Solid turnout and strong trade at CCM Skipton Easter ewes with lambs showcase Silsden Moor’s Andrew Throup, of Middle Marchup Farm, was responsible for the red rosette-winning pairs pen at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Easter breeding sheep show and sale of ewes with lambs at foot. (Monday, April 22)

He won the class with a brace of Texel-cross ewes acquired as hoggs from Skipton regular Ben Townsend, of Laneshawbridge, both with twin Beltex lambs at foot. By a ram acquired from Charlotte Findlay, of Leyburn, in North Yorkshire, they sold at £260 per outfit to the co-judges, regular customers, Steeton husband and wife George and Gladys Emmott.
Mr Throup also stepped up with the second prize same way bred pairs, sold at £235 per outfit, and was on the mark again with the second prize pen of fives, Texel two and three-shear ewes with Beltex lambs. They were knocked down at £270 per outfit to Kendal’s RA Batty.
Father and son, Peter and Tom Simpson, from Woodmanwray Farm, Dacre, Harrogate, who were making a rare foray into the show arena at Skipton, were rewarded with the first prize pen of five shearling ewes, Texels out of North of England Mules, all with twin Beltex-cross lambs at foot.
Some were by a Woodies tup and they went on to sell for £250 per outfit to supplement the flock of Cheshire buyer, David Jackson, of Aston by Budworth, who also purchased the third prize pen from the same farm at £270 per outfit. The Simpsons had two further pens at £260 and £250.
The show classes were among a solid Easter Monday entry of 1,184 breeding sheep, comprising 456 ewes with 728 lambs at foot. They offered a packed ringside of customers an unrivalled choice, covering older ewes with strong lambs for feeding out and younger outfits of shearlings and hoggs with lambs for supplementing existing flocks. There was a fast selling trade throughout, with quality in strong demand.
Stephen Hutchinson, from Kirby Wiske, Hambleton, achieved top price in sale when he sold a three- crop Beltex ewe with twins at £310, followed by a two-shear Beltex ewe and twins at £300. Both outfits fell to Mike Allen, of Staithes.
A good entry of hoggs with single lambs saw the better end generally making £160 to £180 and commercial sorts £140 to £160. Shearlings got away well, with Continental and Suffolk-cross ewes again remaining good to sell.
Also penned for sale were 2,345 prime sheep, comprising 42 Spring lambs, 2,026 hoggs and 277 cast entries.
Springers saw handyweights in sharp demand, the best end up around 280p/kg, topping at 286.6p for a Suffolk pen from D&A Livestock, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, and 281p/kg twice for Texels from CR&M Wilson, of Blackburn. Heading the per head prices at £119 each were Charollais lambs from Robert and Jackie Towers in Ingleton, with the section producing an overall selling average of £110.95 per head, or 266.13p/kg.
Hoggs were short of requirements, producing a stronger trade across the board and an overall average of £96.81 per head, or 215.33p/kg. The very best hoggs could still command 250p to 320p/kg, with a by-weight high of 320p, or £112 per head, for 35kg Beltex from Henry Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, who also sold a second pen of 41kg Beltex at £128 per head top price, or 312p.
Another 51 pens of Beltex and smart three-quarters Texel lambs made from 250-300p/kg. A handyweight commercial lowland lamb was 225-245p, while heavier 48-54kg lambs were 185-220p, or £95 to £110, depending on quality. The very heavy 55-65kg sheep were a far better trade on the week, generally making from £105 to £110. Hill-bred sheep saw the best Mules weighing mid-40kg sell away at 215-220p, or £90 to £97, with good horned lambs also top side of 200p.
A good trade for cull ewes produced an overall selling average of £77.90 per head, with heavier lowlands selling into three figures to a top of £119.50 each for Texels from Derbyshire’s B Simpson, of Bradwell, closely followed at £118.50 for a local Beltex consignment from David Boothman, of Halton East. Mules sold to a top of £90.50. Cast rams averaged £84.17.