Northern Area in-lamb ewes to 1600gns top
It was a case of history repeating itself at the annual Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders Club in-lamb show and sale at Skipton on Saturday (15 December), when Mark and Helen Keighley, Leathley, Otley, regained the supreme championship and took the day's top price too.
The annual fixture is a happy hunting ground for the Keighleys, who have now lifted the title six times in the past seven years, missing out only in 2011.
The Champion took the day's lead call of 1600gns
Their latest victor, the first prize shearling ewe from their Manderlea flock, was among the first crop of lambs by Stonehills Rockstar, acquired by the Keighleys in 2010.
The dam is by Gib Farm Motorolo, while the grand dam’s sire Wigglesworth Jimmy was responsible for a number of past Skipton champions from the Keighleys.
In lamb to Manderlea Turbo, by Milton of Noth Superstar, who is from renowned breeding lines producing consistent carcase and character, the victor sold to an up-and coming young breeder, 13-year-old William Watson, Hellifield, for the day's lead call of 1600gns.
Second best among the shearlings was the second prize winner from Procters Farm, Clitheroe. The March-born shearling, by Watchknow Rustic Boy, out of a Clynnog Joe Tex-sired dam, was in-lamb to a 20,000gns Lanark champion Cairnam Talisman. She joined R N Kirkby and Son, Ainderby Steeple, Northallerton, at 1150gns.
William Watson then paid 800gns for the first prize senior ewe and overall reserve champion from John Mellin’s Hull House. He also paid 620gns for the second prize ewe from the same exhibitor.
Mr Mellin’s February, 2009-born reserve champion is by 6500gns tup Knock Orocco, out of a home-bred daughter of Garngour Maverick. She has been scanned in-lamb to Bushmills Samson, best stock ram in the 2011 Northern Area Flock Competition. The second in class is also by Knock Orocco and in-lamb to the same ram.
The pick of the ewe lambs came from the Lancashire-based Brookhill flock of Alex and Gemma Brown, Tockholes, Darwen. The February-born lamb was by their 4800gns purchase Tullagh Sheriff, interbreed champion at this year’s Trawden Show, out of a Cowal Keepsake-sired dam who has also produced a ram lamb sold at 1800gns. The red rosette winner also headed the class prices when selling for 700gns to Scottish breeder A Leggate, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire.
Averages; gimmers £463, ewe lambs £261, aged ewes £341 (Craven Cattle Marts).