Skipton Sale Report – Robin Moule

Nick Oliver Carperby Pastures flock sets 900gns breed record ewe lamb price at Skipton Wensleydale Longwool highlight

A new breed record price was set for the second consecutive year and by the same breeder at the 129thannual Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders Association show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Sat, Sept 5)

Nick Oliver, who runs the Carperby Pastures flock at the village of the same name near Leyburn in North Yorkshire, established a new breed society record price for gimmer lambs of 900gns with his first prize ewe lamb and show champion.

One of February-born triplets, the victor is by the Gedgrave Cyril son, Providence Samson, acquired from Mark Elliott’s Providence flock at Ferrensby, near Knaresborough, with the same sire also responsible for another ewe lamb which stood female and overall reserve champion for Mr Oliver last year.

Again by a home-bred dam sired by Princethorpe Carlsberg, the record price performer – it eclipsed Mr Oliver’s previous breed society ram lamb record price of 850gns at Skipton last year – joined West Wight Alpacas on the Isle of Wight, a family business and tourist attraction set up in 2010 by husband and wife team, Neil and Michelle Payne. They also have Llamas.

Accompanied by his daughters, Sophie and Katie, Mr Oliver, who is based where the Wensleydale Longwool was first established right back in the 1880s, was also responsible for the second prize ewe lamb, one of February-born twins by Princethorpe Carlsberg, a well-utilised stock tup originally acquired from Warwickshire breeder Dr Lynn Clouder, out of another home-bred dam by Endrigs Celebration. This also fell to West Wight Alpacas for 420gns.

Defending champion Mark Elliott, who runs the dual Providence and Garth flocks in Ferrensby with his mother Judy, had to settle for reserve championship honours this year with the first prize Providence shearling ram, a product of a Nick Oliver-bred sire, Carperby Pastures Wheatsheaf, out of a Princethorpe High Hopes-sired dam. It headed the section prices at 500gns when joining the Parker & Bird partnership in Aylesbury.

The Garth flock stepped up with both the first and second prize shearling ewes. The red rosette winner was a Carperby Pastures-bred daughter of Princethorpe Carlsberg, the runner-up a home-bred twin by Carperby Pastures Wheatsheaf. The former became a further 320gns purchase by West Wight Alpacas, the latter joining another breeder and tourist attraction in the same sector, Hebbs Alpacas, of Cockerham, south of Lancaster.

The Elliotts also chipped in with the first prize aged ram, one of 2018-born twins again by Wheatsheaf, out of a Garth ewe again sired by Princethorpe High Hopes, which sold for 150gns. However, the eye-catcher on price at 500gns was the third prize aged ram, a 2-shear from John and Shelagh Prescott’s West End flock in Longhorsley, Morpeth. This, too, by Nosterfield Blue Bpy, joined Hebbs Alpacas.

Breed stalwart Ernie Sherwin, of the Nosterfield flock near Bedale, was again among the prizes, winning the aged ewe class with a 2018 daughter of Endrigs Sovereign, sold for 220gns to Geoff Ryder, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, also standing second and third in the shearling ram show class with home-breds sold at 250gns and 350gns, the latter by Nosterfield Survivor to Adam Stockton in Embsay.

The first prize ram lamb from Scottish breeder John McHardy’s Endrigs flock in Kilmany, Cupar, Fife, one of twins by Endrigs Comet, out of a Princethrope Harry;s bar dam, made 90gns.

A good entry of 79 rams, ram lambs and females produced solid trade, with nearly a full house selling to a clearance. All ewe lambs sold from 150gns up to the 900gns record price, most making 320-420gns, while a nice entry of ram lambs, most in demand by purchasers seeking strong, stylish replacement tups, sold away in the 200-400gns region.

Aged tups ranged from 50gns-500gns, while shearling rams, out in considerable numbers, also sold well, many around 350gns with another section high of 500gns. All classes of gimmer ewes and shearlings sold exceptionally well at 180-320gns, with 2016-born ewes looking the dearest sold, while Black Wensleydale ewes averaged 240gns.

Chief prices and averages were: Aged Rams to 500gns (av £241), Shearling Rams to 500gns (£178), Ram Lambs to 400gns (£104), Aged Ewes to 240gns (£245), Shearling Ewes to 320gns (£255), Ewe Lambs to 900gns (£344). Show judge was Andrew Bainbridge, of Richmond.

WLSBA secretary Anna Pennell said: “Once again we welcomed both new and old members, both as vendors and prospective purchasers. It was a very successful sale and it’s great to see the continued high levels of interest. Demand for the Wensleydale Longwool continues to grow, as the popularity and call for its wool, as well as its high value crossing-sire traits, is being increasingly recognised by both farmers and small-holders alike.”

Pic caption : Nick Oliver, joined by daughters Sophie and Katie Oliver, with the 2020 Skipton Wensleydale Longwool supreme champion ewe lamb, which sold for a new breed record price of 900gns.


Further info: Robin Moule 01756 794027, 07976 559961.Secretary Anna Pennell is on 07949989976, email

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