East Anglian coup at Skipton Hampshire Down highlight
There was success for East Anglia at the Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders; Association North East Region ewe and ram show and sale staged at Skipton Auction Mart. (Friday, August 31)
Taking the supreme championship following the long journey north to exhibit at the North Yorkshire venue for the first time was the first prize shearling ram and male champion from Norfolk’s Andrew Jones and his two daughters, 21-year-old Eleanor, and Annabel, 18, who run the Morley flock at Morley St Botolph, Wymondham.
The December, 2016, ram, by the Scottish-bred Eastfortune Douglas, out of a home-bred Springfarm Neptune daughter, was tapped out as the title winner by Scottish show judge Roy McFarlane, who runs the Lecropt Hampshire Down flock at Bridge of Allan, and singled out the shearling ram show class for special praise.
The first-time shown victor from the Jones family, who established their second Hampshire Down flock in 2011 – Mr Jones started his first flock in the late 1980s - went on to sell locally for 340gns to John Craig, who runs the Lumb flock in Rathmell.
Standing overall reserve champion was the first prize ewe lamb and female champion from Skipton regulars and former champions, Cumbria’s Graham and Judith Gilbraith, who run the Graylen flock at Endmoor, near Kendal.
Shown by the couple’s son Ian, the family’s December, 2017, ewe lamb was a home-bred daughter of Graylen Javelin, a high index ram used as part of the AHDB’s RamCompare Progeny Trial, who has bred multiple prize winners. Out of a Kelsey dam bred by the now retired David Smith – it was purchased at his dispersal sale – the reserve champion sold for 300gns to a Warwickshire buyer, S Friswell, of Priors Marston.
John Craig was himself picked up several prizes, chief of which was winning the shearling ewe show class with his home-bred February, 2017, Court Chief daughter, out of a Yarcombe Creation-sired ewe, which sold for the day’s top call of 420gns when finding a new home in Scotland with DW&S Taylor, of Earlston in Berwickshire.
The red rosette-winning older ewe from Stephen Short’s Highcliffe flock in Southowram, Halifax, was a four-year-old acquired from the McCarthy family’s Ballycreelly flock in Co. Down, Ireland, and sired by their Devilsadvocate. It sold locally for 240gns to Keighley’s RC Lee.
Co. Down breeder Peter Lawson, who runs the Glenbrook flock in Bailliesmills, near Lisburn, was responsible for the first prize ram lamb and reserve male champion. The December, 2017, son of Loughbrae Black Knight sold for 400gns to CB Farms in Bedale.
The fixture, staged slightly earlier than usual and in a new format, attracted a 50-strong entry. Heading the averages were ram lambs at £420, followed by shearling ewes at £325, shearling rams £285, ewe lambs £233 and ewes £231.