Skipton gimmer lambs up almost £10 per head on year The 2,000-plus gimmer lambs on parade at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual mid-September store lamb show and sale offered a large company of buyers an unrivalled choice of both quality and size. They sold to an overall average of £75.77 per head, a marked improvement on the previous year’s £65.94.

Near-pure Texel gimmer lambs from Bolton-by-Bowland father and son, Roger and Jason Craddock, won the Continental show class. The Craddocks lamb around 300 Texels annually and clinched the red rosette with a pen of ten April-born lambs, all home-bred by a variety of stock tups. They sold for £150 per head to TJ Jackson, of Goosnargh, Preston, bettered by another pen from the same vendors at £160 each, These fell to the same buyer.

Plenty of other top-end Continental-cross lambs sold at over £100. Easingwold’s Ken Gamble achieved second top price of £125 per head with his third prize pen – he has figured among the prize winners for the past four years. These, too, returned home with Mr Jackson.

Also catching the eye was Owain Chapman, of Skyreholme, who sold Continental-cross pens at £110 twice, while a run of 230 Texel-cross-Mules from Threshfield’s Angus Dean traded either side of £90.

The Suffolk gimmer lamb show class was won for the second year in succession by Adam Staveley, of Davy Hill Farm, Cowling. His ten lambs were all by Skipton-bought Suffolk rams, out of home-bred Mule ewes, his main breed, with the flock currently numbering around 1,000 head. The class victors made £86 each.

The annual prize show for pens of 40 or more Masham wether lambs fell to a pen of 46 from Colin Lister, who trades as K Lister & Sons at Kiln Hall, Kettlewell. They sold for £63 each to the show judge, Newark’s Steve Dorey. The Listers also sold a pen of 110 head at £58 apiece.

Show classes were sponsored by Top Tags Aninal ID, represented by Katie Holmes-Smith, and Laurence Pierce Wool Merchants.

They formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly Wednesday sale of store lambs and breeding sheep, which attracted a huge turnout of 8,696 head. A total of 6,679 store lambs were also among the mix and these averaged £59.73 per head, producing an overall average on the day of £63.36 for lambs.
Mule wethers were out in force again and were a shade dearer when averaging £57.73 per head, with Jim Harrison, of Covey Hill, near Otley, topping the section with a pen of 92 wethers at £68 each. Suffolk and Continental feeding lambs attracted a larger company of buyers and medium to short keep lambs were well sought.

A 10,000-strong entry is expected at the next fortnightly store lamb sale on Wednesday, September 21, which also incorporates annual show classes for Swaledale and Dalesbred wether lambs, while there’s additional interest for Mule, Dales Mule, Masham and Swaledale gimmer lamb breeders, with annual shows scheduled for Tuesday, October 4.