Show principals share 540gns top call at inaugural CCM Skipton Northern Dorset Club annual fixture
Joint top selling prices of 540gns (£567) for both the supreme champion female and the champion male were seen at the inaugural show and sale of Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset sheep staged for the first time at Skipton Auction Mart on behalf of the Northern Dorset Breeders Club. (Saturday, August 6)
Clinching leading honours was the first prize shearling ewe and champion female from Richard Fitton, who runs the Dynamite flock at Ryders Farm, Keasley, near Bolton, with his Dynamite D2446, a December, 2020, daughter of Pembroke Zen is Best Z14, stock tup champion in the 2019 Northern Ireland Flock Competition.
Out of a Ballyhamage B151 dam, the supreme champion was tapped out as the standout sheep in show by judge Keith May, travelling north from Bodmin in Cornwall. Recipient of The Marren Trophy kindly donated by Mrs Karen Hodgson, the overall victor, shown by shepherd Joe Redford, fell to R Bolton, of Blackburn.
Mr Fitton established his Dorset flock some four years ago and has already made a major impact in the breed show area, standing reserve overall at this year’s Royal Welsh Show and both champion and reserve at last year’s Great Yorkshire.
Male champion was the first prize shearling ram from Northern Dorset Breeders Club chairman, Derbyshire’s Sam Driver, who runs the Sandy Lane flock in Chisworth, Glossop. His Sandy Lane Domino D6085, which stood Reserve Breed Champion at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, is an October, 2020, son of Maineview Balboa B993, out of a home-bred dam by Kildowney Zambezi Z390, the 2017 Northern Ireland Premier Sale Champion. He found pastures new in Lancashire with Alec Steff, who runs the Waggoners flock in Burnley.
From left, Shepherd, Joe Redford, with Richard Fitton’s Breed Champion, Judge, Keith May, and Sam Driver with the Male Champion.
Breed stalwarts the Drivers are dyed-in-the wool Dorest sheep aficianados, having run Dorset Horn tups only for crossing since 1952, with the pedigree flock established by Mr Driver in 1997. He, too, has picked up multiple show tickets, including the Great Yorkshire breed championship four years ago. With 500 registered breeding ewes on the ground, Sandy Lane is now one of the largest Dorset flocks in the UK.
Back at Skipton, Mr Driver also stood third in the shearling ewe show class with a December, 2020, Balbao daughter sold for 260gns, the runner-up from fellow Derbyshire breeder Alex Gill, who runs the High Rakes flock in Baslow, Bakewell, doing better at 320gns.
Keeping it in the family, Mr Driver’s mother Helen – she runs a small flock of her own in amongst the Sandy Lane flock - was responsible for the first prize ram lamb, Sandy Lane Elgin E7971, an October, 2021, son of Bennachie Crainlarich C6, out of a Bamburgh dam. The buyer at 400gns was Cheshire’s A Suppan.
The red rosette-winning ewe lamb from Christina Johnson’s Bamburgh flock in Northumberland made 220gns, matched on price by the runner-up again from Alex Birch, who completed a good day when presenting the best horned Dorset, the home-bred High Rakes D57, which made 320gns. The third prize ewe lamb from Sheila and John Gray’s local Burley flock in Burley-in- Wharfedalle got away at 180gns.
A standalone show class for the best pen of four females was won by Bruce Kenworthy, of Mankinholes, Todmorden, with March/April-born Poll Dorset ewe hoggets sold for 190gns. A very good show of sheep met a firm trade with near total clearance. Chief prices and averages: Ewes to 380gns (av £273), Shearling Ewes to 540gns (av £249), Ewe Lambs to 240gns (av £174), Shearling Rams to 540gns, Ram Lambs to 400gns.