Peter Woof top dog on price at Skipton pedigree Texel highlight
Ladies Day double for principal honours
A top call of 2,600gns for a ram lamb, a 2,000gns high for a female, coupled with a ‘Ladies Day’ supreme and reserve supreme championship double, were highlights of the 35th annual two-day show and sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart.
It was the February-born third prize recorded ram lamb, Stainton Yackety Yack, from Cumbrian breeder Peter Woof’s Stainton flock at Storth End Farm, near Kendal, that did all the talking in the sale ring when heading the field on price at the breed highlight.
He is by the Drumpark Unique son, Hexel Wildcard, a 32,000gns acquisition last year by Mr Woof, whose first crop of lambs from him have done tremendously well this year, selling to a top of 7,000gns for a ram lamb, with his sons averaging around 3,000gns.
Out of a Sportsmans Tremendous 11 daughter, the Skipton frontrunner found a new home in Weardale with father and son, Nicholas and Edward Peart, who trade as A Peart & Son at Woodcroft Farm, Frosterley.
The traditional hill livestock farm has been in the hands of the Peart family since 1947. They run the Woodcroft pedigree Blue Faced Leicester flock and also keep a number of pure-bred Texels, on whom their new acquisition has already been put to work.
He will also service their commercial flock. Nicholas Peart explained: “The main reason we bought him was for his very fine skin. He will also go to our Texel-cross and Mule ewes. We will keep all the gimmer lambs by him to come in as replacement breeding stock.”
In addition, the Peats, who also run a beef suckler herd, picked up five shearling ewes at Skipton to supplement their flock
The shearling ram section was again dominated by local breeder David Towell’s Moor Top flock based at the farm of the same name on Glusburn Moor, when bids of 2,300gns and 2,200gns secured a brace of his shearling rams both by Moor Top VIP, who himself made 3,000gns when sold as a shearling at the 2015 Skipton sale.
VIP’s sire is the renowned Wigglesworth Spellbound, purchased at Skipton four years ago by Mr Towell and who has since performed with great distinction for the breeder, also being responsible for both his supreme champion and top price shearling rams at last year’s Skipton Texel highlight.
Leading the way for Mr Towell at the latest renewal was the 2,300gns February, 2015, Moor Top Waterloo, out of a Moor Top Thunder-bred ewe, which joined Mick Gamble and Sarah Rigg, who run Sharplaw Farms in Kelso, and will go to work on their flock of 70 pedigree Texel ewes.
The second highlight for Mr Towell was his 2,200gns Moor Top Windfall, a March, 2015, son of a Moor Top Outlaw-sired ewe. This one went to AJ Meredith, of Kidderminster.
Mr Towell consigned eight shearling ram grandsons of Wigglesworth Spellbound and all sold well to realise a combined total of 10,000gns for the South Craven breeder.
The Hull House flock of John and Linda Mellin in Hellifield was again to the fore, with two shearling rams by the Brackenridge Strongbow son, Langside Thunderbird, catching the eye. Leading the way at 1,900gns was Hull House Winner, bred from a Hull House Rothschild ewe, which joined Richard Wilson’s Crimple Head flock in Beckwithshaw, Harrogate.
Next best at 1,600gns was Hull House Wolverine, out of a Castleknowe Matchmaker ewe, which travelled the short distance to Wharfedale when joining Clifton’s Richard Crabtree.
Peter Woof also secured a class victory with his first prize ram lamb, the February-born Stainton Yellow Ribbon, by the Anglezarko Uno son, Eden Valley Warrior King, who Mr Woof part shares with owner, Richard Wilson, of Eden Valley Texels.
The red rosette winner’s own Stainton Ricochet-sired dam was unbeaten in the show arena, gaining multiple championship successes, and her son is also making an impact, having won his class at this year’s Westmoreland Show. Yellow Ribbon tied up a 900gns selling price when purchased by DD,ME&GE Todd, of Middleton, Sedbergh.
Mr Woof was also on song in the female section, achieving 950gns with his fifth prize shearling ewe, an Anglezarke Uno daughter, out of a Carran Sutherland’s Star ewe. She joined W Peill, of Whittington in the Lune Valley.
Standing supreme champion was the first prize shearling ram and male champion from Jennifer Aiken, who was achieving by far her biggest success to date in the show arena with her Coniston flock, which is based in Wennington, near Lancaster, and was established around a decade ago.
“It’s the absolute pinnacle of my breeding career to date,” said Mrs Aiken, who was winning her first-ever supreme championship on what was her debut in the show arena at the Skipton breed showcase.
One of the first to offer congratulations was her husband, Jeff Aiken, who is flock manager for Procters Farm in Slaidburn, who themselves scooped the 2014 Skipton Texel supreme championship with a ram lamb and also had a hand in the breeding of this year’s title winner.
Mrs Aiken’s February, 2015-born Coniston White Knight is by the Foyle View Superstar son, Scrogtonhead U Stoater, a 35,000gns acquisition by Procters Farm in 2014. Out of a home-bred ewe by Cairnam Talisman, the victor sold for 1,100gns to DA Lindow, of Askham-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Show judge Jonathan Watson, who runs Brijon Texels near Berwick-Upon-Tweed, noted that his chosen champion had shown extremely well, exhibiting a great deal of presence. He said the title winner just pipped his overall reserve supreme champion, a shearling ewe “with a tremendous back and gigots” from the local Wigglesworth Texel flock of mother and daughter, Freda Booth and Helen Keighley.
