The Associations’ 125th annual show and sale was held at CCM Auctions, Skipton Auction Mart, Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1UD on 2 & 3 September 2016
Andrew Fisher reels in top Wensleydale honours at Skipton
Fourth-season Wensleydale sheep breeder Andrew Fisher, of Well House Farm, Low Laithe, Harrogate, stepped up with both the champion and reserve at the 125th annual Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders’ Association show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.
Mr Fisher lifted the title with his first prize shearling ram and male champion, a first-rate home-bred that has excelled in the show arena all summer, becoming champion at both Otley and Ripley Shows, and also runner-up in its class at the Great Yorkshire. The victor was sired by Maesafon Tornado, a proven ram acquired two years ago from leading Welsh breeders Jim and Sandra Thompson. He is out of Thistle Dragon, bred by Knaresborough’s Yvonne Mudd, and sold to Adrian Tattersall, of Hindley, near Wigan, for 350gns, top price in class.
The show judge, Leyburn’s Fred Lawson, described the champion as “one of the best tups I have seen for years.” He added: “It was a good show of sheep. With new bloodlines coming through, it’s nice to see good skin back on Wensleydales these days.”
Mr Fisher’s overall reserve champion was his first prize shearling ewe and female champion, who is by another Thompson family tup, Maesafon Leonard Lloyd. And it was the Thompsons themselves, of Lower House Farm, Deytheur in Powys, who bought the first time-shown runner-up for 250gns.
The day’s top price of 520gns fell to a ewe lamb from Scottish breeder Mary Smith, of Carston Farm, Drongan, Ayr, who expressed herself ‘delighted’ with the outcome. Third in its show class, the lamb was by Mark Elliott’s Providence Peter, out of a Nosterfield Olympian daughter bred in Scotland by Hilary Menzies. It found a new home with a buyer from North Yorkshire.
Mr and Mrs Thompson also shone at the breed highlight when presenting the red rosette winners in the ram lamb and ewe lamb show classes, both again by Maesafon Leonard Lloyd. The latter, also reserve female champion, made 320gns when joining D Leonard, of Bramley, Leeds, the former selling at 195gns to C Stacey, of Buckfastleigh in Devon. In addition, the Thompsons won the prize for the best fleshed ram lamb, their second in class, again by the same sire. This sold for 200gns.
Local breeder Helen Collinge, of Silsden, also achieved 320gns with her second prize shearling ewe by the West End Marco son, Nosterfield Flashman. The buyers were DE&GM Storey, of Macclesfield.
Mark Elliott, of Providence Farm, Ferrensby, near Knaresborough, who has won multiple Skipton titles, was again prominent with the first prize aged ewe, by Widehope Ivanhoe. This sold for 120gns to PR Stephens, of Kilby, Leicester.
Report by Robin Moule of CCM (contact 01756 794027 & 07976 559961).
Photographs courtesy of Adrian Legge Photography Ltd, Copgrove, Harrogate.