Defending champions on song again at Skipton shearling gimmer show Defending champions successfully retained their titles at Skipton Auction Mart’s second annual shearling gimmer show and sale. (Tues, Sept 13). Thomas and Sheila Binns, of Hecklin Farm, Downham, Clitheroe, again presented the first prize pen of ten Mules, while David Lucas and Angela Nairey, of Bank Hey Farm, Blackburn, were once more responsible for the red rosette-winning pen of ten pure-bred Texels.

As in 2015, the Binns’s victors were all acquired at the previous year’s North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) sales at Skipton. They sold for £180 per head to Geoff and Margaret Booth in Lothersdale.

The same vendors, who were also responsible for the second prize Mule pen, sold a further six pens from £170 up to £178. They also topped the 2-shear ewe trade with a £155 per head pen, while David Coates, of Coniston Cold, had another 2-shear pen at £152 each, with the section averaging £144.69 per head overall.

The third prize Mule show pen from Nick Thompson, of Haworth, sold for £158 each. Other best Mules on the day were £150-plus, to average £136.71.

The Lucas & Nairey partnership – they have been farming together for 35 years and have 400 Texel ewes this season - saw their prize-winning pen, all home-breds by stock rams, sell for £180 per head to E&A Townend, of Golcar, Huddersfield.

Ken and Hazel Gamble, of Easingwold, were again to the fore when consigning the second prize Continental pen, which made £160 each and went home with JJ Dalby & Sons, of Wetherby. The third prize pen from Lambert and Joy Coverdale and their son, also Lambert, from Beckwithsaw, Harrogate, sold at £150 per head.

While Continental shearlings were not quite as dear as the first sale last month, they still managed to top at £200 per head for a pen from Ann Myers, who trades in partnership with her two daughters, Valerie Mayes and Dianne Firenyi, at West View Farm, Winksley, near Ripon. These too fell to the Townends.

Breeding ewes were also among the mix and 2-shear pens met a sharp trade in the morning. Of the 3-shear entries, JS&KM Wilson, of Helsington, Kendal, caught the eye when selling three pens at £138 twice and £135.

Show judge was Silsden Moor’s Jeff Throup. Skipton’s next breeding ewe and gimmer shearling sale on Tuesday, September 27, includes the annual special sale of half-bred and horned ewes, broken mouthed, correct below, and feeding ewes.