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Kirkby Stephen Swaledale Ram Sale 2016

The annual two-day jamboree took place at Kirkby Stephen as the C District swaledale ram sale took place. With a massive entry, with 1036 tups catalogued over the two days, a rise of 116 on the year, trade was always going to be a bit sticky, especially with the number of sheep on the fells slashed over the last few years. The averages were up however and the number of tups sold increased, but overall the commercial trade wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but the top end of tups was a phenomenal trade.

It was a great day for the Cockbain family, who farm on the hills above Keswick in the Lake District, running 1000 ewes up to 2000 feet on the fells, topping the trade was a tall, lashy shearling, Rakefoot Major Tom, which had stood third in the pre-sale show on the Friday, as well as taking the championship ticket with another tup. They didn’t have long to bask in the winning glory as they were only 7 tups in from the start. Major Tom was by an Eric Coates tup bought 2 years ago for £2000, which was out of a show ewe, so it had plenty of good breeding behind it and his mother was by another Aygill bought a few years back. The bidding was fast and furious, with the hammer dropping at £40,000, selling to Richard Harker, Grayrigg Hall, Mark Nelson, Bull and Cave and Haltcliffe. The Champion from the same pen, Rakefoot Mortlock, sold for £9000 to Messrs Dowson, Bowes.

Bull & Cave are one of the more noted flocks and they were pulling in the punters from the off on the Thursday. They were earlyish in, but helped set the tone for a fantastic trade for the top notch tups. His pen leader was brute of a tup, tall, long, with a great head and skin. By the £50,000 Grayrigg Hall and out of a ewe by the £50,000 Rhinestone Cowboy bred by Thomas Iveson. He sold for £38,000 to John Richardson, Ghyll House. The Bull and Cave pen saw further bids of £17,000 and £16,000, selling to Overthwaite and Long Green respectively, as well as a host of tups well into the thousands, giving him a pen average of over £8000 for 14 tups.

A brace of tups hit £35,000, the first came on the Thursday for Richard & Gail Harker from the Grayrigg Hall flock. This cracker was by the £11,000 Wear tup and out of a ewe by a tup they bought privately of Richard Hargreaves and has done well for them. He was bought in a three way split with Peter Lightfoot, George Hutton and Peter Lee all getting in on the act. Grayrigg hall also took the Champion ticket on the Thursday, with their first shearling, Grayrigg BRO 8, a son of the £10,500 Brogden tup. He sold for £24,000 to Derbyshire breeder Neil Richardson. The other at £35,000 came as Richard Hargreaves from the Meadowbank flock sold the reserve champion from the second days’ sale late in the day. His tup, Meadowbank Hallam 11th was by the £42,000 Paul Hallam tup bought with the Grayrigg Hall flock a few years back. This was the best sale for the flock yet and sold in a 5 way split to Stephen Clarkson, Christine Whitehead, John Richardson, Thomas Iveson and Graham Scarr.

Father and son team David and Michael Allinson, West Briscoe enjoyed a great trade and saw their first shearling into the ring, West Briscoe Moonshine sell for £30,000. This colossal shearling was by a £4800 Paul Ewbank and out of a ewe by a Walton tup, sold in the top pen of draft ewes last year for £340. Dipping deep into their pockets for a second time was Peter Lightfoot and George Hutton, this time joined by Bill Cowperthwaite. Seconds later his twin went on to make £12,000. Maybe the Allinsons will be trying to buy back their ewe later!

Messrs Cockbain took a little bit out of their mornings earnings when the Helbeck flock entered the ring. The first tup from Stan and Pat Brogdon, Helbeck Flash 13 was just in the tickets at the pre-sale show. This sorty type was by a Christine Clarkson sire and out of an old ewe by a Catlow tup. This boy shot to £28,000. Another Brogden tup, by their prolific Limelight tup sold for £10,000 as well.

No other tups broke the £20,000 barrier but no less than four hit £18,000 on the Friday. The first came from Summers Lodge, with a son of a Richard Harker, which sold to the Dixon brothers of Half Penny House and Stainton, near Leyburn. Nest at that figure was James Beckwith, New Hall with a son of the £20,000 Helbeck they bought two years ago. This was a personal best for the flock, and sold to Sam Hodgson, Glencoyne. Later in the day was the turn of Murton Hall, with brothers Jimmy and Stan Harker in good form and father Earnest full of sales talk, persuaded Robert Wear from Howe Green, Patterdale to part with the cash. This stonker of a tup was by a home bred tup “The Business” Very late on the Friday was a trade never to forget for John Kelsall, Summerland near Ingleton. He picked up second in the Small Breeders section of the show, and his tup, Summerlands JR Kisdon 1, by a Kisdon tup borrowed from John Richardson, for his few ewes and out of a ewe by a Paul Capstick tup, going back to an Aygill draft ewe. The hammer fell at £18,000 and Geoff & Carol Marwood, Long Green were the successful bidders.

overall 2 two day Shearlings average for 807 rams of £1883.58

(up £209.54 on the year for 75 more rams sold)

Over the 2 days 807 shearlings were sold, with an average of £1883.58 for 75 more tups sold

A total of 28 tups hit the magica 5 figure sum, with trade for the top quality tups on fire. The sale finished with overall 2 two day Shearlings average for 807 rams of £1883.58

(up £209.54 on the year for 75 more rams sold)



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