2019-07-30  facebooktwitterrss

Kieran Takes Skipton Young Handlers Championship Again

You just can’t keep a top-notch up-and-coming young showman down! West Craven’s Kieran Robinson, aged just six, once again demonstrated exceptional talent for one of such tender years when securing the supreme championship for an unprecedented fourth year in succession at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual young handlers’ prime lamb show and sale. (Monday, July 29)

Kieran Robinson, a pupil at Barnoldswick Church School, landed an incredible four-timer – he won his first Skipton title as a three-year-old - when his own near pure 40kg Beltex gimmer lamb was first adjudged winner of the Under 10s show class, before being tapped out as overall champion by Red Rose show judge George Cropper Jnr, who runs Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden.

Young Handlers

Some of the up and coming young handlers at Skipton’s annual prime lamb showcase. Kieran Robinson, supreme champion for the fourth consecutive year, is pictured right, joined by reserve champion Molly Phillipson and Tom Dean, winner of the senior show class.

The home-bred lamb, by a Scottish-bred Aviemore tup, really stood out in the show arena and was again handled with both coolness and confidence by Kieran in front of his proud parents, Scott and Laura Robinson, who run a smallholding in Barnoldswick. The victor became the day’s highest priced lamb when selling for £130, or 325p/kg, to Ian Ibbotson, of Oakworth.

The reserve champion also came from across the border. It was the first prize winner in the 10-16 years show class, a 45kg Texel-cross lamb shown by 14-year-old Molly Phillipson, of Netherwood Farm, Briercliffe. Burnley, who was over the moon when outshining her brother Sam, himself a former Skipton young handlers reserve champion, who stood second in the same show class.

By a home-bred tup, Molly’s overall runner-up sold for £108 to Kitson & Sons Butchers, which has four outlets in the north-east, among them its flagship Five Houses Farm Shop and Kitchen in Crathorne. However, brother Sam did outstrip his sister on price when his 49kg lamb was claimed for £115 by Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton.

The 17-26 years show class was won by Tom Dean, of Clapham, with James Mellin, of Black Lane Ends, standing second. Their 41kg and 50kg lambs sold for £107 and £100 to, respectively, Roland Agar Wholesale Meats in Ilkley and Skipton-based Swaledale Foods.

It was the U10s show class that attracted by far the largest turnout with 14 young and eager exhibitors. Brothers Thomas and Oliver Marshall, from Dacre, Harrogate, stood second and third, their 40kg and 44kg charges selling at £110 and £120 to, respectively, Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton and Ian Ibbotson again. The same buyer, seeking some nice gimmer lambs, also went to £128, the second highest price on the day, to claim the 50kg fourth prize winner from John Henry Mellin, of Black Lane Ends.

Back with the 10 to 16-year-olds, the third prize winner was Jimmy Crabtree, from Clifton, his 42kg lamb selling at £96 to Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley.

The annual highlight at the beginning of the school summer holidays once more presented an ideal opportunity for farming’s future generations to gain valuable experience in both the show arena and the sales ring. It attracted 19 entrants across all three show classes and was sponsored by Craven Cattle Marts, Wynnstay and Top Tags.

Also showing lambs were Rav Hartley, Thomas Thornber, Jack Thornber, Alexander Fort-Minish, Jack Metcalfe, Hannah Metcalfe, Henry Sugden, George-ira Sugden and Jack Alan Guy.

The young handlers showcase formed part of Skipton’s weekly sale of 3,390 prime sheep, when the 2,325 Spring lambs among them sold to an overall average of £78.42 per head, or 180.8p/kg.

Lamb trade was very similar on the week, smart heavy types making £100 to £115, depending on quality, with the next grade of commercial lambs weighing 49kg to 55kg selling between £90 and £100, while commercial 46-48kg sorts made £85-£90. By weight, smart lambs sold at 230- 265p per kilo, with a pen of ten 38kg Beltex from Henry Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, catching the eye at £103 each, or 271.1p/kg.

A huge turnout of 1,065 cast sheep, though plainer and lighter this week, sold away to decent returns, good lowland ewes making £75 to £100, the best Mules selling into the £70s and decent hill ewes into the £50s. Cull ewes averaged £51.29 overall and cast rams £62.50.

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