SKIPTON Auction Mart’s annual multi-breeds sheep showcase for pedigree and pure-bred rams and females attracted a turnout of 749 head, with solid trade again seen across both the MVA and non-MVA sections, most notably the latter. (Friday, Sept 29)

NON MV CONTINENTAL: Trade in the non MV section was buzzing from start to finish, with 418 rams forward, 389 finding new homes at 93% clearance and 53 selling at four-figure prices. For the third year running, top price of the entire day fell to Geoff and Ann Robinson, Pannal, Harrogate, with a 2,400gns Beltex/Texel cross shearling ram by a home-bred tup, himself by a Procters Farm ram purchased in 2019. The top price performer went to Northumberland with BD Milburn, Morpeth. The Robinsons, who again arrived with their annual consignment of Texel, Beltex and Charollais-cross rams, also sold others to 1,600gns.

Seth Blakey, Bolton-by-Bowland, made 2,000gns, 1,800gns and 1,400gns from a tremendous pen of Dutch shearling rams, while Simon and Audrey Taylor, Upper Cumberworth, Huddersfield, brought rams with power and carcass to see the best of their run make 1,800gns and 1,600gns.

Rams from Northern Ireland brother and sister, Willie and Libby McAllister, Ballymena, are regularly in demand at the annual highlight and this year was no exception, with a brace at 1,800gns each.

From a pure run, Beltex champions were Calderdale husband and wife, Adrian and Kathryn Leach, Hebden Bridge, with a shearling ram, the third prize winner, another shearling, coming from nine-year-old son Charlie’s own flock. Both were by the Scottish-bred Padkin Full Monty, also responsible for the Leach family’s supreme and reserve supreme champions at Skipton’s annual Christmas prime lambs showcase last November, as well as Charlie’s young handlers’ champion.

And it was he who earned the bragging rights when topping at 1,700gns to the Pears family, Flash House Farms, Penistone, ahead of his parents’ 1,600gns sale of the champion to judge Tom Carlisle, Cracoe. Another ram from the same home made 1,400gns.

Ellis Bros, Addingham Moorside, stood runners-up with a shearling ram by an Airyolland tup, out of a Buckles-bred ewe, which made 900gns, bettered at 1,600gns by a second shearling from the same home claimed by Nathan and Sinead Wade, Cononley, a price equalled by Simon Bennett, Silsden Moor. Ellis Bros also chipped in with a 1,400gns ram, matched by Cumbria’s James and Gillian Whiteford, Tercrosset flock, Brampton, with one from their annual consignment of quality crossing rams.

Plenty of rams with good skins and bone made 800-1,500gns, with a commercial ram generally 350-700gns. Consignment averages were led by Seth Blakey at £1,395, followed by the Taylors at £1,277, the McAllisters £1,187 and Ellis Bros £1,036.

The Continental-x show class fell to another Cumbrian family, the Priestleys, Brontemoor flock, Kirkcambeck, with a Beltex shearling ram by the home-bred Brontemoor Dingo Dollar, out of a Beltex-x-Texel ewe by tup bred by the Ballymena McAllisters. It made 700gns to AJ Taylor, Broughton.

MVA & NON MVA SUFFOLK: A strong trade for quality tups saw buyers battling for the best shearlings and lambs, and plenty more with power could have been sold, several prospective purchasers leaving empty handed. Top call of 1,200gns fell to the section champion, the first prize ram lamb from Stephen Bolland, Wharfe flock, Bolton Abbey, by Bridgeview Maximus, a 2,300gns ram acquired last year, out of a home-bred ewe by Strathbogie Supershot. The full ET brother to a reserve supreme champion lamb returned to Bolton Abbey with fellow breeder James Foster. A second Bolland tup made 1,100gns, two others 1,000gns, the same four-figure price falling to a further two Wharfe ram lambs.

Defending champion, Alistair Lawn, Skipton, stood reserve with his first prize shearling ram sired by a John Elliot Roxbough Mains Kelso tup, making 1,050gns, a price matched by another from fellow Skipton breeder T Webster.

