The last major sale in the pedigree Swaledale ram calendar drew buyers from all over the UK to Hawes last week.
Topping the two-day sale was Thwaite Bridge Porter 3, from John and Steph Bland, Hawes.
Although lotted late in the sale, buyers desperate for a good tup entered into some frantic bidding.
With shape and style, it combines good bloodlines. Out of the flock’s show ewe, and by the £17,000 Porter tup which they bought in a share two years ago, the Thwaite Bridge entry was knocked down at £40,000.
It was bought in a three-way deal by Mark and Paul Ewbank, Pateley Bridge, and Mark Nelson, Bull and Cave.
The Thwaite Bridge flock still had another tup by the same sire, which sold for £14,000 to the Stonesdale, Frith Lodge and Swalehead flocks.
The second day championship went to Mark Ewbank, who runs the Intake flock with wife Fee, at Pateley Bridge. By a Grayrigg Hall tup owned jointly with brother Paul, it eventually sold to Robert Hutchinson, Valley, and David Allison, West Briscoe, at £34,000.
The Intake flock produced several other top-notch prices and saw a bid of £14,000 for their entry which had taken third in the pre-sale show, selling to Paul Hallam, Derbyshire. It was bred the same way as the champion.
Another Grayrigg Hall-sired tup made £11,000 for Mark and brother Paul, who then sold another at £11,000, then took £10,000 for a fifth son of the same sire.
The highlight on the first day had come from close to the birthplace of the breed, Swaledale. From Stephen Clarkson, Swalehead Majestic is a son of a £34,000 Bull and Cave tup, bought in 2011 by a syndicate. It sold in a £24,000 deal to John Richardson, Dufton.
Having had a good sale at Kirkby Stephen the previous week, Ian and David Brown, Marske, were at the fore in Hawes. Ian won the small breeders championship with Lummas Nemesis, a smart shearling by a £7,000 Long Green tup lamb bought two years ago.
It sold at £22,000 to Robert Wear, Peter Lightfoot and Chris Brown, all from Ullswater Valley. Graham Scarr, Garsdale, sold one at £21,000. Fawcetts Xanadu was, like the Clarkson tup, got by the £34,000 Bull and Cave, and sold to James Harker, Murton Hall.
A couple of tups made £20,000 on the second day. First up was Buttertubs Knockout from Bobby Blades, a very tall, well-made tup which sold to Patrick Sowerby and John Bland.
The other, at £20,000, was from Richard Harrison, Talbert, Shap. Tailbert Magic is a son of the £46,000 Eric Coates tup, and with some eye catching colour. It sold to Settle-based breeders John Bradley, Pen-y-Ghent, and John Cowperthwaite, Howith.
633 head, £1,840 (down £22 on the year for 63 more).
Auctioneers: Hawes Auction Mart.