A strong, in-depth shearling gimmers class caught the eye at the Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders’ 15th annual winter sale of pedigree females at Skipton Auction Mart.

A first-ever championship success at the popular fixture was achieved by Red Rose breeder David Pickervance, Brindle, Chorley, with a home-bred in-lamb shearling ewe that returned to Lancashire when bought for the day’s top price of 680gns by Alec Steff, Burnley.

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The February, 2006, victor, Brindle PBD06018, is by Grougfoot Investment II, a regular producer of show champions, out of a Thinacres Captain-sired dam. She is in lamb to Watchknowe Noval, a product of Foundry Murphy’s Law.Just missing out on an unprecedented third successive Skipton championship coup were Wharfedale husband-and-wife Texel breeders Mark and Helen Keighley, of Manderlea Farm, Leathley, Otley.

Successful in both 2005 and 2006, the Keighleys had to settle for the runners-up berth this time around with an in-lamb March-born shearling ewe Manderlea KAM06108, which sold for 300gns to T Pateman, of Brompton-by-Sawdon, Scarborough.

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The home-bred reserve champion is by Hellifield-based John Mellin’s Hull House Klooney, out of a dam by Annan Goldsmith, the 2000 Lanark champion. The runner-up is due to Gib Farm Motorolo, by Stainton Instructor.

The second prize senior ewe achieved top price in class when bought for 250gus by David Mellin, Black Lane Ends, Colne, while the top-priced ewe lamb at 100gns went to Nick Dalby, Harrogate, buying on behalf of his son David.

While not participating in the show classes, Edward Taylor, of Broughton, presented a strong pen, which sold to a top price of 540gns for an in-lamb shearling ewe secured by Thomas Carlisle, Cracoe.

Shearling ewes averaged £170, two-shear ewes £100, three-shear £157, four-shear £132 and ewe lambs £100.