2017-11-29  facebooktwitterrss

Skipton Christmas Prime Lamb Champions Sell at £520 Each

Father and son Richard and Mark Ireland, of Heys Farm, Whalley, landed their first-ever festive prime lamb supreme championship at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas primestock show. (Sun, Nov 26)

They lifted the prestigious title with the first prize 47kg Continental trimmed pen of three Beltex-cross lambs, home-bred by their stock tup, Shamrock Beast, the first ram they have bred in their small pedigree Beltex flock, which was only established two years ago. Their main breed is the Heys Texel flock.

Richard, Mark and Chris Ireland are pictured in the Skipton ring with the 2017 Christmas supreme champion prime lambs with, standing from left, George Hamlet, judge and butcher buyer Tim Hamlet, Claire Radley, representing the main sponsors, Skipton NFU, Harry Hamlet and CCM chairman Anthony Hewetson.

Richard, Mark and Chris Ireland are pictured in the Skipton ring with the 2017 Christmas supreme champion prime lambs with, standing from left, George Hamlet, judge and butcher buyer Tim Hamlet, Claire Radley, representing the main sponsors, Skipton NFU, Harry Hamlet and CCM chairman Anthony Hewetson.
pic: Adrian Legge Photography

“We have been trying for five years to win the Christmas title. It’s a wonderful achievement for us and we are absolutely over the moon,” said Mark Ireland.

They had even more reasons to smile when their 2017 victors went on to sell at a heady £520 each to the man who had nominated them as supreme champions, lowland sheep judge Tim Hamlet, who owns Hamlets Butchers in Church Street, Garstang.

Mr Hamlet also purchased the 2016 Skipton Christmas prime lamb champions, though he had to pay £180 per head more this year to claim them after facing fierce competition at the ringside from other independent retail butchers keen to source the pick of the region’s prime lambs for customers’ festive tables.

Undeterred, Mr Hamlet also went to £200 per head to claim the overall reserve champions, the first prize and reserve champion lowland pen of three 39kg Continental-cross lambs, again Beltex, shown by James Towler, of Steelands Farm, Grindleton. These, too, were home-breds by a pure Beltex tup acquired at last year’s Skipton breed society highlight in September.

“Our customers absolutely loved them last year, so we returned keen to get the best lambs that money can buy. They will again be in the shop for Christmas,” said Mr Hamlet, who was accompanied by his two sons, Henry, 20, who is studying for an agri business degree at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, and 16-year-old George, who is undertaking an apprenticeship course at Myserscough Agricultural College.

The champion hill lambs, the first prize pen of three 52kg Mashams which were also breed champions at Countryside Live in Harrogate this year, came from husband and wife, Mike and Betty Allen, who farm on the east coast at Borrowby Grange Farm, Whitby, and were also reserve Skipton Christmas champions last year.

Purchased from JM Wilson & Sons in Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, familiar faces at Skipton, the 2017 title winners sold for £130, or 250p/kg, to Andrew Ashby, who has The Millstones & Mill 67 in Skipton Road, Kettlesing, Harrogate, where they will be served in the renowned carvery restaurant and bistro. 

Judge Nick Dalby, of Hartwith, awarded the reserve hill lamb championship to the first prize pen of 49g Scottish Blackface lambs from North Yorkshire’s Keith Porteous, who farms in Richmond, also running Beltex and Texel-cross ewes. This trio returned home.

Back with the lowland lambs, the Irelands also took second and third prizes in the show class for lighter Continental-cross trimmed lambs with 38kg and 39kg trios. The former made £130 each, or 342p/kg, the latter £115 per head, or 294p/kg, both pens falling to regular butcher buyer Anthony Swales, who again made multiple acquisitions for his Knavesmire Butchers shop in Albermarle Road, York.

The first prize pen of Continental-cross untrimmed 39kg lambs from Les Grange, of Follifoot, the best Texel-sired pen, were also claimed by Mr Swales at £88, or 238.9p/kg, while the second prize pen from D&A Livestock in Haverah Park, Harrogate, sold for £90, or 230.8p/kg, to Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, another regular buyer who also made multiple acquisitions, many of behalf of butcher customers. He also paid £82, or 221.6p/kg, for third prize pen from Calderdale’s John Midgley, of Ludendenfoot.

Mr Midgley also presented the first prize pen of Continental-cross untrimmed 40kg or more lambs, these making £130, or 288.9p/kg, when also joining Mr Swales. while the third prize pen from 2016 Christmas supreme champions, the Fox family in Clitheroe, sold at £110, or 220p/kg, to Kitsons & Sons Butchers for its four retail outlets in Northallerton, Stockton-on-Tees, Hutton Rudby and Crathorne.

The Fox family also stepped up with the second prize Continental-cross trimmed 40kg or more lambs, sold for £160 each, or 307.7p/kg, to Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster, with the third in class from Martin and Val Brown, of Leyburn, also joining the same buyers at £135, or 306.8p/kg.

First prize in the Suffolk-cross show class fell to Anthony Thompson, of Salterforth, his 51kg charges selling at £115 per head Kendalls Farm Butchers for its shops in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate.

Hill champions, the Allens also had a second prize pen of untrimmed lowland lambs, sold to Baxenden butcher George Cropper Jnr at £145, or 329.5p/kg.

Again in the hill lambs, Joe and Nancy Throup, from Draughton, won the Mule show class with home-breds sold for £81 each, or 177.6p/kg. They have produced some 800 Mule lambs this season and retain 500 breeding ewes. Standing second in the same class were Silsden Moor’s Ken and Lynne Throup, these selling at £80, or 145.5p/kg, with the third prize pen from Richard Close, of Starbotton, making £77, or 148.1p/kg. All three pens sold to Mr Atkinson.

The Swaledale show class fell to John and Eileen Addyman, of Skipton, with the lambs claimed by Halifax meat wholesaler Gerald Medcalf at £72, or 160p/kg, while the runners-up from Linton’s Tom Boothman sold at £80, or 153.8p/kg, to Skipton-based Swaledale Foods. The third prize pen from John Smith, of Carleton, also fell to Mr Atkinson at £68, or 151.5p/kg.

Of the other Masham show pens, Keith Porteous again chipped in with the second prize winners, sold for £85, or 146.6p/kg, to John Kearns Butchers in Market Square, Shipley, who also paid £79, or 154.9p/kg, for the third prize pen from the Wilson family in Beckwithsaw.

First and second prizes in the Dalesbred show class fell to father and son, Joe and Trevor Stoney, of Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, with both pens again snapped up by Mr Atkinson, the red rosette winners at £78, or 162.5p/kg.

Back came Mr Atkinson to claim two more prize-winning pens of Scottish Blackface lambs, one from S Moore, of Newton-le-Willows, at £76, or 152p/kg, the other from Mr Porteous again at £76, or 165.2p/kg.

The annual highlight attracted another strong and top quality turnout of 216 butchers’ lambs. Special prizes were also awarded by CCM Auctions, Masham Sheep Breeders Association, Northern Area Texel Sheepbreeders and the Northern Beltex Club. 

ccm auctions

Related Links
link Another CCM Christmas Primestock Cracker in Prospect
link Richard Close Wins Coveted Skipton Dalesbred Trophy
link 9,500gns All-time High at Working Sheep Dogs Sale
link Limousin Bull Tops Autumn Pedigree Cattle Highlight