Cross-border victors at 2nd Skipton shearling gimmer highlight The two show classes at Skipton Auction Mart’s second annual shearling gimmer fixture fell to exhibitors from both sides of the border, who were both stepping up after finishing runners-up in the same sections at last year’s corresponding fixture. (Tues, Sept 17) The red rosette-winning North of England Mules from brothers Peter, Edward and Robert Fox, of Fox Farms in Clitheroe, were a pen of ten purchased as gimmer lambs at Skipton’s 2018 NEMSA autumn highlights.

Since put to Withgill Farm Texel rams to produce commercial prime lambs, some again sold at Skipton, the victors returned to market and made £165 per head top breed price when claimed by Chris and Christine Ryder in Blubberhouses. The Fox’s also finished runner-up again this year with a second show pen sold for £160.
Standing third were the Ribble Valley’s John and Bett Greenhagh, and their daughter, Anne, from Rugglesmere Farm, Bashall Eaves, Clitheroe, who had earlier sent out the champion Mules at last month’s opening Skipton shearling gimmer highlight. Their latest prize winners sold for £140.
The Continental show class fell to a pen of ten three-quarters Texels from Lambert and Joy Coverdale and their son, also Lambert, from Crimple Meadow Farm, Beckwithsaw, who had also won their show class as the shearling gimmer opener for an unprecedented fourth year in succession.
Like previous venue victors, all were by rams bought out of David Towell’s Moor Top Texel flock on Glusburn Moor. All in the pen were twin lambs out of North Country Mules and they sold for £165 each, with a second Coverdale pen, tapped out as third prize winners, making £155, and the runners-up from David Lucas and Angela Nairey in Blackburn achieving £165.
Bloodlines remain key to Coverdale Continentals and the family will be dispersing its remaining Texel holding at Skipton’s next fortnightly breeding sheep sale on Tuesday, October 1.
The show classes, judged by Giggleswick’s Michael Dugdale and again sponsored by the British Wool Marketing Board, formed part of Skipton’s latest fortnightly sale of gimmer shearlings and breeding ewes, which attracted a turnout of 2,958 head.
Ewes, 2 shear and upwards, found favour with a keen ringside, the best young 2 shear Mules selling up to £145 per head on three occasions from Ribble Valley breeders, Thomas and Sheila Binns, of Downham, with 2 shear Texels from the same home making £162, plus two further pens at £150.
David Pinder, of Newton-in-Bowland, had pens at £160, £158 and £152, with Mike Allen, from Staithes selling 2 shear Mashams to £115.
The shearlings sale followed similar lines, with eager bidding for strong, well-bred Mules, Suffolks and Continentals. The top end of the Mules sold in the £140s, £150s and £160s and the best strong Texels from £140 to £180 joint top, these from Mr Pinder again and G Gibson, of Bishop Auckland.
Suffolk shearlings peaked at £150 for a pen from North Lincolnshire’s W Dixon, while commercial shearlings of all breeds regularly sold in the £120s and £130s, with the lesser end making £100 to £115.
Individual top prices and breed averages were: Shearlings – Texel to £180 (av £143), Mule to £165 (£121), Suffolk to £150 (£145), Masham to £120 (£118), Cheviot to £120 (£113). 2 shear – Texel to £162 (£133), Mule to £145 (£129), Masham to £115 (£106). Ewes – Texel to £120 (£99), Mule to £90 (£86), Cheviot to £105, Lleyn to £88 (£84), BM ewes – Mule to £150 (£128), Cheviot to £89, Masham to £86, Texel to £68.