Huntley’s buys reserve champion prime lambs for Christmas Huntley’s Country Stores in Samlesbury will be serving up top-notch prime lamb cuts in its butchery department this Christmas after the award-winning Whalley Road outlet snapped up the reserve supreme champions in the annual Christmas prime lamb show at Skipton Auction Mart. (Sun, Nov 30) The trio of 41kg Beltex-cross lambs, first prize winners in the 40kg or more Continental-cross trimmed class, were shown by Ian and Mary Lancaster, of Coldcoats Farm, Wiswell, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, and their 14-year-old son Richard, who attends Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe.

The seasonal highlight for the region’s farmers, leading independent retail butchers and meat wholesalers again proved a runaway success, with a turnout of top-quality lambs, judged by Harry Wood, who buys for wholesale meats firm Bowland Foods in Preston.

He went to £160 per head to secure the reserve supreme champions purposely for Huntley’s Farm Shop, where his brother Thomas runs the butchery department. 

They will be prepared specially for its customers’ Christmas tables, utilising every single bit of each lamb to produce succulent roasts, lamb legs and shoulders, racks of lamb, cutlets, chops, noisettes,  - and more. 

Thomas Wood, 35, cut his teeth in the butchery trade at Alpe’s Butchers in Clitheroe, later spending 13 years with his father Jimmy at Bowland Foods, learning all aspects of the wholesale trade, before taking over the reins at Huntley’s Farm Shop. 

He said: “Absolutely nothing will go to waste. Skipton’s prestigious Christmas primestock shows are an annual highlight for independent family-run butchers like ourselves. We are always seeking to source the cream of the region’s primestock from leading local farmers. 

“We want the best and tastiest meat available – and we want to sell it at family-friendly prices that won’t break the bank, which we regard as very important at this time of year.”  

Huntley’s Country Stores, a former East Lancashire Retailer of the Year, has since 2012 been run by local farmers Harry and Lynn Wilson.


The pick of the Texel entries, the 39kg third prize winners in a trimmed Continental-x class, was shown by Richard and Mark Ireland, of Whalley, selling for £104 each to butcher Paul Leadbeater for his shop in Cross Roads, near Keighley.