Victors take top prices at CCM Skipton rams showcase The annual ‘Craven Continentals’ breeding sheep fixture at Skipton Auction Mart featured standalone shows for both Suffolk and Continental rams of all breeds, with the victors in both going on to head the prices in their respective sections. (Friday, Aug 23)

Champion in the mainsteam Suffolk show classes was a ram lamb from mother and daughter, Glynis and Jane Soulsby’s Williamsgill pedigree flock in Temple Sowerby, Penrith. They had travelled down from Cumbria with some quality tups after taking note of increasing demand at the North Yorkshire venue for Suffolk-bred store lambs.
The title-winner is a home-bred by Strathbogie Invictus, acquired two years ago from Scottish breeder James C Innes, of Huntly, Aberdeenshire, for 1,400gns, which now looks an extremely good buy considering the Soulsbys have since sold ram lambs by the same sire to 4,200gns.
Fresh from the field, the champion found a new home across the border in Pendle with a brand-new Suffolk breeder, Amanda Fitton, of Hughwood Farm, Roughlee, who also paid £400 at the same day’s sale of breeding ewes for a Suffolk gimmer lamb from Pamela Lupton, of Galphay, Ripon.
Mrs Fitton will use her two purchases as the foundation for her new breeding flock and is hoping to show pedigree Suffolks in the future. Her sheep farmer husband David runs a 50-strong flock of breeding ewes, among them Charollais and North of England Mules.
Mrs Soulsby’s Suffolk flock, which currently comprises 35 breeding ewes, will next year celebrate its landmark 30th anniversary. “It is my hobby,” she said, hoping for further success in the future now that she has been joined by her daughter.
Strathbogie bloodlines also figured in the reserve champion Suffolk, the second prize ram lamb from local breeder Stephen Bolland, who runs the Wharfe flock, currently with 16 breeding ewes on the ground, in Bolton Abbey.
He acquired the sire, Strathbogie Supershot, last year from Mr Innes, who also bred the 2018 Suffolk Sheep Society Sire of Year. The Skipton reserve champion sold for 320gns to show judge Adam Staveley, of Cowling. Mr Bolland also sold a further ram lamb at 320gns, plus another at 350gns.
Suffolk ram lambs traded to an overall average of £336, Mrs M Brown, of Clifton, Otley, achieving a 320gns sale, while Steeton’s Mark Evans sold a brace at 300gns.
Like the ram lambs, Suffolk shearling rams sold to a top of 650gns, this for the third prize winner from Galphay’s Pamela Lupton, claimed by Cowling’s Andrew Ogden. Mrs Lupton sold another shrearling ram for 420gns, completing a good day when also heading the Suffolk female prices with a £540 gimmer lamb bought by Thomas Walmsley, of Haverah Park, Harrogate.
The second prize shearling ram from RS Morphet, of Stainburn, made 250gns, with a trio of Suffolk shearling rams from South Yorkshire’s John Key, who runs the Midhope flock in, Midhopestones, Penistone, doing well at 450gns each. The section selling average was £332.
In the Continental rams show class, judged by Matt Mason, from Appletreewick, the victor was a Texel shearling from Ann Robinson’s commercial flock, currently running some 200 ewes, at Woodcock Hill Farm, Pannal, Harrogate. By a home-bred tup, the victor achieved the day’s top price of 950gns when joining D&A Livestock in Haverah Park.
Alan Harker, of Long Preston, sold his sold his third prize winner, another Texel, for an eye-catching 700gns, plus another at 520gns. The second prize Continental ram, a Beltex from Welsh vendor DP Roberts, of Denbigh, was one of two from the same home that made 300gns, with another at 250gns.
A Texel brace from Mark Crabtree, of Kettlesing, did well at 620gns and 550gns, with Texel shearling rams averaging £443 overall. Mr Crabtree also claimed top price of 400gns in the Charollais classes with a shearling ram, while the top price Charollais ram lamb from J Danforth, of Tadcaster, made 350gns. Shearling rams averaged £367 and ram lambs £287.
A total of 130 rams was penned for sale for what is now regarded as a very worthwhile annual fixture in the Skipton sales calendar, with a selective crowd at the ringside including plenty of fresh faces.
Also forward were 543 breeding ewes, the sale for which was well supported and carried on a similar trade to the same week’s opening gimmer shearling fixture, with all classes in strong demand.
The day began with a reduction sale from the Watson family’s Gillians Laithe Texel flock in Hellifield, with their run of sheep topping at £600 for a 2 shear ewe and most selling from £200 to £300 each.
Half bred ewes were a sharp trade, young North of England Mules finding favour when selling to £140 and £130 for 2 shears from the Coates family in Coniston Cold, with rams co-judge Matt Mason also making £128per head with a pen of home-bred shearlings that had reared lambs.
Older Mules made to £120 for 3 crop correct from Peter Houseman, of Padside, while older correct sheep ranged from around £80 up to £105 for 4 shear from Mike Allen, of Staithes.
Continental and Suffolk crosses were short of requirements and more could have been sold, with £100 to £130 the range for flock aged cross-bred ewes, and Suffolk crosses trading to £140 for a pen from John Turner, of Draughton.
*Skipton Auction Mart has announced that it will stage a new show and sale for pedigree Suffolk females on Saturday, November 2. Details are available from the office.