Robinson hat-trick at CCM Skipton Swaledale females showcase Husband and wife Stuart and Debbie Robinson, of Foredale Farm, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, notched up a notable hat-trick when sending out the champion pen of ewes for the third year in succession at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Saturday Swaledale females highlight for draft ewes and gimmer shearlings. (Oct 5)

The Robinsons, who also lifted the title in 2014, were on the mark again with their first prize pen of ten home-bred 3 crop ewes. The majority were by a Robert Cowperthwaite Stockdale tup, others by West Briscoe, Howith, Punchard and Thomas Iveson rams. They sold late in the day
for £145 per head when finding a new home in the Lake District with P&C Charnley, of Coniston.
The Robinsons, who currently run some 500 sheep, among them 330 pure Swaledales, sold further ewe pans at £120 and £115. They also chipped in with the third prize gimmer shearlings pen, knocked down for £100 each.
Husband and wife North Craven breeders, John and Jean Bradley, of Penny Grange Farm, Giggleswick, were responsible for both the first and second prize pens of ten gimmer shearlings, including several by a Skidmore family ram, others by a tup from Derbyshire’s Neil Richardson.
The class victors made £140 each when joining John Alpe of Whitewell, Clitheroe, with the runners-up selling at £102. Mr and Mrs Bradley, who are currently reducing sheep numbers, sold a further shearling pen at £115.
Former Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association national chairman Alan Alderson, of Barras, Kirkby Stephen, a regular supporter of the annual highlight, claimed top price this year with a £160 shearling ewe pen bought by the Throup family at Woofa Bank, Silsden Moor, selling others at £140 and £122.
Topping the ewe prices with a £155 per head pen was local Swaledale stalwart, Roy Nelson, of Lainger House, Bordley, his charges finding pastures new in Derbyshire with MRP Critchlow, of Hartington.
Back in the show classes, co-judged by Skipton NEMSA branch chairman Frank Kitching, of Threshfield, and Richard Greenwood, of Bradley, the second prize pen of ewes from Bill Cowperthwaite, of Malham Moor, made £110, bettered at £128 by the third prize winners from the Walker family in Dunsop Bridge.
As anticipated, Swaledale draft ewes saw a reduction in price on the year in line with Mule gimmer lambs. However, good runs of sheep were well supported by a good attendance of buyers throughout the day and it was those at the bottom end on quality that saw the biggest fall on the year.
The 3,248-strong entry sold to an overall average of £71.29 (-£36.52 on 2017), with individual top prices and averages as follows: Ewes: 1 crop to £100 (av £68.50), 2 crop to £155 (£77.82), 3 crop to £145 (£61.76), 4 crop to £78 (£66.00). Shearling ewes to £160 (£81.39).