Second Skipton NEMSA highlight produces inaugural champions First-time victors emerged in both show classes at the second annual ewe lamb fixture for members of the North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) at Skipton Auction Mart. (Tues, Sept 22) The title-winning pen of ten gimmer lambs was presented by the Walker family, from Fold Farm, Appletreewick, while the champion pen of 20s came from Wharfedale vendors, the Catons, of Weston Hall Farm, Weston, Otley.

The Walkers – Patrick and Janet, and their son Thomas – bred their 10s class winners from a selection of stock rams, some by a home-bred tup to the Booth family’s Smearsett Y2, some of the others to a Ridding ram from the Porters in Reeth. They sold for a sale-topping £185 per head to co-judge Malcolm Metcalfe, of Baldersby, Thirsk.

In addition, the Walkers, who also keep 750 Swaledale breeding ewes at home, along with 50 Limousin-cross suckler cattle, sent out the fifth prize pen of 20s, which made £132 each.

The victorious pen of 20s was shown by father and son, Francis and James Caton, and here again they were by a selection of home-bred Blue Faced Leicester tups, some by their own F1 Weston. Their class-winning charges sold away at £135 each to J&A Goulding, of Otley. The Catons also shone in 10s show class when presenting the second prize pen, which sold away at £155 per head.

Husband and wife Stephen and Tracey Fawcett, and their daughter Samantha, of Fold House, Drebley, who occupied third place in both opening NEMSA show classes, did the same again in the 10s class, their pen selling at £145 per head.

Former NEMSA Skipton branch chairman Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, who stole the show at this year’s opening sale with the day’s top call of £250 per head for his pen of 10s, was again to the fore in when presenting the second prize pen of 20s, sold for £130 each. He also sent out the fifth prize pen of 10s, which made £152 apiece.

Also dual prize winners in both classes were Charles and Richard Kitching, of Grisedale Farm, Threshfield, finishing third in the 20s class and fourth in the 10s. Their respective per head selling prices were £142, top price in class, and £155.

Of the remaining prizewinners, the sixth prize pen of 10s from John and Claire Mason in Embsay each made £150, with KM&L Throup, of Silsden Moor, responsible for the sixth prize £120 per head 20s. JW Stockdale, from Burnsall, sold his fourth prize 20s at £92 each.

Also figuring among the principle prices with ten-strong pens were John Harker, of Lofthouse, at £175 per head, second top price of the day, and Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, at £155 each.

An increased entry of 7,938 head met with a nice trade, with running lambs particularly strong, while top pens were also dearer than the opening sale. The fixture produced an overall selling average of £86.78 per head (- £5.33 on 2014).

CCM Auctions again presented cash prizes for the day’s leading flock averages. Of those consigning 100 or more lambs, John Harker led the way with his 115-strong entry averaging £113.17 per head, while the Fawcett family topped the flock averages for under 100 lambs, with their consignment of 34 averaging £116.35. The Kitching family also received a special commendation for their robust offering of 316 lambs, which averaged £92.49 each.

The champion pen of ten received the J Marsden Perpetual Challenge Trophy and the leading 20s the WCF Perpetual Trophy. The other co-judge in the 10s class was Edwin Holiday, of Westward, Wigton, with the 20s judged by Guy Doleman, of North Leach in Gloucestershire, and Tom Carlisle, of Cracoe.

As in the opening sale, sponsors were Pearson Farm Supplies, Armstrong Watson Accountants & Financial Advisers, and Barclays Bank.

The third annual open seasonal show and sale of North of England Mule gimmer lambs takes place on Tuesday, October 6, a busy day that also features standalone shows for Mule, Dales Mule, Swaledale and Masham lambs, the last on behalf of Masham Sheep Breeders Association.