Show principals best on price at Skipton Beltex winter highlight Both the champion and the reserve champion went on to head the selling prices, though in reverse order, at The Northern Beltex Society’s sixth annual winter show and sale of pedigree in-lamb ewes at Skipton Auction Mart. (Sat, Dec 9)

The title winner was the first prize shearling ewe from Irish breeder Matthew Burleigh’s Matt’s pedigree flock in Shanra, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, with his Matt’s Bumble Bee, one of March, 2016-born triplets to Kingledores Apollo, bred in Biggar by Richard Wood and acquired for 5,580gns when male, and reserve supreme champion at Carlisle in August, 2015.

In fact, Mr Burleigh, who established his Beltex flock in 2006 and now runs 55 pure-bred ewes, also claimed the 2017 Carlisle in-lamb championship the previous day with an entry by the same sire, before travelling down to take in the Skipton fixture as a first-time exhibitor.

He landed his second title in consecutive days with his home-bred shearling ewe, out of Matt’s Waylan, and scanned carrying a single lamb to Hackney Corker, bred in Shifnal, Shropshire, by the Tippetts family. The victor sold for second top price of 1,050gns to the show judge, Sue Wilkinson, who runs the Langlands pedigree flock in Barningham, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Mr Burleigh also sold four more shearling ewes, among them another four-figure performer at 1,000gns, the home-bred March, 2016, Matt’s Beyonce, by Hackney Wonderboy and scanned carrying twins, again to Hackney Corker. The buyers were RM Cornforth & Sons in Tadcaster. The three other Matt’s flock shearling ewes made 800gns, 700gns and 650gns.

However, it was the reserve champion, the second prize shearling ewe from local breeders Stuart and Gail Currie’s Beautry flock in Rathmell which took top call on price at 1,300gns when claimed by Red Rose breeder Andrew Wood, of Whittingham, near Preston.

Coincidentally, Beautry Brany was also out of Matt’s flock breeding, being a February, 2016, daughter of Matt’s Ambassador, purchased by the Curries a couple of years ago and responsible for shearling ewes to 2,500gns.

Out of Beautry Shannon and scanned carrying a single lamb to Dean Brow Carlos, bred by Harry Wood in Dutton, near Preston, the top price performer was shown by stockwoman Rebecca Braithwaite, who has worked for the Currie family for three years.

The Curries were also responsible for the third prize shearling ewe, the home-bred Beautry Beyonce, by the Clary Supersonic son, Lyonpark Thrust, and also in-lamb to Carlos. She made 750gns when falling to 23-year-old Rebecca, who also runs her own Sovereign pedigree Beltex flock at Hill Top Farm, Bentham. She has sold ram lambs to 2,000gns.

For good measure, the Curries’ Beautry House holding also chipped in with the first and second prize February-born ewe lambs, Cynthia and Claret, the former by Lyonpark Thrust, the latter by Cynin Amazon, which made 280gns and 200gns respectively.

The 2015 Skipton champions, North Craven father and daughter, Michael and Becky Davis, who run the Rathbone pedigree flock at Ravenshaw Farm, Eldroth, made 550gns with a home-bred March, 2016, shearling ewe, Rathbone Bumblebee, by Holmebeck Tonto and scanned in-lamb to the 3,000gns Kingledores Adonis, purchased as a first prize aged ram earlier this year.

The Davis’s also picked up rosettes, presenting both the first and second prize ewes, with the latter, a four-year-old home bred daughter of Drumpchapel Scooby, making 300gns, along with the third prize ewe lamb, a home-bred daughter of Holmebeck Tonto, which made 200gns.

Shearling gimmers among the 19-strong entry sold well to produce an overall selling average of £721 per head, compared to the previous year’s £574. Aged ewes averaged £273 and gimmer lambs £252. Show sponsor was JG Animal Health.