Kevin Huck aged ram champion and £2,200 top price at Skipton Swaledale showcase Local breeder Kevin Huck, of Knowle Bank Farm, Bordley, put in another outstanding performance at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual evening fixture for registered Swaledale rams. (Mon, Oct 7) He consigned the first prize aged ram for the third year in succession, thought to be the first time such a high profile hat-trick has been achieved at the breed highlight, before seeing his 3 shear progress to become overall show champion,

Mr Huck is now a four-times winner of the Stephen HK Butcher Trophy for the best aged ram, his latest frontrunner being by a Seal Houses tup bred by Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association stalwart Michael Allinson, of Arkengarthdale, and also responsible for two former prize-winning shearling rams at the Skipton fixture.
Out of a ewe by a Joe Natrass tup, Mr Huck’s latest title winner, also recipient of the M&J Spensley Trophy, was the subject of keen bidding before falling locally for £2,200 top price to the Hopkinson family, of Fairplace Farms in Cowling.
The same vendor also sent out the second prize shearling ram, by a Raymond Calvert Hoggarths ram, which again sold away nicely at £1,600 to JB&LJ Shirt, of Edale in the Derbyshire Peak District.
Making the same money was the second prize aged ram and reserve champion from the Stockdale flock of 2018 title winners, the Cowperthwaite family - Robert and Lindsey, and their son Sam – who farm between Settle and Malham. Acquired from breeder Robert Weir’s Howe Green flock and by a Paul Chester ram, out of a Thornborrow-sired ewe, the overall runner-up also sold locally to J&V Blakey, of Greenhow.
Claiming £1,350 was the best confirmation sheep, a shearling ram presented by the four-strong ‘BBWC’ syndicate – the first letters of the surnames of the joint owners - Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association district secretary Wilf Buckle, Alan Birbeck and Bob Wearmouth, all from the Kirkby Stephen area, and Malham Moor’s Bill Cowperthwaite.
Purchased from Andrew Haggas, of Grove Farm, Otterburn, when standing champion at the Skipton breed showcase two years ago, the grandson of a 4,800gns tup bred in Hawes by Martin Sunter, out of Tennant Gill ewe, found a new home in Derbyshire with J&R Driver, of Chisworth, Glossop.
The first prize shearling ram from John and Jean Bradley’s Penyghent flock in Giggleswick, runners-up in the same show class last year, made £700, with the third prize winner from Saddle End Farms in Chipping making £500. Both fell to A Newbould & son, of Dallowgill.
A total of seven rams achieved four-figure selling prices, including a trio from local breeders. WB Woodsworth, of Bolton Abbey, made £1,200 with an aged ram, Bordley’s Roy Nelson achieving £1,100 with another, while a shearling ram from John and Claire Mason in Embsay sold at £1,100, a second making £500.
Mr Nelson saw further shearlings sell at £900 and £550, while the Walker family, from Dunsop Bridge, sold aged rams at £700 and £650 twice
The annual highlight, judged by Chapel-le-Dale father and son, Jeff and Francis Pickles, attracted an entry of 60 registered Swaledale rams and achieved a good clearance rate, with buyers keen to secure strong quality rams of all ages.
Aged rams averaged £504.55, well up on the previous year’s £307, and shearling rams £372.96, also a significant increase of the 2018 average of £284.