Full report from the Wensleydale Show & Sale – Skipton 2018

CCM Report from the WLSBA Show & Sale, Skipton – Robin Moule

A standout season in the show arena continued for north-east mother and daughter, Julie and Anna Pennell, of Todd Fall Farm, Redworth, near Darlington, with a championship and reserve championship double at the 127th annual Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders Association show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Fri, Aug 31 & Sat, Sept 1)

The title winner was the first prize shearling ram and male champion, Nipna Oak, which had earlier won its class at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. By Bedale breeder Ernie Sherwin’s Nosterfield Supreme, out of a Providence Pete-bred West End dam, the victor commanded top price of the day when selling for 560gns to  Nicki and Pete Hodkinson, of Commonside, Cheadle.

Show judge Tom Gorst, from Sedbergh, also tapped out the Pennells’ first prize ewe lamb and female champion as his overall reserve. A daughter of Endrigs Norman, from Scottish breeder John McHardy’s flock, out of a Nosterfield Olympian-bred Leaston dam, the reserve champion joined Declan Leonard, of Bramley, for 320gns.

Mr McHardy, who farms at Kilmany, Cupar, Fife, was himself to the fore when presenting the first prize and best fleshed ram lamb, and reserve male champion. His home-bred son of Endrigs Comet, out of a Princethorpe Harry’s Bar-sired ewe, sold for 110gns to Mark Elliott, Ferrensby. He also sent out the second prize ram lamb, again by Comet, which made 80gns when joining Ernie Sherwin in Bedale.

The first prize shearling ewe and reserve female champion came from Northumberland breeders John and Shelagh Prescott’s West End flock in Longhorsley, Morpeth. Although unsold, the Prescotts did make 250gns with a home-bred shearling ewe by West End Harry.

The second prize shearling ewe from Mark Elliott’s Providence flock at Ferrensby, near Knaresborough, a daughter of Gedgrave Cyril, sold for 250 gns to Red Rose breeder T Baldwin, of Bretherton. Mr Elliott also finished runner-up in the shearling ram show class with another Gedgrave Cyril son sold for 200gns to AM&L Bell, of Northallerton.

Back with the ram lambs, Nick Oliver, who runs the Carperby Pastures flock near Leyburn, won third prize with a Princethorpe Carlsberg son sold for 200gns to Lady Hilary Menzies, of the Leaston flock in East Lothian.

The same vendor also finished third in the ewe lamb show class with a Carlsberg daughter sold at 200gns to Julie and Anna Pennell, with the runner-up from Jim and Sandra Thompson’s  Maesafon flock in Deytheur, Powys, by Endrigs Ken The Bruce, selling away at 170gns to M Jones, of Caernarfon.

The sale saw a good underlying trade with improved clearance rates, albeit at slightly reduced levels, which reflects keep and the current outlook. Top prices and averages: Shearling rams to 560gns (av £213), shearling ewes to 250gns (£182), ram lambs to 200gns (£118), ewe lambs to 320gns (£201).

Secretary Anna Pennell said there had been a small, yet steady increase in the numbers of Wensleydale lambs registered each year, both in white and black flocks, over the last five years.

She commented: “However, while the breed does remain on the RBST Watch list, there are currently extremely high levels of demand from crafters and spinners for the raw fleece, with the Wensleydale commanding the highest prices both from the Wool Board and privately.

“Indeed, many breeders are finding themselves selling raw fleeces both in the UK and overseas with ease at premium prices, often well in excess of £100 a fleece, and with a demand much greater than can be fulfilled.

“There is also continued use of the large framed Wensleydale rams over native breeds to add size and quality to cross-bred progeny and breeders are also turning to the growing market demand for naturally grown, British rare breed meat from restaurants, farm shops and the private consumer.”


For pic, please credit Adrian Legge Photography.

Further info: Robin Moule 01756 794027, 07976 559961.Secretary Anna Pennell is on 07949989976, email secretary@wlsba.co.uk

 Show results –

Judges: T Gorst

Shearling Ram

1st J Pennell Lot 632
2nd JA&F Elliott Lot 630
3rd JN&SM Prescott Lot 629

Ram Lamb

1st J McHardy Lot 597
2nd J McHardy Lot 598
3rd N Oliver Lot 638

Shearling Ewe

1st J&S Prescott Lot 614
2nd J&F Elliott Lot 615
3rd J&S Prescott Lot 613

Ewe Lamb

1st J Pennell Lot 626
2nd J&S Thompson Lot 618
3rd N Oliver Lot 622

Champion – J Pennell Lot 632
Reserve – J Pennell Lot 626


Shearling Rams                 to 560gns av £213
Ram Lamb                           to 200gns av £118
Shearling Ewe                   to 250gns av £182
Ewe Lamb                           to 320gns av £201

Prices –

560gns, 320gns J Pennell
250gns JN&SM Prescott;
250gns 200gns JA&F Elliott;
200gnsx2 N Oliver

Champion Wensleydale from J Pennell.
Reserve champion Wensleydale from J Pennell.
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