TREMENDOUS TURNOUT AND SOLID TRADE AT CCM SKIPTON TEXEL HIGHLIGHT Alwent flock claims 3,600gns top price with champion ram lamb The milestone 40th Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders’ annual sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart once again produced some tremendous runs of sheep suitable for both pedigree and commercial use, among a strong entry of 435 head.

Top call at 3,600gns fell to the first prize recorded ram lamb and champion recorded male from Co. Durham breeder Stephen Nesbitt’s Alwent flock at Winston, near Darlington. His price-topping Alwent Emperor is a February-born son of the 13,000gns Usk Vale Crackerjack, purchased by good friend Tom Arnott, of Kelso, who donated semen from the ram. By a Sportsmans Tremendous 11 dam, the red rosette winner, ranked in the top 5% of the breed, sold to Martin Brown, of Lofthouse in Nidderdale.

A strong entry of shearling rams met the solid commercial trade normally in evidence at this annual breed highlight, underpinning an increasing number of customers seeking breeding sheep, with no fewer than 45 shearling rams selling at four-figure prices, levelling at £893.77, a rise of £40 per head on the year.

Heading the section at 2,800gns and second top price of the day was the third prize winner from Geoff Riby’s Stonehills flock in Fraisthorpe, Bridlington. His Stonehills Dynamite, a February, 2020 son of Knock Yankee, out of a Glanllyn Wallis-sired ewe, went to the Scottish Borders with 27-year-old Zoe Hall, who farms with her parents, Anthony and Sheila Hall, at Horsley Hall Farm, Hawick. Their new acquisition will be used commercially on North of England Mules and first and second cross Texels.

Five Stonehills shearling ram sales averaged £1,071, while from the same home, a home-bred late born March ram lamb, Stonehills Epic, a Stonehills Double 07 son, was runner-up in the open show class, selling for 600gns, though the flock’s top ram lamb achiever on price at 1,100gns was Stonehills England, a Craig Douglas Dancer-sired lamb bred from a Glanllyn Wallis ewe, which joined Graham Taylor in Thirsk. Stonehills females were also among the prizes, a shearling ewe with the same breeding as Mr Riby’s top price performer standing fifth in class and selling for 850gns.

Red Rose show regular Procters Farm in Wennington, close to the Lancashire-Yorkshire border, constantly performs well with its Skipton Texels, standing supreme champion in 2019 and claiming 3,000gns top price at last year’s sale-only fixture.

The flock, managed at Moss House Farm by Jeff Aiken, made its mark once again this year, picking up a clutch of rosettes, chief of which was the reserve male championship with the runner-up in the open shearling ram show class, Tatham Hall Deacon Blue, a February, 2020, son of Caerinion Bonus, purchased for 10,000gns, out of a Thrunton Younique-sired dam. It found pastures new in Calderdale when falling for second top call in section of 2,600gns to NL Kendal, of Hebden Bridge.

The same breeding was also responsible for a second Procters Farm shearling ram which made 2,000gns when joining N&CL Brown, of Farleton in South Lakeland, while another from the same home again with the same breeding, Tatham Hall Daredevil, stood first in the recorded shearling ram show class, selling for 1,100gns to James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm, Thornton, above Bradford. Eight shearling ram sales for Procters Farm averaged £1,470.

Procters Farm ram lambs were also among the prizes in the two show classes with February-born sons of Sportsmans Double Diamond, out of a Teiglum Younggun dam. The third prize in the recorded class, Procters E Z Rider, made 600gns, the fourth prize in the open class, Procters Eldorado, 450gns.

Again flying the flag for Red Rose breeders, the Anglezarke flock of SR Symes in Heath Charnock, Chorley, made 2,500gns with their single entry in the shearling ram class, Violet Hill De Lad, a February, 2020, Midlock Yorkie son, out of a dam by Orchilmore Alfa Male. It found a new home in Nidderdale with JM&B Brown & Son, of Lofthouse. (same buyers as top price?)

Achieving 2,000gns was the fourth prize winner in the open shearling ram show class from another cross-border breeder, D Pawson & Sons’ Yellow Hill flock in Blackburn. Their Yellow Hill Director, by Peacehay Block Buster, out of a Greenall Van Persie ewe, travelled up to Berwick-upon-Tweed with RJ Bradbury. A second Yellow Hill shearling ram made1,800gns, the flock’s seven shearling ram sales averaging £1,319.

Also hitting 2,000gns was the Texel supreme champion, which provided a local success for John and Alison North’s Loxley flock in Giggleswick. Their first prize open class shearling ram and male champion, the colourfully-named Four O Boot Dazzler, is a February, 2020, son of Alderview Corina, a ram lamb purchase last year, out of a home-bred dam by Douganhill Tartan Special.

