A top price 3,400gns (£3,570) ram, a female high of 3,000gns (£3,150), solid trade for both breeding and commercial sheep, 407 of the 452 turnout successfully sold, representing 90% clearance, a healthy increase in overall selling averages and a new name on the supreme champion’s trophy, were highlights of an outstanding 31st Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders Association annual two-day show and sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart. (Thus & Fri, Sept 20 & 21)
David Towell with his Skipton Texel top price
3,400gns shearling ram
“It was one of the best shows and sales we have ever had and everyone seemed well satisfied,” said Steve Richardson, of Great Houghton, Barnsley, chairman of Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders.
The undoubted star of the show in terms of price was Moor Top Star, from local breeder David Towell’s celebrated flock at Upper Leys Farm, Glusburn Moor, Keighley.
The home-bred March, 2011-born son of Moor Top Predator, by Moor Top Nebulus, out of a 1,200gns Claybury ewe by Garngour Nijinsky, is already a proven performer, having produced long bare skinned lambs with notable shape.
The Skipton top price found a new home in Berwick-upon-Tweed with Robert Bradbury, of Blackheddon Farm, and will be put to good use on the 100 flock ewes by the commercial breeder.
Mr Towell’s standout pen of eight shearling rams also led the flock averages when selling at £1,430.63 per head. The South Craven breeder has performed consistently well at the annual Skipton highlight and two years ago presented another shearling ram that set a new record price in recent times of 4,200gns (£4,410).
Stuart Currie with his Skipton Texel 3,000gns shearling ewe, the top price female
The 3,000gns top price 2012 female was the third prize shearling ewe from Stuart Currie’s Beautry flock at Rathmell, Settle.
The February, 2011-born daughter of the Douganhill Masterpiece son Procters Oswald, acquired as a lamb five years ago, out of a Mullan Magnificent-sired flock ewe, created keen interest at the ringside, before falling to Warren Farms at Cleckheaton, Bradford, and becoming a top-class addition to their breeding lines.
It was the highest price to date achieved for a Procters Oswald by Mr Currie, who last year sold another first-rate shearling ewe at 4,100gns (£4,305), one of the highest ever prices paid at Skipton for a Texel female. At the latest renewal, his shearling ewes averaged £1,706.25 overall.
The supreme championship fell for the first time to the first prize ram lamb and male champion from the Deneside flock of County Durham’s David Nesbitt, of Winston, Darlington, who punched the air in triumph as show judge Richard Currie, of Tullagh Texels in Ballymena, Ireland, announced his verdict.
David Nesbitt with his Skipton Texel supreme champion
Mr Nesbitt, who has been showing at the annual fixture for several years, took top honours for the first time with Deneside Thunder, a February-born son of Allanfauld Rockafella (by Livery Predator), acquired in partnership with fellow Texel breeders Steve and Sherry Richardson, Jennifer Lodge and Robert Laird. He has already produced lambs to 9,500gns.
Out of one of Mr Nesbitt’s top breeding ewes, a classy daughter of Haddo Kingpin, the title winner sold for 2,400gns to the Manderlea flock of William, Mark and Helen Keighley, from Leathley, Otley. The Keighleys themselves sold eight shearling ewes to average £770.43 and eight shearling rams at an average of £945 each.
Show regular David Houghton, whose Tophill flock is based at Isherwood Farm, Affetside, Bury – he had been reserve female champion at Skipton the previous two years - stepped up with this year’s female champion and reserve supreme champ[ion, earlier chosen as the first prize shearling ewe.
She is a January, 2011-born daughter of the Ballynahone Oscar son Tamnamoney Rob Roy, acquired for 5,000gns from Roger Strawbridge in Northern Ireland, and who has bred sons to 11,000gns.
Among the sire’s first crop of gimmer lambs, the Skipton runner-up, out of an ewe by the 10,000gns Knock Orion, bought jointly by Mr Houghton and Anglezarke Texels from Aberdeenshire breeders George and Albert Howie, sold for2,100gns to Sid Walmsley & Partners, of Haverah Park, Harrogate. Mr Houghton sold six shearling ewes in total to average £866.25 per head.
