Skipton store lamb trade better than expected The busy sheep sales season is now getting into full swing at Skipton Auction Mart and another solid turnout of 8,563 head went under the hammer at the latest fortnightly Wednesday store lambs fixture. (Wed, Aug 26) An overall selling average of £67.95 per head was recorded, which was better than expected when bearing in mind current fluctuating prime trade, coupled with the fact that there were far more medium to long keep lambs in the entry than seen at previous sales, a clear sign of more twin and triplet lambs on the ground.


However, with another good ringside of buyers, among them many from Wales and an increased attendance from the eastern counties, trade easily stood firm all day, and if anything, actually rose as the sale went on. In any case, it was comfortably beyond the average of £58.30 seen at last year’s corresponding sale.

Several pens sold into three figures, with Robert Tarbatt, of Winter Hill, Darwen, leading the field at £112 with Beltex crosses, while Chris and Christine Ryder, of Blubberhouses, made £100 three times. Also hitting £100 were Skipton couple Richard and Patsy Hodgson.

Other best smart lambs sold in the £80s and £90s, with good level pens of first cross lambs for short keep generally making in the mid to late £70s, epitomised by the Skipton-based Schindlers, who sold116 Texel crosses in one pen at £79.50 each.

Either side of £70 purchased lambs for medium keep, while long keep lowland lambs appeared  a pleasing trade mainly in the early to mid £60s, with the mart noting how encouraging it was to see so many purchasers out looking for this class lamb so early in the season.

Annual prize shows sponsored by Top Tags Animal ID were also staged, again with safe distancing judging in pens in place. The show class for 25 Beltex-cross lambs fell to Ian Moorhouse, of Dacre, sold for £86, though bettered at £90 for the second prize pen from B&R Lawson, who farm near Richmond.

The show for 50 Down-cross lambs for the R Morphet Memorial Trophy was won for the second year running by brothers Stephen and Stuart Lund, of Litton, their charges selling at £73, with section tops of £77.50 and £76 for Suffolk-cross pens from Alan Horn, of Winterburn

Hill-bred lambs were out in force, the 2,514 head generally selling away very well in the current climate. The Verity family, from West End, fresh from their first prize success with Masham gimmer shearlings the previous day, picked up another red rosette, this time in the prize show for pens of 50 Mule wether lambs, which received the S Foster Memorial Trophy and were knocked down for a section-topping £75.50 per head, with a breed average of £64 for 2,209 head sold.

Horned wether llambs peaked at £66, while Cheviot wethers sold to £70 for a pen of 54 head from Grain Farms in Hebden Bridge.