Red Rose blooms at Skipton shearling gimmer showcase Red Rose exhibitors landed the principal honours in the two show classes staged at Skipton Auction Mart’s second annual shearling gimmer fixture. (Tues, Sept 18) First prize in the Mules show fell to Thomas and Sheila Binns, of Hecklin Farm, Downham, with a pen of ten, which has been purchased as gimmer lambs at the previous year’s North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) autumn sales, which the Binns family has been supporting for more than 20 years.

They also have a Swaledale flock that runs on to Pendle Hill and lamb some 2,500 sheep annually. Their Skipton frontrunners sold for the day’s top price of £185 per head to Richard Crabtree, of Clifton, Otley, who also judged the same morning’s Continentals show class. In addition, the Binns family sold a second pen of Mules at £182, along with three pens of 2 shears over £140.
The Continental show class fell to ten Texels from Tim Jackson, of Raygill Farm, Goosnargh, which were again bought in as gimmer lambs the previous year, including some from Skipton. They were among a 21-strong consignment – his last to come to market this year – and went on to sell for £182 per head to Jim and Christine Scrivin in Elslack.
Back with the Mules show class, judged by brothers Rob and Dan Ellis, from Addingham Moorside, Fox Farms in Clitheroe, run by brothers Peter, Edward and Robert Fox, claimed second and third prizes, their charges selling to a top of £170 each to buyers from Oxfordshire, J Strainge & Son, of Witney.
Last year’s Continental show class winners, Lambert and Joy Coverdale and their son, also Lambert, from Beckwithsaw, had to settle for second place this year with their pen of ten home-bred Texels, out of North Country Cheviot Mules, sold for £170, again to Richard Crabtree.
Standing third was the Blackburn-based farming partnership of David Lucas and Angela Nairey, their pen making £165.
The fortnightly Tuesday sale attracted a turnout of 4,241 ewes and shearlings, the latter in larger numbers than normal for the time of year. They met with a stronger trade than many expected, up on the previous fortnightly sale, with both strong and smart sorts receiving keen bidding.
Quality Mules made £130-£150, while a strong, but plainer-headed sheep generally traded at £105-£120, with good working sheep either side of £100.  Continentals again sold well, with a strong average of £129 per head reflecting a good sample of white-faced sheep. While good young ewes found favour, commercial sorts of ewes were harder to cash.
Individual top prices and breed averages where applicable were: Shearlings – Mule to £185 (av £113), Texel to £182 (£129), Cheviot to £135 (£109), Suffolk to £112, Llleyn to £110, Masham to £102. 2 shear – Texel to £118 (£85.26), Mule to £95 (£91.53). Ewes – Mule to £142x3 (£88), Texel to £138 (£98), Lleyn to £98 (£73). Ewes broken-mouthed - Texel to £80 (£64), Mule to £55 (£41).