Breed stalwarts to the fore at Skipton Charollais ram showcase Leading North Yorkshire breeders Kenton Foster and Charles Marwood vied for top honours at the British Charollais Sheep Society’s annual show and sale of commercial rams at Skipton Auction Mart.

Mr Foster, of Garriston, Leyburn, who is chairman of the Society’s North of England region, was responsible for the first prize shearling ram, while Mr Marwood, who runs the Floulrice flock at Whenby, near York, and remains national chairman of the Society’s finance and general purposes committee, stepped up with the first prize ram lamb.


The show judge, Hebden Bridge butcher Stephen Maskill, who said any ram in the day’s line would do a good commercial job, plumped for the shearling as his chosen champion because of its “exceptional fleshing quality and power.”


Mr Foster acquired his January-born title winner in Southern Ireland last year from the Duiske flock run by Dympna and Gerry Grogan in Newtonshortland, near Donadea in County Kildare.


By the Bawnard Bolt son, Bawnard Usain, out of a dam sired by Duiske Mr Brown, the victor has already been used to good effect over two breeding seasons on the Fosters flock. He went under the hammer for a sale-topping 800gns (£840) to Richard Sandham, of East Carlton, Yeadon, who also bought the top price Charollais ram at last year’s corresponding sale.


That too came from Mr Marwood, and Mr Sandham was in action again at the latest renewal when paying 400gns for the same vendor’s December-born reserve champion, by his renowned Dalby Mount Aloe, acquired two years ago from Charles Sercombe in Leicester and regarded as one of the nation’s top index sires.


Mount Aloe was responsible for the top price ram lamb in the country last year at 5,200gns and was also breed champion at the Great Yorkshire Show, as well as interbreed champion at both Ryedale and Driffield Shows. The dam of the Skipton runner-up is a daughter of Ballynoe House Isaac, bought from Northern Ireland.


Mr Marwood’s 14-strong consignment – an equal split of shearlings and ram lambs – was also responsible for the third prize shearling ram, a March-born son of Foulrice Lightening, out of a Langstone K2-sired dam, which also found favour with Mr Sandham when falling for 620gns.


The leading Marwood performer at 640gns was another shearling ram, by Wernfawr Jim, out of a another dam sired by Ballynoe House Isaac. He also sold further entries at 480gns and 440gns.


Second prize in the shearling show class was awarded to another well-known Charollais breeder, last year’s Skipton reserve champion, Cyril Dougherty, who runs the Shamrock flock at Kirby Misperton, near Malton. His December, 2012-born son of Rhaedr Lord Jim, out of a dam by Sheldon Handsome, made 540gns on joining BC Dawson in Ulverston. Mr Dougherty also sold a second entry at 450gns.


Cumbrian breeder Richard Geldard, who runs the family’s Wraycastle flock at Low Foulshaw Farm, Gilpin Bridge, Kendal, and was bidding for a fourth successive championship success at the fixture, this year had to be content with the runners-up slot in the ram lamb show class with a December-born grandson of Springfield King Ken, out of an Ashley Ferdinand-sired dam. He too sold to Mr Dawson for 340gns.


Standing third in the same class was another December-born ram lamb from the Rainbow flock of Andrew Walton, based in Backford, Chester. By the Lancashire-bred Camp House Kerrching, out of a dam sired by Rainbow Gawain, he fell for 360gns to Lake District breeder R McCartney, of Coniston.


Two further Cumbrian vendors, James Carlisle, who runs the Fowrass flock in Laithes, Penrith, and the Kingsland flock of John Stott Jnr in Crosscrake, Stainton, were among the leading prices when each achieving 600gns with well-bred shearling ram and ram lamb entries respectively. Both fell to local breeder Neville Smith, of Lothersdale.


The Moss Side flock of Ramsbottom’s Mark Worthington chipped in with 500gns and 450gns shearling ram sales. Shearlings averaged £500 overall and ram lambs £335, on a par with the previous year.


Breed enthusiasts return to Skipton next month for the British Charollais Sheep Society’s annual autumn show and sale of pedigree breeding females, on Saturday, October 11. Defending champion is John Stott Jnr.