Nelson nets Skipton Swaledale ram title While a robust showing of 96 Swaledale rams were on parade for their annual evening show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart, trade was not up to the levels seen in recent years. There was a shortage of quality older tups, which are usually a feature of the sale, while demand for shearlings was very selective.

The show champion was the first prize shearling ram from well-known Swaledale breeder Roy Nelson, of Lainger House, Bordley. By a Murton Hall tup, out of a Paul Chester-sired ewe, the victor, also chosen as the best confirmation ram, sold for 600gns to P Metcalfe, of Langbar, Ilkley. Mr Nelson also sold another shearling at 550gns, plus two aged rams at 500gns each.


The first prize aged ewe from another Bordley Swaledale showman, Kevin Huck, of Knowle Bank Farm, was a five-shear is by a Harrison family Tailbert ram bred in Cumbria, whose own sire was the £30,000 Oxenhope Juggernaut. It sold for 650gns.


Mr Huck then proceeded to take top price in show at 680gns with a shearling ram by a Joe Nattrass tup, out of a Marwood Long Green-sired ewe, sold to Greaves Bros of Burley-in-Wharfedale.


Mr Huck was capping a good day at Skipton, as he had earlier sent out his first-ever prime lamb champions at the monthly show, as well as picking up the red rosette for the best pen of Swaledale prime lambs.


Back with the rams, show judges, father and son Jimmy and Paul Baines, of Trawden, awarded the reserve championship to the second prize shearling ram from Derbyshire’s John Bland, of Crowden. By a Mossdale tup, out of a dam sired by a Paul Hallam ram, the runner-up joined Carol Mellin in Oakworth for 400gns.


The second prize aged three-shear ram from A&R Birbeck in Kirkby Stephen sold for 450gns to A Chadwick, of Hathersage, Sheffield, with the same prize achieved by the third prize shearling ram from CR Birbeck, of Ravenstonedale. The buyer was Michael Gray, of Langbar, Ilkley.


Also selling shearling rams at 600gns were AG Horn, of Winterburn, Saddle End Farms in Chipping and FC, N&M Walker, of Hartlington. JC Walker & Son, of Dunsop Bridge, sold an aged ram for 550 gns, with 500gns also achieved for aged rams from WA&A Booth, of Feizor, and D&B Carlton, of Newton-in-Bowland. Ken Dickinson, of Blacko, chipped in with a 450gns shearling ram.


The title winner received both the Robert Young Perpetual Challenge Trophy and the M&J Spensley Trophy, presented by Michael Spensley, with the leading aged ram awarded the Stephen HK Butcher Trophy.