The February, 2015, daughter of Kaker Mill Captain, acquired two years ago by the Booth family and used to good effect over the past two breeding seasons, is out of an ewe by Procters Pay As You Go, who is himself by the Booths’ Wigglesworth Spellbound, a ram that has done so well since joining David Towell’s Moor Top flock. The Booths’ sold their 2016 reserve supreme for 800gns to T&A Walton, of Oakenshaw in County Durham.
Reserve champion male was the first prize recorded ram lamb from Sam and Sarah Beachell’s East Yorkshire-based Samsar pedigree flock at Beswick Hall, near Driffield. Their February-born Samsar Yankee, who is indexed in the top 10% of the breed, was second in class at this year’s Driffield Show.
He is an embryo son of Lancashire breeder David Houghton’s 11,000gns Tophill Union Jack – the semen came from the ram’s current owner, Procters Farm, courtesy of Jeff Aiken – out of a Stonebridge ewe sired by Oldfield Upperclass. The promising youngster made 850gns when falling to JK Townley, of Caton, Lancaster.
The Signet Recorded shearling ram show class produced a victory for County Durham father and son, Steven and Douglas Nesbitt, who run the Alwent flock at Winston, near Darlington, with a May, 2015, entry by Nunstainton Usain, purchased when becoming the third prize ram lamb at the corresponding 2013 Skipton sale. Out of a Drinkstone-sired ewe, the late born shearling sold for 1,600gns to M Gray, of Morpeth.
Reserve female champion was the second prize shearling ewe from the Pergill flock of local breeders Margaret and Jill Perrings, of Rathmell. The February, 2015, daughter of Tamnamoney Ubank, acquired as a lamb from Northern Ireland breeder Roger Strawbridge and out of a Garngour Patriot-sired ewe, made 600gns when falling to a local buyer, Giggleswick’s Daniel Taylor.
The Friday evening sale of females produced a top price of 2,000gns for the third prize shearling ewe from 2015 female champion James Robinson’s Kaker Mill flock in Carnforth, Lancaster.
His February, 2015, Kaker Mill Sapphire is a daughter of the Anglezarke Uno son, the 11,000gns Stainton Vigilante, who has been successfully used over two breeding seasons by Mr Robinson and has sold ram lambs to 5,000gns.
Her dam, the Hilltop Predator daughter, Kaker Mill Sophia, was also responsible for Mr Robinson’s top price 2,100gns ram lamb at Skipton last year. In fact, every year since 2010 she has consistently produced progeny that have exceeded 1,000gns.
Mr Robinson’s latest top-performing female headed the section prices by some considerable margin when finding a new home in Wales with HW&SW Jones, of Llansannan in Conwy.
Local breeder Stuart Currie’s Beautry flock in Rathmell produced the second top price 1,000gns female, one of six February, 2015-born shearling ewe daughters consigned for sale by Loosebeare Voldemort, acquired two years ago and who two weeks earlier had been responsible for a 16,000gns shearling ewe at Worcester, a new breed record price at the centre. Out of a Millar’s Omen-sired ewe, the ewe returned to North Craven with Eldroth’s Paul Strickland.
The first prize ewe lamb from Alan Harker’s Bendgate flock in Long Preston also headed the section prices at 380gns. The March-born home-bred daughter of Bendgate Uncle Rufus, by a Tophill Normandy-sired ewe, joined W Benn, of Cotherstone in Teesdale. The same vendor was also responsible for the fourth prize ewe lamb, by Tullylagan Warrior, which made 280gns
The recorded ram lamb section attracted strong interest, with the Fimber flock of Jack Lucas, who farms near Driffield, producing a number of high ranking entries. Among them was Fimber Yeti, a February-born son of Corriecravie Union Pacific, who stands fifth in the national listings for gigot. This ram lamb joined Scottish buyer D McNiven, of Glenfarg, for 1,350gns, while the second prize Fimber Yuppy, by the same sire, sold to J Fairweather, of Howden, Goole, for 1,000gns.
Procters Farm in Slaidburn matched this price with their four prize ram lamb, Proctors Yours Truly, a February-born son of Knap Wot a Nut, from a Cairnam Talisman ewe, which remained in North Yorkshire when joining KR&AL Lythm, of Lealholme, Scarborough.
Trade for ram lambs was solid, with buyers looking for lambs with conformation and skin, which if combined with top 10% EBVs, created exceptional trade. The section produced an overall average of £432.29 per head, an improvement on the previous year’s £423.81.
Shearling ram trade also showed an increase on the previous year to average £727.68 (£712.31in 2015), as did shearling ewes at £404.96 (£358.93). Only ewe lamb trade was down at £241.02 (£257.56).
Full results and prices for the Skipton Texel showcase, which was sponsored by Carrs Billington, Minexcel Nutrition, NFU, Townson Bros, WE Jameson & Son Feeds, and CCM Auctions, are at www.ccmauctions.com