Heartening sale average at Skipton store lamb opener Skipton Auction Mart’s main sheep sale season got off to a flying start when the traditional pipe-opener for store lambs produced a heartening overall selling average of £61.52 per head. (Wednesday, July 11) This represented a fall of just £1.32 on the year, with a good crowd of buyers vying for the 2,126 lambs penned for sale. They were slightly stronger and in better condition than most would have expected, which certainly helped the day’s proceedings.

The annual pre-sale show for pens of 40 or more lambs was judged by Thomas Walmsley, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, who awarded first prize to Calderdale vendor Adrian Leach, of Owlers Farm, Hebden Bridge.
His 50-strong pen, by a selection of Beltex rams, the majority home-bred, out of Texel ewes, sold for £69 each when falling to the judge on behalf of his family-run D&A Livestock farming operation.
Standing runner-up was Mrs R Capstick, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, with Roland Carr, of Bolton Abbey, finishing third. Both consigned Texel-cross pens, which sold at £71 and £69 per head respectively.
The day’s top price of £78 per head fell to a Beltex trio from Barnoldswick’s Geoff Carr, claimed by Neil Tattersall, of Ellerton, York.
Texels peaked at £74 each for a pen  from Philip Sedgwick, of Silsden, while the day’s largest consignee was Michael Parker, of Winterburn, with 245 head of Suffolk lambs, which all sold well to a section high of £71.50 each, with other pens selling into the £60s, producing an overall average of £62.40 per head.
Individual breed averages were: Beltex £67.83, Texel £61.65, Suffolk £61.48, Mule £44.96, Charolais £55.
The general consensus was that the seasonal opener, co-sponsored by Top Tags Animal ID and feed company FiveF Alka, gave good encouragement for the second store lamb sale on Wednesday, July 25.
An entry of up to 5,000 head is anticipated, with the annual show class for pens of 50 Down-cross lambs. Also on the same day’s agenda is the opening Lingfield sale of early breeding ewes and rams.