Addingham & District Sheep Breeders’ Association staged its 14th annual show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart when local farmer Chris Ryder stepped up with the supreme champion for the second year running, a North of England Mule wether lamb which netted a whopping £1,150 when later sold not once, but multiple times in aid of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, Oxenhope.

The victor was one of many lambs and additional sale items donated by ever-generous local farming communities, along with other kind-hearted individuals, and the West Yorkshire hospice this year benefited to the tune of £4,121 in total.

The fact that this was on a par with last year’s overall figure proved a superb result when bearing in mind restrictions governing the reduced number of people currently allowed in auction mart sale rings in order to ensure safe distancing. Over the years, the seasonal showcase has raised over £50,000 for Sue Ryder Manorlands.

Chris Ryder, who farms with his wife Christine at Scaife Hall Farm, Blubberhouses, again clinched the title and retained the PFS Shield with a Mule by their home-bred DAWYCK K3 stock tup, which also sired three in the couple’s high priced £205 per head pen of 10 at Skipton’s annual opening NEMSA ewe lamb show and sale in September.

The socially distanced show was judged in pens by Laura Robinson and Jenny Dolphin, who, as well as farming in their own rights, both work on the Skipton Auction Mart site for leading agricultural and rural supplies company, Carrs Billington.

When their chosen champion entered the sale ring, it first sold to John and Pauline Turner, of Draughton – they traditionally open the bidding at the charity sale - for £220. As in past years, the Turners again re-donated the lamb and it sold in turn to Gargrave’s Simon Spensley for £220, then Skipton NFU for £240, the Carrs Billington co-judges at £120, the same price to both James Spensley, of Elslack, and mart foreman, Andrew Wright, haulier Geoff Dunn, of Steeton, also chairman of Skipton Charities Gala Committee, and finally for £100 to regular sheep ring buyer Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate.

Take into account that a Mule wether lamb might make around £90 on a normal market day then the total selling price of £1,150 is even more remarkable.

Back in the show class, all prizes fell to North of England Mules. Standing runners-up were Ellis Bros, of Addingham, Moorside, with the 2020 Skipton Christmas hill lamb champions, Ken and Lynne Throup, of Silsden Moor, finishing third and Nick Houseman, of Lindley, Otley, fourth.

Other generous farmers to donate lambs were WP&B Walker, JK Wilson, JA&JC Throup, J Percival, R Mawson, JW Stockdale, Roy Nelson, P Addyman & Son, JC&N Throup, FG Throup, R Lambert (Mile House), Rob Smith, Ashfield Farms, A&SL Throup, D Gray, BW Appleton and M Ryder & Son.

Cakes and other donated goods peaked at £100 for a fruit cake from Eileen Addyman, of Skipton, purchased by pedigree Beltex sheep aficionado Chris Windle, also from Skipton. Other items/cash were also given by R Baxter, PL Metcalfe, J Lofthouse, S Spensley and Ann Atkinson.

Both Addingham & District Sheepbreeders and CCM Auctions, which again waived its selling commission on all the charity lambs, paid warm tribute to mart customers and others who, they said, again came up trumps by not only donating live lambs and additional goods for sale, but also standing up ringside and purchasing all the many items, and in some cases donating them again to be resold.