A TRIO of sheep displaying all the vivid colours of the rainbow has raised £2,100 for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which supports families caring for a seriously ill child, after being sold at a livestock auction.

The three Cheviot ewes were donated by Roger Charnley, from Grassington, to be sold at his local auction mart in Skipton, where they went under the hammer in the sale ring no less than ten times after first being bought, then re-offered for sale by generous farmers.

Roger, 49, whose own stock-in-trade is dry stone walling – he’s been doing it in the Yorkshire Dales and beyond for some 30 years - is also a part-time, though dyed-in-the-wool sheep breeding aficionado and came up with the novel idea of selling his rainbow-coloured sheep in aid of a deserving charity.

And farmers at the ringside didn’t feel in any way fleeced as they supported such a worthy case. The multi-coloured threesome first fell to Craven Cattle Marts, which also waved its usual commission on sales, followed by Chris Harker, then David Airey, Chris Smith, Robert Metcalfe, Will Wildman, young Barney Mellin, David Plews and Jack Foster, before finishing off with Will Wildman again and heading back to the Dales and his farm in Kirkby Malham.

Will says he will put the sheep out to grass, then bring them back to Skipton Auction Mart later this year, to again be sold in aid of charity.

Oonagh Goodman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Rainbow Trust, said: “What a fantastically quirky fundraiser to help families caring for a seriously ill child. We are incredibly grateful to Farmer Roger for donating his colourful rainbow sheep and to CCM Auctions for their support.

“The money raised will help Rainbow Trust to support families to make the most of the precious time they have together. Rainbow Trust has nine Care Teams of Family Support Workers across England, including the North East and Greater Manchester helping families at home, in the community and in hospital.”