Ribble Valley prime lamb supreme champion at festive show

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Red Rose farmer vendors and retail butcher buyers seeking to source top quality meat for their customers’ festive tables were out in force at Skipton Auction Mart’s 11th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales.

For the second consecutive year, there was a Ribble Valley prime lamb supreme champion when Ian Lancaster, of Coldcotes Farm, Wiswell, landed the prestigious title for the first time.

Mart regular Mr Lancaster, joined by son Richard and his wife Mary, had been reserve supreme champion in the past, this time clinching overall top spot – and the bragging rights to go with it - with the first prize and champion Continental trimmed trio of lowland lambs, home-bred Beltex-cross all by a ram from Andrew John Wood, who runs the Withy Trees Beltex flock near Preston.

The title winners have been shown with great success this summer, one standing reserve champion at the recent English Winter Fair in Staffordshire, this and another from the same pen also finishing third in the pairs class.

The 2018 victors were bought by George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers Shop in Manchester Road, Baxenden, which he took over around two-and-a-half years ago.

It was the first time he had purchased the Christmas supreme champion lambs at Skipton, also adding a third prize Beltex pen from the 2017 Ribble Valley supreme champions, Whalley father and son, Richard and Mark Ireland, at £145 per head.

Runners-up in one of the Continental show classes were Whalley’s Richard and Mark Ireland with another Beltex carcase, which returned to its place of origin when claimed for £200 by SR Hallworth Butchers in Accrington Road, Whalley.