Adjudicator Mr Currie was making a welcome return to Skipton. He last visited the annual Texel highlight 15 years ago as a 25-year-old to buy pedigree ram lambs and shearlings. “I was extremely pleased with them and some of their bloodlines remain in the flock to this day,” he said.
Of the show, Mr Currie commented: “It produced many sheep that were good to handle, very consistent and with good carcases. I was extremely pleased with the presentation in what has been a difficult year (in terms of the weather).
“The supreme champion had tremendous skin with a real show presence, a very correct well-grown ram lamb. The reserve supreme was full of breed character, with a tremendous carcase. She should do well for her new owners.”
The reserve male championship was awarded to the first prize shearling ram from the South Yorkshire Stoneridge Texel flock of northern chairman Steve Richardson and his wife Sherry, of Mount Pleasant Farm, Great Houghton, Barnsley.
The 18-month-old is a son of Stuart Currie’s Beautry Roberto, also by the prolific Procters Oswald, with the sire bought by the Richardsons as a lamb two years at Skipton for 1,600gns, top price in class.
The dam of the Skipton reserve male was bought in lamb to the Dutch sire Ffostyll Oscar. He found a new home in South Wales with Steve Smith’s Penparc flock. The Richardsons averaged £997.50 per head with eight shearling rams that successfully went under the hammer.
Local breeders John and Linda Mellin, who run the well-known Hull House flock at Hellifield, were responsible for the second prize shearling ewe and reserve female champion, a daughter of the Knock Playboy son Bold Venture Romeo, acquired from Lancashire breeder Andrew Holden.
By a Humeston Klondyke-sired flock ewe – herself out of a former first prize Great Yorkshire show ewe – the March, 2011-born shearling returned to Hellifield when bought for 750gns by up and coming young breeder William Watson. The Mellins’ seven-strong shearling ewe turnout averaged £675 each, along with six shearing rams sold to average £936.25 per head.
East coast breeder Mrs C Woodward, of Holyrood Farm, Balne, Goole, presented the first prize ewe lamb, a daughter of the Milnbank Rocksolid son, Wardhall Spyatri, bred in Cumbria by A L Mounsey, out of a Hull House-sired ewe. The February-born lamb sold locally to R Smith, of Steeton, for 140gns.
John and Alison North’s Loxley flock, based in Fenwick, Doncaster, also sold a shearling ewe at 1,500gns, one of six averaging £619.50 per head.
Shearling rams sold to an overall average of £681.53 per head, compared £618.40 last year, with shearling ewes averaging £478.21 (£401.40), ram lambs £409.96 (£339.30) and ewe lambs £133.50 (£253.97).
Main show results, prices and buyers – full details are at www.ccmauctions.com - were: Shearling ewe – 1 JD Houghton, Affetside, 2100gns to S Walmsley & Partners, Haverah Park, 2 J Mellin, Hellifield, 750gns to W Watson, Hellifield, S Currie, Rathmell, 3000gns to Warren Farms, Cleckheaton. Ewe lamb – 1 C Woodward, Balne, 140gns to R Smith, Steeton, 2 T Harrison, Skipton, 135gns to P Leeming, Cononley, 3 M Ireland, Whalley, 100gns to N Harvey, Dewsbury.
Shearling Ram – 1 S&S Richardson, Great Houghton, 2000gns to S Currie, Rathmell, 2 HM&PC Longdin, Tickhill, 900gns to M Kellett, Castle Ashby, Northants, 3 J Mellin, 900gns to D&J Carlisle, Cracoe. Ram lamb - DA Nesbitt, Winston, 2400gn to WH&MA Keighley, Leathley, 2 Procters Farm Ltd, Slaidburn, 1800gns to AF Harker, Long Preston, 3 JD Houghton, 450gns to J Howard, Great Ayton, Co Durham.
Show sponsors were CCM Auctions, Jameson Feeds, Townson Bros Fuel Oils, Galloway & MacLeod Pedigree Sheep Feeds, and agricultural agent Janet Sheard, representing Massey Feeds, Glasson Fertilisers, Masstock Fertilisers and Woodhead Seeds.