Plenty of shearling tups sold at 820-1,000gns, the next grade 400-650gns, the section averaging £685. Ram lambs, which averaged £469, again met a strong trade, good strong lambs with power and skins away at 550-800gns, younger goods and next grade tups 300-450gns. Aged rams averaged £310.

MV SECTION TEXEL: Texel champion was a shearling ram from Red Rose husband and wife, Alex and Gemma Brown, Brookhill flock, Tockholes, Darwen, established in 1982 and currently with a small holding of 12 breeding ewes. Their Scottish-bred Strathbogie Fender, acquired last year and into his second breeding season, sold for section top 1,750gns to Edward Fort, Silsden Moor. The Browns also finished runner-up in the ram lamb show class, this one also heading its section at 550gns.

Defending champion Phil Weaver, Empire flock, Caunton, Newark, was again among the prizes, finishing third in the shearling ram class, his tup making 1,600gns to M&A Wood, Crow Edge, Barnsley, plus another at 1,450gns.

Shearling ram trade proved to be very good, the section average £59 up on the year at £695. Strong rams were in demand throughout, with top prices nudging or comfortably into four figures. CD Cornthwaite, Bolton-by-Bowland, sold a quartet to1,600gns, plus ram lambs to 550gns, the Kirklees Taylors again doing well in this section, selling shearlings at 1,100gns and 1,050gns, with two others at 1,000gns from Graham Taylor, Thirsk, and D Pawson & Sons, Blackburn.

Ram lambs also recorded an increase of £19 on the year to level at £369. From Cumbria, Richard Wilson, Eden Valley Texels, Appleby, consigned the first and third prize ram lambs, among a trio sold for 450gns, following up with the runner-up in the shearling ram class, a 900gns sale.

North Craven’s Jill Perrings, Pergill flock, Giggleswick, stood first and second in the females show class with shearling ewes, the red rosette winner also chosen as overall reserve champion. By a Strathbogie tup, she made 420gns. Shearling ewes averaged £431, again well up on the previous year’s £283.

CHAROLLAIS: From Kirklees and making his multi-breeds debut, Richard Bamforth, Denby Dale, was crowned section champion with his first prize ram lamb, a home-bred son of the Shropshire-bred Boyo Apache, out of a Ballyhibben Soft Touch-sired dam. It made 400gns when joining Hounslow Urban Farm, Feltham, West London.

Breed stalwarts Charles and Valerie Marwood, Foulrice flock, Whenby, claimed the reserve championship with their first prize shearling ram, a son of the Somerset-bred Mendip Wagner, out of a Sheldon Supreme daughter. The selling price was 420gns, the buyer WA Ward, Ripley.

The Foulrice consignment topped at 600gns for a Dutch Texel-x- Charollais shearling ram claimed by Baggerwood Farm, Thorgoland, while the Marwoods’ daughter, Deborah Whitcher, Galtres flock, Skewsby, also sold rams to 600gns to Andy Rigby, Slaidburn. Shearling rams averaged £454 and ram lambs £389.

ZWARTBLE: The 2022 reserve champion, Harry Parsons, Settle, stepped up on his return this year to take championship honours with his first prize ram lamb, and while this returned home the same vendor made 190gns section top with his third prize winner, going to JH Baker, Salterforth. The second prize ram lamb and reserve champion from Samantha Hird, Austwick, a son of the Sheila Mason-bred Keasden Head Dave, sold for 80gns, with rams averaging £84.

OTHER MVA CONTINENTAL Other MV accredited sheep, the majority Continental-x consignments, were in reasonable demand, with most sold and the largest proportion making over 400gns to a top of 650gns for a Dutch spotted shearling tup from Cannon Hall Farms, Barnsley. A small number of females achieved full clearance, Samantha Hird, Austwick, topping with a £189 Beltex ewe.

Show sponsors were British Wool Marketing Board, Top Tags Animal ID, Denton Cars, Agri Lloyd and R Jowett Casualty & Fallenstock.