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Wilson Bluefaced Leicester ram reclaims crown at NEMSA Skipton branch progeny show

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

History repeated itself as Skipton Branch of the North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) staged its first annual show of Bluefaced Leicester rams and Mule progeny since 2019, when the supreme champion of three years earlier made a welcome return to reclaim its crown.

Again taking leading honours with their home-bred 2018-born Bluefaced Leicester ram, Hewness L1, shown with three Mule gimmer lambs, were NEMSA stalwart and immediate past national chairman Kevin Wilson, who farms with his wife Daphne and son, James, in Blubberhouses, between Skipton and Harrogate.

The tup, which won last year’s aged ram show class at the Great Yorkshire Show, made a spectacular comeback to first land the 2-shear or above show class, before being awarded overall champion group by co-judges Stephen Collingwood and Ian Potts, both travelling south from their respective homes in Ambling Gate and Redburn.

Hewness L1 is yet another top-notch son of the Wilson family’s renowned Bluefaced Leicester tup, F1 Bighead, who has left such a strong stamp on the flock and is still going strong as an 8-shear. In fact, he once more had a major influence on the progeny show, which was again hosted by Skipton Auction Mart, as the Wilsons secured further class wins.

Another Bighead son, Hewness P13, again with a trio of Mule gimmer lambs, won the 2021-born BFL ram show class, while the prolific Bighead was himself responsible for the first prize gimmer lambs trio by the same sire, plus, for good measure, the runner-up in the single Mule gimmer lamb show class.

The event attracted a near 40-strong entry split across five show classes from North of England Mule aficionados who are familiar faces at Skipton. Presenting the reserve champion group, which stood runners-up in the 2-shear or over show class, were Ellis Bros, who farm on Addingham Moorside with their home-bred tup, N1 Ilkley Moor, himself sired by L15 Riddings, a ram from Cumbria’s Willie Wallace.

From the Ribble Valley, Wiswell’’s Ian Lancaster won the show class for a bought-in 2021-born BFL ram with its three Mule gimmer lambs. The shearling was acquired as a ram lamb last back end from Granville Fairburn’s Marriforth flock in Thornton Steward.

A strong single Mule gimmer lamb show class – it attracted 17 entries – was won by the Kitching family, from Threshfield, who also stood third, both their lambs by a home-bred tup himself by the well-utilised H8 Smearsett, bred by the Booth family in Feizor, north of Settle. The victor was shown by Frank Kitching.

Stewarding the show was NEMSA’s Skipton Branch chairman Michael Burnop and the majority of the show lambs will be returning to the same venue to take their place in the mart’s high profile opening official Mule gimmer lamb show and sale for Association members on Tuesday, September 6.

Leading results: Home-bred BFL ram, born 2021, with its 3 Mule gimmer lambs – 1 JK Wilson, Blubberhouses, 3 JC Throup, Draughton, 3 WP&B Walker, Appletreewick; Bought-in BFL ram, born 2021, with its 3 Mule gimmer lambs – 1 I Lancaster, Wiswell, 2 CD&RF Kitching, Threshfield, 3 AJ Mason, Embsay; 2 Shear or over BFL ram (home-bred or bought in) – 1 and overall champion JK Wilson, 2 and reserve champion Ellis Bros, Addingham Moorside, 3 JC Throup; single Mule gimmer lamb – 1&3 CD&RF Kitching, 2 JK Wilson.

A stock judging competition for prime lambs, Mule, Swaledale and Bluefaced Leicester gimmer shearlings was judged by Threshfield’s Angus Dean, who awarded prizes as follows: Men – 1 Robin Booth, 2 Martin Brown, 3 Andrew Mason; ladies – 1 Mary Stones, 2 Becki Newbould, 3 Kel Armitage; under 18s – 1 Luke Percy, 3 Rosie Garth, 3 Lillian Booth.

Show sponsors were Craven Farm Vets, PV Dobson, Jamesons Feeds, I’Anson Brothers, Coverall, ACT and AgriLloyd.


Main picture: The Wilson family’s champion group at NEMSA’s Skipton branch progeny show. Kevin Wilson is holding the tup, with son James next to him with one of the lambs. Back, from left, are NEMSA Skipton branch chairman Michael Burnop and co-judges Ian Potts and Stephen Collingwood.

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