Rosie, three, shines at Skipton young farmers’ highlight A three-year-old who is still at nursery school became one of the youngest ever supreme champions when making her debut in the show ring at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual young handlers’ prime lamb show and sale. (Mon, July 27) Rosie Garth and her 35kg Beltex-cross wether lamb were awarded the title at the fixture, which gives farming’s future generations an early opportunity to both experience and shine in the exhibition arena.

The victor, winner of the up to 10 years show class, was by a home-bred tup from young Rosie’s parents, Robert Garth and Kelly Armitage, of Peaks View Farm, Burton-in-Lonsdale, both well-known faces at the mart.

It went on to sell for £108, or 308.6p/kg, top price both in show and on the day to the show judge, CCM Quality Foods director Simon Barker, who runs the on-site meat production unit for Stanforths Butchers. The supreme champion will go on sale from this weekend at their shop on Mill Bridge, Skipton.

Almost 20 youngsters across three age groups turned out with their lambs for the annual highlight, with the reserve championship falling to the winner of the 11-16 years show class, 16-year-old Josh Lawn, of East Manywells Farm, Cullingworth, who has just completed his studies at Parkside School, Cullingworth, and will be embarking on a two-year Level 3 Agricultural course at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley.

His three-quarters Charollais, one-quarter Beltex prime lamb, by a home-bred shearling ram, sold for £92 to Keelham Farm Shop, of Skipton and Thornton..

The winner of the senior class for 17 to 26-year-olds was Natasha Simpson, of High Scale Farm, Wigglesworth, with her Beltex-cross lamb, which sold for £84 to Hellifield’s Paul Watson

Barnoldswick’s Laura Robinson, supreme champion in both 2013 and 2014, had to be content with the runner-up slot in the senior class this year, her Texel-cross lamb selling for £87 to T Shepherdson, of Marsden, Huddersfield.

Tom Carlisle, of Cracoe, was third with a Texel-cross lamb sold for £83, while Rob Ellis, of Addingham Moorside, finished fourth, selling his Texel-cross at £88. Both again fell to Paul Watson, who also paid the day’s second top price of £96 for the second prize lamb in the youngest age group, another Texel from six-year-old Isobel North, of Giggleswick, who was supreme champion as a three-year-old in 2012 and reserve champion/top price achiever last year.

Third in class went to Lilly Ireland, of Whalley, with a Beltex-cross lamb sold for £70 to Vivers Scot Lamb in Annan, while fourth prize was awarded to Skipton’s Emma Lawn, whose Suffolk-cross entry became another Stanforths Butchers acquisition at £85.

Jack and Oscar Simpson, of Wigglesworth, finished second and fourth in the 11-16 age group with Beltex-cross lambs sold for £83 and £82 respectively, both to Vivers Scot Lamb. Third was Briercliffe’s Sam Phillipson with a Texel-cross that also fell to Keelham Farm Shop for £82.

Other young handlers taking part in the show classes, along with their selling prices, were Mollie Phillipson, £74, Amy and Nancy Lawn, £85, Henry Preston, £65, Bobby Crabtree, £87, Nieve Ireland, £68, and Jordan Makenna, £59.

Craven Cattle Marts’ livestock sales manager Ted Ogden said the popular annual showcase had once again proved its educational worth in equipping youngsters with a far better knowledge and understanding of exactly what happens to the lamb they have produced – from preparing and showing it, through to presenting it for sale in the ring and experiencing the live auction system at first hand.

He commented: “It is an extremely valuable learning process for young people who represent the future of great British farming and we remain keen to give them every encouragement possible. Our thanks again go to all who supported the fixture, including buyers who once again gave such wonderful support at the ringside.”

The show formed part of Skipton’s weekly Monday sale of 3,726 prime sheep, when trade for the 3,171 Spring lambs among them slipped further than expected, as lamb comes under price pressure, with processors reporting very subdued export demand, coupled with numbers increasing countrywide.

While smart lambs and handy weight types took least harm, and smart heavy lambs were also a decent trade on the day, commercial types were harder to cash on the week, producing an overall selling average of £60.51 per head, or 140.7p/kg.

Also on parade were 555 cast ewes and rams. Cull ewes averaged £48.67 per head, selling to a high of £104.50 for a Texel pen from Peter Longdin, of Doncaster, while cast rams averaged £62.63 each, topping at £92.50 for a Charollais from Lynne Throup, of Malham Moor.