Calderdale school chums land the spoils at Skipton young handlers prime lambs highlight Two best mates at Old Town Primary School in Hebden Bridge, eight-year-old Charlie Leach and nine-year-old Daniel Lund, were over the moon when becoming joint supreme champions at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual young handlers’ prime lamb show and sale.

The dynamic duo first saw their Beltex-cross gimmer lamb, home-bred by Charlie’s parents, Adrian and Kathryn Leach at Owlers Farm, Hebden Bridge, and by a tup from Anthony Thompson of Foulridge, first chosen as winner of the U10s show class, before being tapped out as overall show champion by Threshfield show judge Angus Dean. Weighing in at 34kg, it went on to sell for top price in both class and show of £200 to Brayton Farm Shop, near Selby.

Young Daniel is the son of Richard and Emma Lund, and grandson of Brian and Linda Lund, of Walshaw Farm, Walshaw The two families are farming near neighbours in Calderdale and both are familiar faces at Skipton

It proved a good day for the Lunds, with 21-year-old Chloe Lund, who helps out on the farm and also works as a self-employed sheep handler, picking up the red rosette in the 17-26 years show class with a home-bred Beltex-cross wether lamb by a tup bred locally by Luddendenfoot’s John Midgley. Tipping the scales at 45kg, it sold for a class-topping £160, again to Brayton Farm Shop

There was a further Lund family success when 15-year-old Chrissie Lund finished runner-up in the 10-16 years show class, her 47kg lamb selling for £154 and yet again to Brayton Farm Shop, which further supported the sterling efforts of the youngsters when also purchasing two further rosette winners in the same show class from, respectively, Thomas Marshall, of Dacre, at £155, and Whalley’s Lilly Ireland for £162 top call in class and second top in show.

First prize in the 11-16 class fell to a black 47kg Beltex-cross ram lamb from 15-year-old Georgia Webster, who is in her final year at Burscough Priory Academy. Her parents, Neil and Vicky Webster, farm at Whams Farm, Scarisbrick, West Lancashire, and Georgia’s red rosette winner, also nominated as overall reserve champion, was knocked down for £146 to Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson, purchasing on behalf of regular wholesale buyer Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, Greater Manchester.

Mr Atkinson also claimed both the runner-up and third prize winner in the U10s show class, the former from Raffe Middleton, of Beamsley, at £148 and again for Hartshead, the latter from Laycock’s Henry Sudgen at £109 for West Scottish Lamb, along with the runner-up in the 17-26 class from Kerry Foster, of Long Preston, at £118, also for Hartshead.

The U10s fourth prize winner from Oliver Marshall, of Dacre, made £138 to Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, Bradford, while back in the 11-16 class, standing third was Jimmy Crabtree, of Clifton, Otley, his lamb selling at £145 to Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, which also paid £118 for the third prize winner in the 17-26 class from Sam Phillipson, of Briercliffe.

The annual young handlers summer holiday highlight again presented an ideal opportunity for farming’s future generations to gain valuable experience in both the show and sales arenas. Adjudicator Mr Dean praised every single entrant for “the fantastic standard of their charges, their excellent job in presenting and showing lambs which were a great credit to both themselves and their families.”

A total of 25 young farmers participated with 25 lambs across all three show classes. Other competitors were Alfie Lambert, William Lambert, Henry Morphet, Martha Middleton, Georgira Sugden, Anne Gray, Neive Ireland, Amelia Pratt, George Forster, Bobby Crabtree, Thomas Thornber and John Henry Mellin.

The show formed part of Skipton’s weekly Monday sale of over 3,000 prime sheep, the 2,344 Spring lambs among them exhibiting quality and trade stepping up a gear on the week when they sold to an overall average of £103.22 per head, or 240.4p/kg.