsmans flock was at the top of its game when claiming the lead price of 3,000gns, plus the reserve supreme championship and joint second top call of 2,500gns at CCM Skipton Auction Mart’s annual show and sale of pedigree Suffolk females. (Sat, Nov 4)

Mr Boden, who runs the flock jointly with his father, Charlie, and six-year-old daughter Celia in Mellor, Stockport, stood top of the flocks on price with one in a pen of four January, 2022, shearling ewe daughters of the 2022 Suffolk Sheep Society Sire of the Year Salopian Solid Gold, purchased in 2021 for a breed record price of 200,000gns.

All were scanned carrying lambs to the 52,000gns Lakeview 1Up. The pen leader, one of triplets out of a Birness Muzza-sired Ballynacannon dam, sold locally to Martin Sharp, who trades as JM&EL Sharp in Giggleswick.

Claiming 2,500gns was the second prize winner and overall reserve champion. Out of a Stockton dam, with a full brother already having made 30,000gns, the shearling sold carrying a single lamb, going over the border into Lancashire with Rachael Cook, of Ingleby Suffolks.

The other two shearlings in the Sportsmans pen both made 2,000gns, the first, out of a home-bred Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic dam also heading to North Craven with the Holgate family in Rathmell, one of eight acquisitions among the leading prices at the sale. This was followed by a full sister to the top price shearling going to Cumbria with Helen Wareing, of Kirkby-in-Furness. Established four years ago, the Sportmans Suffolk flock maintains 30 breeding ewes, with the family also renowned for its high performance Sportsmans Texel flock.

Clinching the supreme championship when travelling south from Aberdeenshire to make his debut at the winter breed highlight was John Gibb, who runs the Cairnton flock in the village of the same name near Techmuiry, Fraserburgh, with his first prize single January, 2022, Moorsley shearling ewe purchased last year at a Society sale from Cumbrian breeder Katie Brannen, who farms near Temple Sowerby, Penrith.

Out of an Irish-bred Willie Tait Burnview dam, the victor was sold carrying a single lamb to Bridgeview Balvenie, reserve UK Sire of the Year in 2022, who himself sired the home-bred 75,000gns Cairnton Chaos, a Scottish record for a Suffolk ram lamb. Tapped out by Red Rose show judge Andrea Smith, who runs Stanworth Suffolks at Withnell, Chorley, she later backed her decision in sale ring when claiming her chosen supreme champion for 1,800gns.

Mr Gibb, who works full-time as farm manager at a local farm, established his flock 25 years ago and also has some 30 breeding ewes on the ground. Having won some high profile Suffolk Sheep Society shows over the years, he also stood third in Skipton’s ewe lamb show class with a home-bred daughter born last New Year’s Eve of the 5,500gns Frongoy Firepower, acquired in 2022, out of a daughter of Cairness Agent, bred by his uncle Jimmy Douglas.

It sold for 1,200gns to Calderdale’s Kathryn Leach, of Hebden Bridge, who also paid 550gns for a second Cairnton Belvenie-sired shearling ewe as a foundation for her new Cragside Suffolks flock.

Jimmy Douglas runs the Cairness flock in the same parish as his championship-winning nephew and was also among the prizes on debut when consigning the 1st prize ewe, a January, 2021, home-bred by Mr Gibb’s own Cairnton Bullseye, scanned carrying twins to Balvenie.

This, too, made 1,200gns, with the 3rd prize winner from the same home, a 2018 Limepark Touch The Stars-sired ewe and mother of the red rosette winner, herself scanned with twins to Cairnton Ninety-Nine, making 1,000gns. Both were among the Holgate purchases.

Local show regular and multiple past prize winner Stephen Bolland, who runs the Wharfe flock at The Arches in Bolton Abbey, was on the mark again when consigning the 1st prize ewe lamb, a January-born home-bred by Solwaybank Cracker, acquired privately from Dumfries and Galloway breeder Ian Barbour in 2019 and who has bred ewe lambs to 8,000gns.

She is out of a Wharfe dam by Rhaeadr Rolex, bred in Denbighshire by last year’s Skipton supreme champion Myfyr Evans, topping her section on price and also claiming joint second top 2,500gns when also joining the Holgates.

Mr Bolland also stood third in the shearling ewe show class with a single January, 2022, Solwaybank Cracker daughter, out of a home-bred Strathbogie Supershot-sired dam, herself a Skipton multi-breeds Suffolk champion who also bred the reserve supreme champion at the Carlisle society sale this year.

Scanned carrying twins to Bridgeview Maximus, the shearling made 2,000gns, as did a second Wharfe shearling ewe by Solwaybank Kenzo, out of another Supershot-got dam, also sold in-lamb to Maximus. Both became further purchases by the Giggleswick Sharps.

Three further gimmer lambs from the same home also sold well at 1,500gns and 1,000gns twice, a successful day for the Wharfe flock also featuring the runner-up in the ewe show class, another Cracker daughter carrying a single to Maximus and making 800gns.

Alan Blair, who runs the Thornfleet flock in Thornton Cleveleys, Blackpool, returned to stand runner-up in the ewe lamb show class with a January, 2021, twin by Irongray Invader, out of a show ewe dam by Strathisla Speedson, which made 1,000gns and also went home in the Holgate trailer.

The annual fixture goes from strength to strength, attracting a packed ringside of potential customers and seeing 57 successful purchasers from the 96 sheep forward, 20 of which achieved four-figure prices, also forming some very strong averages, with 35 shearling ewes levelling at £996 (2022 £742) , 23 ewes £764 (£673) and 28 ewe lambs £637 (£714).

If using pics please credit Adrian Legge Photography

Selling for the top price of 3,000gns Suffolk shearling from T J and C R Boden.
Reserve Suffolk champion from T and J Boden.
Ewe lamb champion from Stephen Bolland.
Ewe champion from J G Douglas.
Suffolk Champion from John Gibb.
Andrea Smith judging the Suffolks.
Andrea Smith judging the Suffolks.
The packed sale ring at the annual CCM Skipton Suffolk females highlight. Auctioneer Ted Ogden is on the rostrum.