Skipton

At our first sale the Booth family, Smearsett, repeated their success of a year earlier by claiming both first prizes in the morning show of pens of 10 and 20 lambs, with the Catons, of Otterburn Lodge, taking the reserve slot in both. As if to prove the judges right, and our thanks go to Mr R Sizmur & Mr A Collett, and Mr S Bolland & Mr R Ogg, three of these four pens went on to top the market on a day which saw the overall average rise slightly on the year at £98.09. Delighted to see James Huck, Sowerthwaite, in the prizes for the first time, then go on to return the highest flock average of the day at £124.

Dominating proceedings at the second sale was new Association hairman Kevin Wilson, Hewness, who, after never taking the red rosette before, did the double in the show of 10’s & 20’s, thanks to judges Mr A Bramall & Mr J Towler, and Mr T Walmsley & Mr J Goulding. It was a good morning’s work for Kevin, who, having won two classes, then topped the market with his prize-winning pens, and sold up by 10.30am. As the day went on, it became apparent that the morning was the time to sell, as the trade dipped off after lunch for trade to level at £91.92, £3.12 down on the year.

1st sale 05.09.17

Forward: 7,073 head at an overall average of £98.09 per head (+£1.25 on 2016)

Pens of 10
1st       WA&A Booth
2nd     A&R Caton
3rd      FA Caton

Pens of 20
1st       WA&A Booth
2nd     A&R Caton
3rd      CD&RF Kitching

2nd sale 19.09.17

Forward: 8,887 head at an overall average of £91.92 per head (-3.12 on 2016)

Pens of 10
1st       JK Wilson
2nd     CD&RF Kitching
3rd      JC&N Throup

Pens of 20
1st       JK Wilson
2nd     CD&RF Kitching
3rd      CD&RF Kitching

A year-on-year drop in value is always a concern and, despite all branches working hard on behalf of their members, demand for Mule sheep is dropping and market share is reducing at the expense of other breeds that are being particularly dynamic and professional in their approach to marketing. Resting on our laurels is no longer an option and, as England found to their cost at Murrayfield, sometimes a greater desire wins the day.

In my final report I would like to take the opportunity to thank those that have helped me during my tenure as Skipton Branch Chairman, namely, CCM for hosting and organising the sales, all the committee members who have been involved throughout the past three years, particularly Dick Ellis and Robin Booth, who come off this year to be ably replaced by Alistair Lawn, Rob Walker and John Lancaster, and, lastly, Claire Mason for her great work as secretary, thank you.

Finally, I’d like to wish Kevin the best of luck in his new role and I hand over to Frank Kitchen, whose passion for the breed is obvious and there is no doubt that he will bring  this and his own inimitable style to the job.

Best wishes, Neil