Last week’s Northern Texel Breeders Club sale at Skipton saw a strong trade for sheep destined for both the pedigree and commercial markets, with tups selling to 3400gns and females reaching 3000gns.
The sale saw a bumper clearance rate too, with 90% of the 452 sheep forward finding new homes and averages rose on last year to boot.
“It was one of the best shows and sales we have ever had and everyone seemed well satisfied,” said Northern Area chairman Steve Richardson, Barnsley.
The undoubted star of the show in terms of price was Moor Top Star, from local breeder David Towell’s celebrated flock at Upper Leys Farm, Glusburn Moor, Keighley.
The home-bred March, 2011-born son of Moor Top Predator, by Moor Top Nebulus, out of a 1200gns Claybury ewe by Garngour Nijinsky, is already a proven performer, having produced long bare skinned lambs with notable shape.
The Skipton top price found a new home in Berwick-upon-Tweed with Robert Bradbury, of Blackheddon Farm, and will be put to good use on the 100 flock ewes run by the commercial breeder. Mr Towell’s standout pen of eight shearling rams also led the flock averages when selling at £1,430.63 per head.
The 3000gns top price 2012 female was the third prize shearling ewe from Stuart Currie’s Beautry flock at Rathmell, Settle.
The February, 2011-born daughter of Procters Oswald, acquired as a lamb five years ago, out of a Mullan Magnificent-sired flock ewe, created keen interest at the ringside, before falling to Warren Farms, Cleckheaton, Bradford.
The supreme championship fell for the first time to the first prize ram lamb and male champion from the Deneside flock of County Durham’s David Nesbitt, Winston, Darlington.
Mr Nesbitt, who has been showing at the annual fixture for several years, took top honours for the first time with Deneside Thunder, a February-born son of Allanfauld Rockafella, acquired in partnership with fellow Texel breeders Steve and Sherry Richardson, Jennifer Lodge and Robert Laird. He has already produced lambs to 9500gns.
Out of one of Mr Nesbitt’s top breeding ewes, a classy daughter of Haddo Kingpin, the title winner sold for 2400gns to the Manderlea flock of William, Mark and Helen Keighley, Leathley, Otley. The Keighleys themselves sold eight shearling ewes to average £770.43 and eight shearling rams at an average of £945.
Among the sire’s first crop of gimmer lambs, the Skipton runner-up, out of an ewe by the 10,000gns Knock Orion, bought jointly by Mr Houghton and Anglezarke Texels from Aberdeenshire breeders George and Albert Howie, sold for 2100gns to Sid Walmsley and Partners, Haverah Park, Harrogate. Mr Houghton sold six shearling ewes in total to average £866.25.
The reserve male championship was awarded to the first prize shearling ram from the South Yorkshire Stoneridge flock of Steve Richardson and his wife Sherry.
The 18-month-old is a son of Stuart Currie’s Beautry Roberto, also by the prolific Procters Oswald, with the sire bought by the Richardsons as a lamb two years at Skipton for 1600gns, top price in class.
The dam of the Skipton reserve male was bought in lamb to the Dutch sire Ffostyll Oscar. He found a new home in South Wales with Steve Smith’s Penparc flock. The Richardsons averaged £997.50 with eight shearling rams that successfully went under the hammer.
Local breeders John and Linda Mellin, were responsible for the second prize shearling ewe and reserve female champion, a daughter of the Knock Playboy son Bold Venture Romeo, acquired from Lancashire breeder Andrew Holden.
Out of a Humeston Klondyke-sired flock ewe – herself out of a former first prize Great Yorkshire show ewe – the March, 2011-born shearling returned to Hellifield when bought for 750gns by up and coming young breeder William Watson.
John and Alison North’s Loxley flock, based at Fenwick, Doncaster, also sold a shearling ewe at 1500gns, one of six averaging £619.50.
Shearling rams sold to an overall average of £681.53 per head, compared £618.40 last year, with shearling ewes averaging £478.21 (£401.40), ram lambs £409.96 (£339.30) and ewe lambs £133.50 (£253.97).