SKIPTON Auction Mart’s inaugural annual prize show and Tuesday 23rd August – the traditional pipe opener of the annual breeding sheep season and one of the key early fixtures in the northern calendar – attracted one of the biggest customer crowds ever seen. several years at ringside. 5,091 head, an increase on the previous year’s 4,770, sold to an overall all-breed average of £174.14, not far off the 2021 average sale of £177.43.
Continental winners in five independent show classes for ten pens were first-time purebred Texels by South Yorkshire husband and wife exhibitors, David and Mandy Warttig, Turgoland, Pule Hill Farm, with rams bought a few years ago. From Procters Farm in Wray and all sons of the famous 100,000gns Sportmans Batman.
The Warttigs, who manage 450 Texel breeding ewes, are the second recipients of the James Boothman Memorial Trophy, which was first presented last year by Linton’s Thomas Boothman in memory of his late father. Class winners P Eckersley won £300 per head bought by Blackburn.
The second prize pen, three-quarter Texels from the Coverdale family of Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, sold for £280, with third prize winners H Harvey & Son making their annual pilgrimage north from Waxham in Norfolk for £225.
Continental furs sold better than expected given the grass condition across the country, with the ring well supported by both local farmers and buyers from northern regions for fine furs. Top-bred Texels were very well bought and sold, with purebred smart types from £240-plus size, with many sellers reaching £300.
The top price of £340 went to some cracking shearers from the aforementioned Thomas Boothman, with strong Texels, both cross and pure size, selling for over £200 for the top ends of the sellers runs. By size and strength, first cross fleeces sold for £180-£220, while leaner and smaller-framed ewes sold for £145-£165.
Suffolks sold an easier shade throughout the year, trading cross fur with many commercial breeds
£150-£160, with the best end of sellers fetching over £175. Top price came from T Webster of Skipton for £400 for a pen of five pure Suffolks.
Mr Butman was again called upon to present his late uncle’s Edgar Butman trophy, presented annually to the first prize pen of Mule furs in the North of England and to the red rosette winners of the regular show from Steelands Farm, Grindleton, Ribble Valley. .
At last year’s North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) annual sale, some from Skipton, all by Bluefaced Leicester tups from leading northern breeders, the majority of the furs were lambed as pigs. Second-generation Mule user and breeder Mr Towler, accompanied by partner Samantha Fawcett, saw his class winners sold to Garrowby Estate Farms in York for £260 each.
Settle’s Amy Wilson was second, bettering her pen by £270. The Fox family from Withgill, Clitheroe, came third, paying £255. The mules were a very sharp trade, continuing to sell very well until their latest pen, another pen from Thomas Butman making £245. Other prices of note included JW Hall selling 420 Mules at £255 and £245 with Thomas and Sheila Binns of Darnbrook, Malham Moor, Downham twice at £250 and East Anglian Harveys at £245.
Overall Mule buyers bid strongly for pens vaccinated against Enzootic Abortion and Toxemia, with additional buyers looking for Footvax treated ewes. Most grafted pens range from £180 to £200.
The annual Masham Sheep Breeders’ Association show was won for an unprecedented fourth year by breed stalwarts WD Douthwaite & Partners of Kirkby Overblow, who run their Mashams on another farm at Menwith Hill with Chris Douthwaite’s daughter Amanda. Chairman of breeders.
Their first premium pen, with a mix of both home-grown and purchased casks, sold to C Parker of Market Harborough for £252 a head. A third prize pen from the same house, all pets, wins £190. The Liddle family from Stainburn, Otley, finished second and fourth in the class, selling runners-up for £218.
A separate show class for non-associate Masham berry shearlings was again won by father and son Mark and Freddie Harrison, trading as V Verity & Son of Whitmoor Farm, West End, Summerbridge. Their homebred pen, themselves sons of Bainbridge Bros Marrick Abbey rams, made £218 each going to C Parker, the second prize pen selling for £200 from the same house. A third prize pen from John and Claire Wright of Airton sold for £180.
Repeat winners and also runners-up in the Cheviot Mules show class were Darnbrook’s JW Hall & Son – father and son, both James and brother William – with both pens selling for £200. Cheviot Mules and Cheviot-x Texels D&SJ Pinder of Newton had a fine trade selling seven pens from £200 to £240.
The sale started with 2-cut ewes and ring edging for ewes of all ages, with more in demand to meet demand. Individual breed averages are: North of England Mules £176.85 (+£1.28), Masham £187.20 (-£8.88), Texel £175.61 (-£10.16), Suffolk furs (£152 Mulevi) and £151, Chearlings. shearlings £185.66 (+£12.29)
Rams also appeared with fur of all breeds for the first time in many years. The Robinson family, of Pannal, Harrogate, regularly make 600-800gns for their Texel/Beltex crosses, while Mrs Denby, of Longtown, gets a top price of 700gns with her Suffolk fur.
His Continentals were judged by Jim Scriven and stepson Chris Beckerton of Elslack, and his Mules were judged by Angus Dean, Threshfield, Jon Frankland, Rathmell and Mashams, Ernest Bainbridge, Reeth. Co-sponsors were the British Wool Marketing Board, Top Tags and WE Jameson.