Show judge Robert Pierce, who runs the Oldford pedigree Texel flock in Chester, said of his chosen supreme champion: “The ram stood out as soon as he came into the show ring. I was immediately drawn to his overall power.” The title winner remained in the area when purchased by Bolton-by-Bowland’s CD Cornthwaite.

The Norths first established their Loxley flock in 1970 when based in South Yorkshire, before transferring lock, stock and barrel to North Craven. They have previously stood supreme champions at the Skipton breed highlight, with their two children, Isobel, 12, and nine-year-old John Jnr, now keenly involved in the flock.

At the latest renewal, the Norths sold six shearling rams to average £1,732, also finishing third in the open ram lamb show class with the February-born Loxley Excalibur, by Forkins Dubonnet, out of a New View Buster dam. It made 600gns.

The adjudicator praised the overall quality of the sheep on show, notably in the open shearling ram and recorded ram lamb classes. The ram lamb section was marked by an excellent entry of high quality sheep right across the board, a fact which had not escaped the notice of a considerable number of buyers who stayed on after the shearling rams had passed through the sales ring.

Of the tup lambs, the Stainton flock near Kendal of show regular and past supreme champion, Peter Woof produced the Duncryne Chieftain son, Stainton Energy, which, from a Sportsmans 11Tremendous ewe, is similarly bred to Stephen Nesbitt’s top price performer. It sold to PJ&H Hartley, of Bashall Eaves, for 1,600gns.

Mr Woof also finished runner-up in the recorded ram lamb show class with Stainton Envoy, another Chieftain son bred out of a ewe by Eden Valley A1. Featuring in the top 1% of the breed index, it sold for 1,000gns, a price equalled by a further ram lamb from the Middledale flock of Peter Byas in Kilham, Driffield.

Richard Wilson’s Eden Valley flock was itself represented with a ram lamb, Eden Valley Ever After, another Craig Douglas Dancer son bred from a dam by Aldan Blockbuster, which made 1,200gns when going to Allan Harker’s local Bendgate flock in Long Preston.

Two vendors both selling tup lambs at 950gns were Jill Perrings from the local Pergill flock in Giggleswick and the Stevenson family’s Brick Hills flock in Sleights, Whitby, followed at 900gns by another ram lamb brace, one from Dromonby Bridge Farm’s Dromonby flock at Great Ayton, Middlesborough, the other from the Teward family’s New View flock in Staindrop, Darlington. The ram lamb section saw near total clearance and an overall selling average of £525, which was in no small measure due to the quality of the entry.

Leading light among the ladies was the open shearling ewe show class winner, which progressed to become first female champion, then reserve supreme champion. Deemed “bright and pretty” by the adjudicator, she was consigned by Robert and Jean, Bradley, who run the local Far Hey flock in Salterforth. Their February, 2020, daughter of Sportsmans Cantona, acquired as a lamb 12 months earlier, out of a Halbeath VIP dam, sold for 1,300gns when joining a Welsh buyer T Ryan-Davies, from Colwyn Bay.

Keeping it in the family, Ryan Bradley, son of the reserve supreme champions, who runs his own Bradleys flock, again in Salterforth, himself won the open ram lamb show class with Bradleys Eusebio, a December-born son of Craig Douglas Dancer, a 10,000gns ram lamb purchase last year, which has performed exceptionally well in both the Far Hey and Bradleys flocks. His Skipton son sold for 800gns.

The runner-up in the shearling ewe show class, also reserve female champion, from another former Skipton supreme champion David Houghton, of the Tophill flock in Affetside, Bury, also sold well at 950gns. A February, 2020, daughter of Midlock Yorkie, out of a Langside Thunderbird ewe, she was claimed by Mark Phillips, of Castle Douglas.

Female prices at the evening sale peaked at 1,600gns for a shearling gimmer from the Sportsmans flock of first-time consignor, the Boden & Davies partnership in Mellor, Stockport. Their Plasucha Big Gun daughter, out of a Strathbogie Yes Sir dam, found another local buyer in Bentham’s Sarah Priestley.

Making her debut at Skipton, Catherine Parker, of the Wyrebeck flock in Scorton, Lancaster, made an immediate impact when consigning the first prize ewe lamb, one of February-born triplets to Kettle Ding A Ling, bought out of the McKerrow flock. Out of a Milnbank Ace of Spades-sired dam – the 2,000gns grand dam was considered the best ewe in the flock – the red rosette winner made 320gns, top price in class, when joining local buyer, John Beckwith, of Gargrave.

Averages: Shearling ewes £468.25 (2020 £512.43). ewe lambs £257.25, shearling rams £893.77 (£852.35), ram lambs £525 (£384.30).

Show sponsors were Minexcel Nutrition and JG Animal Health. Full results, leading prices and flock averages are at