In addition to the uncertainty caused by the foot and mouth and bluetongue outbreaks, Wensleydale Longwool Sheepbreeders’ Association breeders believe that the DEFRA 20-day standstill regulations had a severe impact on their annual show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.

Potential buyers whose livelihoods depend on sales later in the month of their mainstream commercial flocks and herds were understandably absent and, accordingly, the prices enjoyed by Wensleydale vendors last year plummeted.

Nevertheless, the supreme champion was a shearling ewe from the Bedale, flock of the late Ruth Pedley, which realised 155gns to the Bentham Stud, Newbury after being exhibited by Frank Pedley.

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Reserve supreme champion was a shearling ram bred and entered by J N and S M Prescott, Morpeth, one of many fine sheep that were not sold.