SKIPTON Auction Mart’s annual Texel show and sale double-header, the third for the Blue Texel Sheep Society, the second for the Badger Face Texel Sheep Society, again generated widespread interest across the two breeds, which continue to grow in popularity. (Sat, Sep 9)

It was the Blue Texel sale that produced the leading prices, top call of 3,500gns falling to the first prize ram lamb, male and supreme champion from Welsh breeders Martin and Gemma Sivill’s Glanrafon Blue flock in Tremeirchion St Asaph, Denbighshire.

Their Glanrafon Blues Honest Nova, a January-born single by Cleenagh Fandabadosey, himself acquired as a ram lamb two years ago, out of a home-bred Joe’s Andrew-sired dam, was purchased by well-known Accrington retail butcher George Cropper for three-year-old grandson Barney Mellin, whose parents, John and Clare, farm in Long Preston and are themselves familiar faces at the North Yorkshire venue. Young Barney already has his own Blue Texel and Dutch Texel flock, boosted again thanks to his grandfather.

The Sivills, who stood overall reserve champions last year, also clinched the 2023 female championship with their first prize shearling ewe by the same sire as their title winner, again out of a home-bred ewe, making 1,400gns when joining repeat fixture buyer Joanne Lyth, of Stacksteads, Bacup The same purchaser also paid second top call of 2,000gns, also leading price for a female, for the third prize shearling ewe, a March, 2022, Dragon Fab twin daughter from Scottish fixture regulars, David and Jennifer Alexander, who run the Millside flock on the 200-acre Millside Farm at Galston in Ayrshire and constantly figure among the leading prices at Skipton. The Alexanders also sold a second fully home-bred Millside gimmer shearling at 1,400gns to Leeming Bar’s T Patchett, adding another 1,000gns sale.

Show judge Mark Stephenson, of Londesborough Blues, near York, tapped out his first prize aged ram as reserve male and overall reserve champion. It came from Cumbria’s Allan and Christine Watson, and daughter Ruth, who run the Tyke’s flock in Sandwith, Whitehaven. Their February, 2021, 2-shear Sunnybank Freddy, by an imported ram, was acquired two years ago from breeder Henry Jewitt, progressed to head the aged ram prices at 1,100gns when joining fellow vendor Elsa McKechnie’s local Silver Birch flock in Wigglesworth.

The Watsons reinvested their earnings when paying 1,100gns for the third prize ram lamb from Max Clough, who runs the Heads flock at Snape, Pickering. His February-born single is by Raindale Godfather, the dam another Sunnybank ewe. Mr Clough also made 1,000gns with a second February-born ram lamb, the sixth prize winner, Heads Hercules, by Hunters Grand Prix, out of a home-bred Dragons Dazzler-sired dam. This joined Kirkby Stephen’s Hannah Pedley, who judged the same day’s Badger Face Texel show.

The first prize ewe lamb from Angus Brisbane, of the Auchmantle flock in Castle Kennedy, Stranraer, Auchmantle Hanky Panky, a February-born Pistyll Elite daughter, was another 1,100gns performer when falling to R Hughes & Son, of Angram in Richmondshire.

The same purchaser also paid the same price for the sixth prize shearling ewe from Stasa Moyes and partner Stuart Wood, of the Saltire Blue flock near Skene in Aberdeenshire. Saltire Blue Girl Power is a January, 2022, daughter of the imported Saltire Blue Hulk, out of one of the flock’s foundation ewes.

The first prize aged ewe and reserve female champion from Philip and Laura Melland, who run the Morridge flock near Leek in Staffordshire, Morridge Conney, a 2018 daughter of Hackney Your Joking, bred in Shropshire by Paul Tippett, made 400gns.

Top prices and averages: Aged Rams to 1100gns (av £665), Shearling Rams to 600gns (av £403), Lamb Rams to 3500gns (av £1190), Aged Ewes to 400gns (av £304), Shearling Ewes to 2000gns (av £565), Ewe Lambs to 300gns (av £224).

Bluestone flock tops Badger Face at 1,700gns The Gloucestershire-based Bluestone flock of Nina Smith, from Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, claimed top price of 1,700gns in the Badger Face Texel sale with her fourth prize shearling ram, Bluestone Dallas, a March, 2022, son of Turbo Das Gunner from a home-bred ewe. The Welsh buyers were the Evans family, from Llanrwst, Conwy.

The same home was also responsible for the joint leading price 1,100gns female, the first prize aged ewe and reserve female champion, Bluestone Coco, a February, 2021, daughter of Cleenagh Hugo Boss from an imported Turbo Blue ewe. This also found a new home in Wales with Huw Williams, of Llandeillo, Carmarthenshire.

Hitting 1,300gns was the first prize shearling ram and reserve male champion from Andrew Barrett’s Baz’s flock in Long Drax, Selby, with Baz’s Dark Destroyer, born February, 2022, to Tamtain Boxer from a Cleenagh Paddy Power ewe, going to Bedale with William Anderson Farmers Ltd. The same vendor also claimed 600gns with his second prize shearling ram, another Boxer son.

The other joint top 1,100gns female price fell to the first prize shearling ewe and supreme champion from Scotland’s Stuart Wood, who runs the Woodies flock in Skene, Aberdeenshire. His March, 2022, twin by the imported sire, Van Deijne, from a Boekema ewe, was claimed by the show judge, Kirkby Stephen’s Hannah Pedley.

The 2022 reserve champions, Derbyshire father and son, Dean and Jayden Clamp, who run the Riverside flock near Ashbourne, again picked up multiple tickets, including first, third and fourth in the ram lamb show class.

The red rosette winner, Riverside Eskil, by Ingst Batman, reserve male champion at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, again out of a Sunybank dam, topped at 750gns to Daniel Creighton, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, the other two, both sons of their 2023 Royal Welsh overall champion, Riverside Delboy, making 450gns and 250gns.The Clamps also consigned the first and second prize ewe lambs, both Batman daughters making 350gns and 420gns respectively.

Also making 450gns was the third prize ram lamb from 2022 Skipton champion Andrew Bailey, who runs the Baileys flock in Chipping, Preston. His Baileys Everest, by the multiple prize-winning tup, Llwyn Derw Conan, also responsible for last year’s title winner, had itself done well in the show arena this year, winning at both Cheshire and Garstang and standing runner-up at the Royal Lancashire.

To prices and averages: Shearling Rams to 1700gns (av £1260), Lamb Rams to 750gns (av £425), Aged Ewes to 1100gns (av £1155), Shearling Ewes to 1100gns (av £623), Ewe Lambs to 420gns (av £404).