David Airey wins Swaledale show at Skipton Auction Mart Sutton-in-Craven’s David Airey, who farms a thousand-acre moorland farm with his son Matthew, won the annual Swaledale wether lambs show at Skipton Auction Mart for the first time. (Wed, Sept 20) His pen of 25 seized first prize, picked out by judge Anthony Hewetson, of Bank Newton, and went on to sell for £35 per head.

Second prize was taken by Andrew Ogden, of Cowling, these and another pen from the same vendor selling for the top prices of £41 and £38.50 each. Ralph and Val Crabtree, of Low Snowden, Otley, finished third and sold their pen for £37 per head.

The show formed part of the fortnightly sale of 8,189 store and gimmer lambs, which sold to an overall average of £53.65.

Buyers were understandably slightly more cautious given the recent fall in prime prices. However, strong stores were largely unaffected and just about maintained recent rates.

Medium keep and long keep lambs proved harder to cash, though buyers are reporting that they expect winter keep to become available in the next few weeks as dairy cows get housed and going forward this should help trade for the longer keep lamb.

Top price for Suffolk gimmers went to N Edmonson, of Ulverston, who sold pens for £95, £88 and £87, while RJ Bailey, of Reeth, Richmond, sold Texel gimmers for highs of £84 and £78. Beltex gimmers sold to a top of £79 for a pen from D Glassbrook, of Hebden Bridge, while NG Bailey, of Denton Park, Ilkley, sold Cheviot gimmers for £78, £68 and £54.

In the store lamb section, Suffolks averaged £60.01 per head, with Tim Crocker, of Silsden, leading the way with a £63 per head pen. Texels averaged £56.40, with John Grayston, of Steeton, topping at £68 per head, while Mules averaged £51.25, John Schindler, of Thorpe, reaching top price of £66.50.

Beltex averaged £62.47, with Robert Fielden, of Todmorden, selling pens to highs of £65.50, £64.50 and £64, while Mashams peaked at £57 for a pen from JM Wilson & Son, of Beckwithshaw, averaging £55.11. Lleyns averaged £46.61, NG Bailey again leading the way with a £57 per head pen. Cheviots averaged £48.70 and Jonathan Binns, of Oakworth, took top price at £54.