Chapman Continentals champions again at Skipton gimmer lamb highlight Yorkshire Dales sheep farmer Owain Chapman successfully defended the Continental gimmer lamb title he won for the first time the previous year at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest annual store lamb show and sale day. (Wed, Sept 9)


Mr Chapman, who farms with his partner Jenny Dolphin at Inmans Farm, Skyreholme, achieved back-to-back victories with a pen of ten pure-bred Texel ewe lambs, like last year’s frontrunners all by a Blackburn-based Lucas & Nairey tup bought out of Skipton two years earlier.

Again as in 2019, the victors were out Skipton-bought gimmer shearlings bred by Lambert Coverdale and family in Beckwithshaw and they went on to sell for £170 to Cowling’s Sandy Harrison, though it was the second and third prize pens from Easingwold’s Ken and Hazel Gamble that led the sale, both making £180 per head and falling to judge Tim Jackson, of Goosnargh.

Brothers Stephen and Stewart Lund, from West Farm, Litton, presented the best pen of ten Suffolk gimmer lambs, as they also did three years earlier. Their 2020 victors, by a selection is Skipton-bought tups bred locally in Hetton by the Reeday family, all out of North of England Mules ewes, sold for joint top £120 each, as did the runners-up from last year’s class winner, Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, plus a third pen from Darley’s Kevin Marshall. All three joint top price pens were purchased by Matthew and Jenny Dibb, of Dob Park, Otley.

The third prize Suffolk pen from Cowling’s Adam Staveley made £115, while a standalone prize show for pens of 50 or more Masham wether lambs was won for the fifth year in succession no less by another Dales sheep farmer, Paul Lister, of K Lister & Sons, based at Kiln Hall, Kettlewell. The red rosette winners made £79 each, the runners-up from the same home £70.

The show classes -Clitheroe’s Ian Lancaster judged the Suffoks – were again sponsored by Top tags Animal ID and formed part of the first sale for top draw Suffolk Mule and Continental-cross gimmer lambs, of which over 3,400 were catalogued for sale, attracting a large contingent of Welsh and Southern England buyers.

Plenty of the strong first-crossed Suffolk and Texel lambs made £100- £120, a few best pens from Angus Dean in Threshfield selling up to £128, while the Edington family, from Bell Busk, also had a £125 pen. The next grade of gimmer lambs sold away at £88 to £98. 

Skipton’s fortnightly Wednesday store lamb sale attracted a huge turnout of over 9,000 head, which, combined with other sales the previous two days, saw the mart sell just shy of 20,000 sheep over a three-day period.

Store lamb trade was again solid when producing an overall average of £81.56 per head, boosted by some fresh faces ringside, among them a very large contingent of buyers from Wales and the Border Counties. In fact, all classes had a range of buyers out in force.

North of England Mule lambs sold very well, with top prices paid of £80 and a Mule wether average of £70 for nearly 2,000 head sold. 

There were more buyers seeking white-faced lambs to sell back through the live sale ring. Crossed lambs for long to medium keep made £68-£74, short-term £78-£84, while better-bred lambs sold with a premium of £78-£82 for long/medium term Texel/Beltex, while short-term Beltex made £84-£94, with some premium prices paid for the best. 

A total of 304 Cheviots sold to a top of £79.50 and a breed average of £68. Smaller-end Cheviots could be picked up from £61-£68 and short-term Cheviots carrying weight and flesh in the mid to high £70s. Nicely grown, fit Swaledale lambs straight from the fell mainly sold around the £40-£50 mark, with end of April-May born Tex-dale lambs £60-£64.