Ribble Valley show successes at 2nd Skipton shearling gimmer highlight Skipton Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly sale of 2,692 gimmer shearlings and breeding ewes saw quality sheep of all breeds in high demand, with commercial types also getting away nicely, producing breed averages for Texels virtually identical to the first sale the previous month at £156 per head, while North of England Mules were just £5 cheaper at £143. (Tues, Sept 15)


The fixture also incorporated the second annual seasonal prize show for shearling gimmers, with both classes for pens of ten falling to cross-border raiders from Lancashire’s Ribble Valley.

David Pinder and his daughter, Sally, of Hill House Farm, Newton-in-Bowland, clinched their first-ever Continental show class success with a pen of home-bred Texel-cross shearlings, all by Skipton-bought tups, out of Cheviot ewes. The Pinders, who run some 400 lambing ewes, sold the red rosette winners at £200 per head, along with others at £195, £190 twice and £185.

However, it was the second prize Texel pen from multiple past former gimmer shearling victors. Lambert and Joy Coverdale and their son, also Lambert, from Crimple Meadow Farm, Beckwithsaw, that headed the show, breed and day’s prices at £225 each when joining P Crabtree & Son in Clifton, Otley. The Coverdales sold further pens at £190 and £185. The third prize show pen from Starfitts Farm in Kirkbymoorside made £185.

Thomas and Sheila Binns, of Hecklin Farm, Downham, arrived with their annual consignment of over 200 young gimmer shearlings, comprising North of England Mules and Texel-cross-Mules. They clinched first prize in the show class for the former, as usual purchased as gimmer lambs at last year’s official NEMSA sales at Skipton. 

All returned having successfully bred lambs and went on to jointly head the section prices at £200 when joining the judge, James Foster, of Bolton Abbey, who bought all three of his prize-winning pens, following up with the runners-up from JE Thwaite, of Barden, these shown by son-in-law David Pighills, again at £200, and the third prize pen from Cowling’s Sandy Harrison at £170.

Mrs and Mrs Binns, who won the same show class in 2018 and have been successfully using Mules for almost three decades, sold further pens at £190, £170 and £165, along with Texel-cross pens at £200 and £185. Show classes - Killinghall’s Richard Umpleby judged the Continentals - were sponsored by British Wool.

Aside from the prize-winning pens, the best shearlings of all breeds generally made from £150 to £200, with commercial types of shearlings £120 to £145, depending on quality. Young ewes found a very ready market, quality 2 shear Texel and Mules trading in the £150s to £170s, with 3&4 shear ewes making from £100 to £135, again depending on quality.

Individual top prices and breed averages were: Shearlings – Texel to £225 (av £154), Mule to £200 (£143), Lleyn to £170 (£166), Cheviot to £115. 2 shear – Texel to £175 (£133), Mule to £170 (£146). 3 crop – Texel to £125 (£120), Mule to £132 (£106), Suffolk to £138 (£125), Blue to £132. 4 crop – Texel to £122 (£109), Mule to £98 (£85), Suffolk to £122, Lleyn to £88. Aged ewes – Texel to £132 (£108), Mule to £100 (£82), Cheviot to £112 (£92).

Marwood treble top at Charollais rams sale
Also on the same day’s agenda was the annual Charollais rams sale-only, when breed stalwart Charles Marwood, who runs the Foulrice flock in Whenby, York, was again to the fore with a top price hat-trick of 500gns sales with March, 2019, shearling rams, home-bred sons of Dalby Sherman, Sheldon Supreme and Frwdd Top Dollar, all three sires in the top 25% of the breed index. Two of the trio found pastures new in Cleveland with W&M Skidmore, of Wynyard, Billingham, the third falling to buyers from Aysgarth in Wensleydale, DT Dinsdale & Son.

Mr Marwood also sold several ram lambs at 350gns, while another familiar face, John Stott Jnr, of the Kingsland flock in Crosscrake, Stainton, sold a brace of shearling rams at 400gns, plus another two at 350gns. Also doing well with a trio of 350gns sales were DA&H Pickles, of Green Hammerton. Shearing rams averaged £390.75 and ram lambs £337.50