Milly Eaton Herdwick top of the flocks at Skipton native & rare breeds showcase
Showing Herdwick sheep for the first time at her local auction mart, Skipton’s Milly Eaton was rewarded with a debut championship success in the annual rare and native breeds highlight. (Saturday, Sept 7)
The 21-year-old clinched her CCM Skipton debut title win with her first prize April, 2017-born 2 shear ram, by a Gatesgarth tup from Anthony Hartley, of Turner Hall Farm in Dunnerdale, South Lakeland. He is one of the UK’s top Herdwick breeders.
ut of a Screeside dam, the victor went on to sell for the day’s top call of 350gns to well-known Cumbrian Herdwick breeders, Ian and Angela Grisedale, who run the Swinside flock in Crooklands, Kendal.
Milly started with Herdwicks when given two as 17th birthday present, building up her flock to ten-strong at its peak and keeping them with her uncle and aunt, Brian and Judith Moorhouse, in Bell Busk, a gesture much valued by the young breeder.
Milly has set her heart on becoming a vet and is now into her fourth year of veterinary studies at Liverpool University. She consigned a four-strong Herdwick pen at the fixture, selling all for a combined total of £829.50, which, she says, will help fund her continuing studies.
The annual fixture for rare, minority and traditional breeds again attracted a wide variety of sheep breeds and it was a first prize-winning Coloured Ryeland ram, the only entry from Dr Rebecca Clavell-Bate’s Chocolatebox flock in Colne that was tapped out as reserve champion by judge Alan Parnaby, from Barnoldswick
Rebecca, who works for Lancashire County Council’s home education team, has been breeding Coloured Ryelands for three years and currently has a 15-strong flock, including eight breeding ewes. Her overall runner-up, Chocolatebox Zippy, made 150gns when claimed by fellow Coloured Ryeland breeders BW&AM Duffin, of Grange-over-Sands.
Making a clean sweep of the prizes in the primitive female show class was Eleanor Cooper, of Treales, Kirkham, with a trio of April, 2014-born Shetland females from her Ronaele flock – her first name backwards!
She has bred Shetlands for the past decade, previously keeping multiple breeds and using their wool for both spinning and weaving. The red rosette winner, Ronaele Grace May, a home-bred daughter of Ace of Derwent, acquired from her Lake District breeder Sue Tyson, three years ago, did best of the prizewinners when making 82gns.
First and second prizes in the Longwool female show class fell to Greyface Dartmoor ewes from David Booth, who runs the Cheshire-based Norbury flock, though he lives just over the border in Whitchurch in Shropshire. Both were by Muddle rams from well-known Welshpool breeder Liz Dawson, with grand sires from the Bullshornstoneline in Devon. The prize-winning duo both made 150gns.
Other first prize winners with 2018-born females were a Ryeland from Julian Barnes, of Scarisbrick, sold for 140gns, and a Kerry Hill from Laura Middleton, of Cowan Bridge, who sold a brace at 120gns.
Show regulars, the Grisedales, who have won the overall Skipton title four times in recent years, had to settle for two runner-up prizes at the 2019 renewal with a Herwdick male and female. The former, a 2017-born, headed the couple’s pen prices at 280gns.
In the cattle section, top price of £735 fell to a June, 2018, Blue Albion steer from RC Lee, of Laycock, while a Shetland cow from St Leonards Farm Park in Esholt made £550, with a Dexter cow from local breeders James Mallender in Thornton-in-Craven selling for £370.
A standalone sale of 72 easy care sheep saw rams sell to 310gns, shearlings to £132 and ewes to £115.
Dickinson double at goat show
Also on the same day’s agenda was the second annual show and sale of pedigree and pure-bred goats, when a total of 111 went under the hammer, the majority Boer or Boer-cross.
Last year’s inaugural champion Chris Dickinson again travelled down from Penrith to successfully defend his title with an 18-month-old Boer buck that went on to head the prices at 380gns when joining JE Strainge & Sons in Witney, Oxfordshire. Another 14-month-old bock from the same home realised 300gns.
The stand-out run of Boers was presented by the Key family, from Stone in Staffordshire, with a number of four-year-old nannies ranging down to this year’s April-born does selling between 170gns and 250gns for pens of three.
A busy schedule also featured Skipton’s monthly Saturday livestock collective sale of 139 head of stirks, weaned calves and store cattle, plus another 30 sheep and goats.
Cattle trade was again strong, with steers peaking at £835 for a Montbéliard, closely followed by a British Blue at £830 and a £810 Limousin. Heifers sold to highs of £660 and £620 for Aberdeen-Angus and Blue entries, with another Blue topping the bull prices at £500. Of the sheep, gimmer lambs sold to £82 and Hampshire Down store lambs to £45.