Thompson first prize twosome top on price at Skipton ewes with lambs opener Skipton Auction Mart’s opening ewes with lambs show of the season attracted over 50 show pens and produced a top price of £380 per outfit for the first prize pen of pairs from Anthony Thompson and Emma Dalby, of Higher Broach Farm, Foulridge. Their home-bred pure black Beltex shearling ewes with single ram lambs – one black, one white - sold to Dacre’s Rob Marshall.(Mon, March 25)

Thomas Boothman, of Linton Hall Farm, Linton, once more dominated the early season highlight when again picking up multiple prizes. For a sixth consecutive year, he won the pen of 5s show class with home-bred Texel-cross 2 shear ewes with Beltex-cross twin lambs at foot. As in previous years they were by Beltex rams acquired from Skipton’s Chris Windle and sold for a section-topping £270 per outfit to a Staffordshire buyer, A Trigg, of Longsdon.
From his annual consignment of 34 outfits, which averaged £232.60 overall, Mr Boothman also clinched second prize in the pen of five show class, along with both second and third prizes in the pairs. All were same way bred, with other outfits making £240 and £235.
The third prize pen of five Continental outfits from CE&C Knaggs, of Kilham, York,, each made £235, while the third prize pen of Mules from Hawksworh’s Gary Greenwood, sold at £140. Show judge was West Craven’s Ryan Staveley.
A solid turnout of 734 breeding sheep, comprising 256 ewes and 478 lambs, saw smart Continentals the easiest types to sell, producing a strong trade, while good outfits with month-old lambs achieved £220-plus for those with twins. Mules needed big lambs to find a strong trade, though those with younger lambs found the going tough at times.
The weekly Monday sheep sale produced another solid entry of 3,378 head, with the 3,065 prime hoggs among them selling to improved breed averages and, despite a more commercial entry, another increased overall average on the week of 198.1p/kg (SQQ 210.6p), or £90.32 per head.
Trade for smart lambs topped at £126 per head for a pen of six 44kg Beltex-cross from Robert Bailes, of Aldborough, with per kilo prices peaking at 324p/kg, or £120, for 37kg Beltex from Kettlesing’s Henry Atkinson.
The next grade of nice skinned export lambs made 235-250p/kg and commercial export lamb 215p-230p/kg, this grade taking a nice lift in price on the week. Heavy 46-52kg lambs were a great trade all day, with Continentals selling at 220-240p/kg for small batches of butchers types. Nick Capstick, of Bolton-by-Bowland, caught the eye with a 46kg Beltex pen at 254p/kg, or £117.
The over 52kg weight bracket saw over 300 head average 172p/kg, or £95.30 per head, while hill-bred lambs were also a great trade, the best sorts hitting £2 per kilo, with Bob Stubbs, from Northwich, making 204.7p/kg, or £88, with 43kg Mules.
Horned lambs also sold well, J&E Slater, of Goosnargh, having 45kg Scotch Blackfaced at 202p/kg, or £91. Jeff Pickles, of Chapel-le-Dale, headed the Swaledale prices with 44kg entries at 191p/kg, or £84, while Bryan Dibb, from Yeadon, sold 44kg Long wethers at 191p/kg, or £84, with W Holden, of Oswaldtwistle making 197p/kg with Gritstone wethers and Cheviots wethers from JM&JV Howard, of Holmfirth, topping at 203.5p/kg.
A good show of 313 cast sheep levelled up well at £78.12 per head for cull ewes, with several pens of good heavy lowland ewes making £110 to £125 and topping at £127.50 each for Texels from L Simpson & Son, of Pateley Bridge, with the best Mule ewes in the mid £80s. Cast rams averaged £72.54.