Matthew Burleigh championship hat-trick at CCM Skipton Beltex winter females shows Northern Ireland’s Matthew Burleigh, who runs the Matt’s pedigree flock at Shanra, near Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, claimed a memorable hat-trick when sending out the title winner for the third consecutive year at The Northern Beltex Society’s eighth annual winter show and sale of pedigree in-lamb ewes at Skipton Auction Mart. (Sat, Dec 14)

Making his annual excursion across the Irish Sea, Mr Burleigh took top honours with his first prize shearling ewe, Matt’s Dragon Fly, a March, 2018-born twin by the Scooby Doo son, Hackney Wonderboy, a 5,000gns acquisition in 2015 and dual winner of both the Balmoral and Irish National Shows, who has bred daughters to 4,000gns.
Out of a dam from Preston-based Harry Wood’s Dean Brow flock by the 12,000gns Matt’s Abracadabra, the victor, like Mr Burleigh’s two previous title winners, was sold in-lamb to Hackney Corker, bred by the Tippetts family in Shifnal, Shropshire. Dragon Fly flew away to the day’s top call of 1,100gns when claimed by the Cornforth family in Tadcaster.
Mr Burleigh, who established his Beltex flock in 2006, then made 900gns with another Wonderboy shearling ewe, the third prize-winning Matt’s Dressed To Kill, out of a Pentland Showman-sired dam. Carrying a single lamb to Ardstewart Angus, she sold locally to Bolton Abbey father and son, Chris and Tom Heseltine, the duo also taking home a third Wonderboy-got Matt’s shearling ewe for 650gns. Mr Burleigh completed a good day when a Murrays Code shearling ewe, again in-lamb to Hackney Corker, made 550gns.
Cumbrian show judge Mark Jennings, of the Hallcrake flock in Selside, remained in the shearling ewe show class for his chosen reserve champion, the second prize winner from North Craven show regulars Mike and Jane Davis, who run the Rathbone flock at Ravenshaw Farm, Eldroth.
Their March, 2018, single lamb, Rathbone Dorothy, is by the home-bred ram, Rathbone Cristiano, used for the first time last year and himself a son of Broxty Supreme. Out of a Woodies Ring A Ding-sired Rathbone ewe, the overall reserve was sold in-lamb to the 3,600gns Airyolland Cobalt, joining David Newhouse at Ghyllstones Farm, Malham, for 550gns.
The Davis’s were prominent among the prizes, also consigning the first and third prize ewe lambs, along with the second and third prize aged ewes. Among their solid run of females was another shearling ewe at 550gns. The Y Bedol A-Team daughter, Rathbone Dainty, again in-lamb to Cobalt, also found a new home in the Yorkshire Dales with Mr Newhouse.
The couple’s daughter, Becki Dakin, and husband, Nathan, who run their own Panbeck flock in Hellifield, won the aged ewe class with Panbeck Carly, a March, 2017, daughter of Rathbone Bob Marley. Again keeping it in the family, she was sold in-lamb due March to the Rathbone flock’s Belvoir View Derminator, joining William Peill in Whittington, Carnforth, at 350gns.
The second prize ewe lamb also sold well at 400gns. It was consigned by Garry and Laura Robinson, who run the Garla flock in Embsay. Their February-born Garla Eclair, by Inveresk Centurion, out of a Airyollad ewe, joined SH Stott, of Sowerby Bridge.
The 27 pedigree Beltex females forward achieved a 92.5% clearance rate, with in-lamb sheep averaging £413 and ewe lambs £233 (2018 £273). Shearling gimmers averaged £423.47 (£465) and aged ewes £320.25 (£336).
Show classes were sponsored by agricultural asset finance company Mulberry Farming, represented by Hannah Chalmers, and NutriGrOw.
Westhouse top price at support sale of females
The Beltex fixture again ran alongside the annual winter collective sale of Continental-sired ewes, sold as individual and small groups, being mainly three-quarters bred and pure-bred sheep suitable for show lamb production.
Frank Joel and Jack Edmondson, from Westhouse, led the sale at 500gns with a Texel Beltex-cross 1 crop ewe sold carrying twins to a home-bred Ingleborough View ram by the 3,000gns Tercrosset Blackmail. It was claimed by Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside. The same partnership saw solid trade for smart sorts, with entries carrying twins in good demand and a further eight lots selling from 300gns to 380gns.
The Eldroth Davis’s were again in action with a nice run of Dutch Texel sheep, the best of which were in-lamb shearlings at 480gns and 420gns.Trawden’s John Wood sold a consignment of Blue Texels, with five in-lamb sheep achieving 400gns or more and ewe lambs selling to 280gns.
Anthony and Emma Thompson, from Foulridge, presented a great run of 40 cross-bred sheep, topping at 400gns for a pure Beltex in-lamb shearling and 380gns for another pure Beltex, then 350gns for a pair of Beltex-cross and 350gns again for a brace of Beltex Charollais-cross.
The collective sale attracted an entry of 160 head, with in-lamb females averaging £256 and ewe lambs £169.