Sale ends top breeder’s 36 years in horses

Shire horses and coloured cobs from the well-known Milnerfield Stables of West Yorkshire farmer Keith Downs and his wife Pam have gone under the hammer.

The sale brings down the curtain on 36 years as a leading Shire horse breeder and showman for Mr Downs, of Milner Field Farm, Bingley, and it attracted 1,500 people to Skipton Auction Mart.

It was the first sale of its kind ever staged at the mart, where the livestock pens were adapted to house the 20 mares and foals, in-foal mares, yearling fillies and a three-year-old cob.

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Some had already excelled on the show circuit, while others were said to have major show potential. They were put through their paces in Craven College’s on-site equestrian facility prior to going under the hammer.

Show mares sold to 3,500gns for the three-year-old Milnerfield Katie, by the prolific Moorfield Edward son, Moorfield Ted, out of Camalter Lily of the Valley. Katie was sold in foal to Caerberllan Real Enterprise.

The pick of the mares with foals at foot was the four-year-old Milnerfield Gold Gift, another well-bred daughter of Moorfield Edward, out of Moorfield Brenda, accompanied by her Sladbrook Benefactor-sired colt foal. The duo sold for 3,400gns.

A yearling filly, Milnerfield Dawn, by Lockley Topsman, out of Milnerfield Lady Ruth, sold for 2,400gns. Of the coloured horses, the best seller at 1,800gns was the mare Milnerfield Tilly and her filly foal.

Mr Downs, a long-standing member of the Shire Horse Society, will now concentrate on his core farming interests. He said he would like to thank all who had attended the sale, some of whom had travelled long distances.