Six out of six. That's the unprecedented success achieved by Dales husband and wife sheep farmers Michael and Carol McKenzie, who sent out the champions for the sixth consecutive year at CCM Skipton's second major seasonal store lamb show and sale. (Wed, July 24)
The McKenzies, of Blue Scar Farm, Arncliffe, once again retained the Robert Morphet Memorial Trophy for the best pen of 50 Suffolk-cross lambs at the annual highlight.
It was presented in the sales ring by Vincent Pierce, managing director of show sponsors Laurence Pierce Wool Merchants – he had flown over from the company’s Republic of Ireland headquarters in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow - accompanied by local representative Grace Dobson, of Clitheroe.
The title winners then went on to sell for a show-topping £70 per head to John Errington, of F Errington & Son in Tirral, Penrith, again one of the major buyers on the day. As in 2012, heacquired all the prize-winning pens – the second prize winners from Bolton Abbey’s James Foster at £64 each and the third prize pen, also from the McKenzies, at £68.50 apiece.
TheMcKenzies’ one and only annual consignment this year comprised 300 Suffolks and they sold further pens at £68.50, £67, £62, and £56 per head.
Mr McKenzie is flight training manager at Multiflight, the private aviation company based at Leeds Bradford and Blackpool International Airports. He leaves the running of his flock in the capable hands of his daughter Brenda and shepherd Roger Gibson. “It’s all about attention to detail,” said Roger after their latest success.
The show - Elslack’s James Spensley returned to judge - formed part of the fortnightly sale of store lambs and breeding sheep, attracting a total entry of 5,480 head, sold at an overall average of £56.59 each (£59.08 in 2012)
CCM’s livestock sales manager Ted Ogden noted: “With a degree of uncertainty caused by the recent blip in the prime trade, vendors were understandably nervous. Nevertheless, trade was above expectations, with strong and smart lambs generally £58 to £65 and a few pens pushing £70. However, there was a far greater proportion of long keep lambs forward than would usually be expected for the time of year and healthy small lambs could be bought in the £40s.”
With his 50 Suffolk-cross store lamb champions is Michael McKenzie, left, joined by sponsor’s representative Grace Dobson and shepherd Roger Gibson.
Pic caption 2: Michael McKenzie, left, receives the annual store lamb trophy from Vincent Pierce, managing director of show sponsors Laurence Pierce Wool Merchants, with the company’s local representative Grace Dobson centre. Showing their appreciation on the rostrum are auctioneers Ted Ogden, left, and Sam Bradley.