EASTER LAMB PRESS - MONDAY 21ST MARCH

Robert Towers again dominates Skipton Easter Spring lamb showcase Red Rose sheep farmer Robert Towers rattled up another championship and reserve championship double at the annual Easter prime lamb show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, March 21) Mr Towers, of Camp House Farm, Farleton, Lancaster, was repeating his coup of the previous year at the North Yorkshire venue, while also picking up his fourth successive supreme champion’s rosette at the annual highlight with his first prize single lamb, a home-bred 45kg Beltex-cross-Charollais.


It sold for the day’s top per head price of £135, or 300p/kg, to show judge James Farrington, who also paid £130 per head, or 302.3p/kg, for Mr Towers’ first prize 45kg pairs pen and reserve champions.

Mr Towers has dominated this year’s regional Easter prime lamb show circuit and all his Skipton entries were by a ram he purchased three years ago at the mart’s annual Beltex Sheep Society September show and sale. The same tup was also responsible for his 2015 principals.

Mr Farrington also added the second prize single Continental lamb, a 51kg Charollais-cross from Charles Marwood, who runs the Foulrice flock at Whenby, near York, for £128, or 251p/kg, along with two further Marwood pens – three at £123, a further pair at £121, plus another Robert Towers single at £122.

All were acquired on behalf of Roots Farm Shop and Cafe, located at Home Farm in East Rounton, near Northallerton, where Mr Farrington also works as a butcher. They will be going on sale in both the shop and cafe from this weekend specifically for the Easter trade, when customers will have the pick of some top quality lamb roasts and other prime cuts.

Roots Farm Shop was established in 2008 by the Hutchinson family to both improve the sustainability of their farm, part of the Arncliffe Estate, and meet a desire to sell quality local food to their local communities.

Mr Marwood was also responsible for the third prize 42kg pairs pen, which were knocked down at £126 each to Eldwick’s Mick Etherington, buying on behalf of Woodend’s Family Butchers in Otley Road, Adel, Leeds. The shop, run by Dan Woodend, also acquired further Robert Towers prize winners, the third prize 46kg single lamb at £125 and the second prize pairs at £119 each.

In addition, Mr Marwood topped the by-weight prices with a 38kg Charolais-cross pair purchased at 310p/kg, or £118, by regular buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, who also paid £107 for the third prize Down-cross single lamb from Eshton’s Brian Wellock.

As in previous years, Mark Evans, of Tower Gate Farm, Steeton, ruled the Down-cross show classes, winning both red rosettes with his Suffolks, a 59kg single and 49kg pair, all three December-born to a home-bred ram in its first breeding season.

The latter sold for £125 each, again to Mr Etherington, though this time buying on behalf of John Kearns Butchers, of Market Square, Shipley.

The first prize single lamb made £120 when joining Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, who also paid £124 for the second prize 55kg single, again from Mr Evans.

With Easter falling early this year, the entry of 48 Spring lambs sold to an overall average of £111.98 per head, or 266.4p/kg, though this represented an increase on the previous year’s 252.95p/kg.