Runaway success for Rathbone flock at Skipton Beltex winter highlight The Northern Beltex Society’s fourth winter show and sale of pedigree in-lamb ewes at Skipton Auction Mart produced championship, reserve championship and top price successes for the Rathbone pedigree flock of North Craven father and daughter, Michael and Becky Davis, of Ravenshaw Farm, Eldroth, (Sat, Dec 15) Their title winner was the first prize March-born ewe lamb, Rathbone Anushka, by Holmebeck Tonto, a third prize winner at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, who has bred ram lambs to 3,000gns, out of the home-bred Rathbone Tipsy, a grand-daughter of the Davis family’s highly regarded Rathbone Leader, who has produced shearling rams to 9,000gns and shearling gimmers to 4,800gns.

The victor then progressed to land top price in show of 1,300gns when joining AJ Wood & Sons, of Whittingham, Preston.

The Davis’s reserve champion was their first prize shearling ewe, the March, 2014-born Rathbone Widdow, by Dooley Nissan, shared in partnership with fellow North Craven Beltex breeder Stuart Currie, who runs the Beautry flock in Rathmell.

Out of Rathbone Ribena and scanned in-lamb with twins to Buckles Whizz Kid, bred by the Buckle family in Barras, Kirkby Stephen, and a first prize winner at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, the runner-up became a further AJ Wood & Sons’ purchase at 800gns.

The same vendors, reserve champions last year, achieved 500gns with their second prize ewe lamb, Rathbone Amelia, by Eskdale Tangent, which joined Richard Sunter in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

They also hit 450gns twice for their second and third prize 2009-born aged ewes Rathbone Nico, by Westerdale Leonardo and in-lamb to Drumchapel Scooby, and Rathbone Noelle, by Tewitt Hall Monarch, in-lamb to Holmebeck Tonto. The respective buyers were Ivanhoe Livestock in Bedale and C Clemmit, of Leyburn.

Mr Currie, the 2014 show champion, was again to the fore when presenting the second prize February, 2014-born shearling ewe, Beautry Wilma, another well-bred daughter of Rathbone Leader, out of Beachy Lynn and in-lamb to Matts Ambassador, bred in Northern Ireland by Matt Burleigh, of Enniskillen. The ewe returned to Mr Burleigh at 800gns.

Mr Currie also stepped forward with the first prize aged ewe, the 2012-born Beautry Scent, again by Dooley Nissan, out of Beautry Nancy and scanned carrying a single lamb to Lyonpark Thrust. This sold for 600gns to the same buyer.

While the fixture attracted a small entry of 12 head, trade was well above expectations. Gimmer lambs averaged £462, shearling gimmers £302 and aged ewes £253.

Show judge was Val Brown, of Leyburn, and she and her husband Martin were also in action at the same day’s annual collective sale of individual and small groups of pedigree and cross-bred Continental-sired sheep, when they consigned 39 Beltex that averaged just over £207 per head, selling to a high of 400gns.

Frank Joel, of Westhouse, saw his 96-strong consignment, the majority Beltex-cross, peak at 500gns, averaging a shade above £250 per head, while Procters Farm in Slaidburn sold 14 head at an average of £309, with a top of 420gns. The overall selling average of the 168 in-lamb ewes forward was £247.93.

“This noted sale is now growing in popularity as a source of breeding sheep for customers wishing to produce premium and show quality prime lambs,” commented Craven Cattle Marts’ livestock sales manager Ted Ogden.