Twin highlights at the Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders’ 36th annual two-day show and sale of pedigree rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart were a top price of 4500gns for a shearling ram from Richard Wilson’s Crimple Head flock in North Yorkshire and a supreme championship success for another shearling ram from Steve Richardson’s Stonebridge flock in South Yorkshire. (Thus & Fri, Sept 14 & 15)
Mr Wilson, of Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, took top call with his second prize winner, the March, 2016, Crimple Head Your The Man, who was among four first crop shearling rams in his pen by the Parkholme Telegram Sam son, Parkholme Van Dyke, bred by Thirsk’s Graham Taylor and purchased out of the Skipton sale two years ago.
Mr Wilson, the fourth generation of the Wilson sheep farming family – they are also renowned for their Dalesbred hill sheep – established his flock a decade ago and now runs 55 breeding ewes, along with a Texel-cross holding.
He is also a contract sheep shearer. “That’s how I first became interested in Texels while shearing them for Mark Keighley in Leathley and in Hellifield for John Mellin. I bought my first ram lamb from the Keighleys’ Manderlea flock and my first tup at Skipton – a son of the 2015 Great Yorkshire breed champion and reserve interbreed, Lakeside Thunderbird – from the Mellin family’s Hull House flock in partnership with Green Hammerton’s Derek Pickles.
“I focus only on natural breeding techniques and concentrate on producing shearling-makers for both the pedigree and commercial markets,” explained Mr Wilson, who rates his top price performer as the best tup he has ever bred. In fact, Your The Man had already made his mark in the show arena, finishing first at this year’s Otley Show and fourth in class at the Great Yorkshire.
Out of an Arkle Underdog-sired ewe from David Towell Moor Top flock, the classy ram fell to one of Mr Wilson’s early mentors, John Mellin, who said he was looking to introduce new bloodlines into his celebrated local flock, which he runs with his wife Linda and son Duncan. It was established in 1979 and now comprises 200 breeding ewes.
“He is a valuable acquisition. I liked him when I first saw him at the Great Yorkshire Show and he has done well since. He is a good balanced ram,” said Mr Mellin. Mr Wilson’s three other shearlings sold at 1100gns, 1000gns and 750gns, producing a pen total of 7350gns and an overall selling average of £1929.
Steve Richardson, a former Northern Area chairman who runs his pedigree flock at Mount Pleasant Farm, Great Houghton, near Barnsley, was crowned supreme champion with his February, 2016, Stonebridge Ya Belter, which first won its show class and the male championship, before being tapped out as best in show by pre-sale show judge Richard Wilson, of Eden Valley Texels in Appleby.
“He really stood out for me, a big, massive and powerful sheep, with shape, size and power – and an unbelievable carcase,” said Mr Wilson.
The title winner had already proved his mettle in the show arena, standing second this year at both the Lincolnshire and Great Yorkshire Shows. By Newbie Mains Winston, a 6000gns tup acquired in 2015 and shared by a four-strong syndicate of breeders, the victor is out of one of the best-ever ewes in the Stonebridge flock, an ET daughter of Allanfauld Rockafella. The 2017 supreme sold for 2000gns to NG Bailey & Co, of Denton Park, near Ilkley.
In addition, Mr Richardson claimed the runners-up slot in the Signet recorded shearling ram show class with Stonebridge Your The One, a full brother to his supreme champion. This one sold for 1200gns.