Repeat show successes at Skipton gimmer and wether lamb highlights Another whopping entry of sheep - just three short of 8,000 head - was penned for sale at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday sale of store lambs and breeding sheep, when lamb trade stepped up a gear, especially for the longer keep stores, to produce an overall selling average of £65.37 per head. (Wed, Sept 6)

Among the mix were Continental-cross gimmer lambs and several pens from the top end competed in their annual show for The Chris Hagar Trophy, which fell for the second year running to near-pure Texels from Bolton-by-Bowland father and son, Roger and Jason Craddock.

The Craddocks once again clinched the red rosette, courtesy of local show judge John Turner, from Draughton, with a pen of ten April-born lambs, all home-bred by a variety of stock tups.  As in 2016, they sold for £155 each to TJ Jackson, of Goosnargh, though it was the similarly bred second prize pen from the same vendors, who lamb around 300 Texels annually, which claimed the day’s top price of £170 per head when catching the eye of Hebden Bridge’s Adrian Leach.

Several of the best show pens sold into three figures, with Easingwold’s Ken and Hazel Gamble figuring among the honours for the fifth year in succession when selling their third prize pen for £155 each, these also falling to Mr Jackson.

To receive a premium, drawn Suffolk and Continental lambs need to be well grown and have good skins and a clean head, and most of these types of lambs sold for £80-£95, with smaller running type lambs making £68 to £78. Gimmer lamb overall breed averages were: Beltex £103.42, Texel £85.14, Suffolk £81.15.

Stores were also good to sell, attracting a large crowd of buyers from a wide area, including strong representation from Wales and the Border counties. Mule wethers, in particular, found good favour, with 2,000 trading to an overall average of almost £57 per head.

Masham wether lambs were also out in force and the annual prize show for pens of 40 or more again fell to the previous year’s winners, K Lister & Sons, of Kiln Hall, Kettlewell, who produce up to 500 Mashams each year.

Shown by Paul Lister, the 40-strong pen - straight off the hills and by a selection of tups, out of Dalesbred ewes - sold for £67 each to EP&JM Hutchinson, of Faceby, Middlesborough. The second prize pen from the Wilson family in Beckwithshaw made £61 per head. Show classes were again sponsored by Top Tags Animal ID.

The next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, September 20, features annual show classes for Swaledale and Dalesbred wether lambs, while there is once again additional interest for Mule, Dales Mule, Masham and Swaledale gimmer lamb breeders, with annual shows scheduled for Tuesday, October 3.