Grisedale Herdwicks victorious again at Skipton Native & Rare Breeds highlight Cumbrian Herdwick sheep breeders, Ian and Angela Grisedale, who run the Swinside flock in Crooklands, Kendal, picked up their fifth supreme championship in recent years, also stepping forward with the reserve champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Rare & Native Stock Breeders Auctions of rare, minority and traditional cattle and sheep.

Showing in the hill & heath classes, the Grisedales clinched the title with a 2-shear ram by a tup acquired eight years ago when itself a 2-shear from Cockermouth’s Bob Benn and which is still going strong as a ten-year-old sire with all teeth intact. The dam is a home-bred ewe by a Chris Brown Patterdale tup picked up as an eight-year-old for a bargain basement £100 and, which, much to the satisfaction of his new owner, performed successfully across three breeding seasons. The victor sold for 280gns to A Grimshaw, of Bolton.

The reserve champion was the first prize Herdwick female, a home-bred gimmer shearling by a 2-shear ram bought at Skipton in 2019 by the Grisedales when itself standing show champion in the hands of up-and-coming Herdwick breeder Milly Eaton, of Skipton. The overall runner-up sold for 220gns to a Welsh buyer, Corwen’s S Jones.

Joanne Fisher and Malcolm Hoggarth, who run the Greenlea Coloured Ryeland flock in Southwaite, Carlilse, won both the male and female Down show classes, the latter, whose back pedigree contains sires successfully shown throughout the country, among them a national male champion, selling locally to AB Jenkins, of Glusburn, for 230gns.

A clean sweep of the prizes in the Longwool females show class was achieved by a vendor from Glusburn, Lucie Fort, who runs the Malsis Greyface Dartmoor flock, with three daughters born in February this year to a Wellfield sire, himself by a Sunnyside tup from one of the oldest flocks in Devon.

The red rosette winner topped at 200gns when joining A Valentine, of New Hutton, Preston, who also paid the day’s top price of 400gns for a Greyface Dartmoor shearling ram consigned by T&S Holgate, of Halton West.

Back in the show class, Lucie Fort’s second and third prize winners sold at 180gns and 190gns respectively to the same Scottish buyers, G Dunbar & Sons, of Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.

From Pendle, Claire Shevalan, who runs both the Boulsworth Hebridean and North Ronaldsay flocks in Trawden, dominated the primitive classes, winning both the male and female shows with her Hebrideans, the former with a shearling by a tup from Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead, the latter with a second shearling, a four-horned home-bred. They sold at 55gns and 65gns respectively.

Good trade was the order of the day, with buyers looking for quality. Outside the show, Herdwick ewes from Oakworth’s Carol Mellin sold from 150-180gns, with plenty of customers ringside for hill-bred sheep, including quality Herdwick tups. Ten-year-old Poppy Throup, of Silsden, sold her Herdwick shearling tup for 260gns.

Lots of tup lambs of all breeds were forward, with prices for most around 60-80gns for commercial goods, though others in demand to improve breeding flocks were able to command up to 200gns. Plenty of North Ronaldsay ram lambs sold at 45-90gns, with Shetland 2-shear ewes selling from 60-70gns. There was almost a full clearance and gimmers of all breeds sold very well.

In the native cattle section, the best male was a 2019-born Red Galloway bull from M Holmes, of Oxenhope, which made £860 when joining Carol Gray in Langbar, Ilkley. Longhorns sold to £500 and Red Poll second calvers to £480.