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.

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 sold locally to Martin Sharp, JM&EL Sharp, Giggleswick, while claiming 2,500gns was the overall reserve, going to Lancashire with Rachael Cook, of Ingleby Suffolks.

The other two shearlings in the Sportsmans pen both made 2,000gns, one joining the Holgate family, Rathmell, who made eight acquisitions among the leading prices, the other to Helen Wareing, Kirkby-in-Furness.

Supreme champion when travelling from Aberdeenshire to make his debut at the winter highlight was John Gibb, Cairnton flock, near Techmuiry, Fraserburgh, with his 1st prize Moorsley shearling ewe 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 show judge Andrea Smith, Stanworth Suffolks, Withnell, she later backed her decision when claiming her chosen supreme for 1,800gns.

Mr Gibb also stood 3rd in the ewe lamb show class with a daughter of the 5,500gns Frongoy Firepower, out of a dam sired by Cairness Agent, bred by his uncle Jimmy Douglas. It sold for 1,200gns to Kathryn Leach, Hebden Bridge, who also paid 550gns for a second Cairnton shearling ewe as a foundation for her new Cragside Suffolks flock.

Jimmy Douglas runs the Cairness flock in the same parish as his nephew and was also among the prizes on debut when consigning the 1st prize ewe, by Mr Gibb’s own Cairnton Bullseye, scanned carrying twins to Balvenie. This, too, made 1,200gns, the 3rd prize winner from the same home and mother of the red rosette winner making 1,000gns. Both were among the Holgate purchases.

Stephen Bolland, Wharfe flock, Bolton Abbey, was again a multiple prize winner, among them the 1st prize ewe lamb, a home-bred by Solwaybank Cracker, out of a Wharfe dam by Rhaeadr Rolex, topping her section on price and claiming joint second top 2,500gns when also joining the Holgates. Two further shearling ewes from the same home hit 2,000gns, both to the Giggleswick Sharps.

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).

A more detailed report is posted online.