Bumper entry at CCM Skipton ewes and lambs highlight
Stapletons taste further success as show classes return
Skipton Auction Mart’s annual May breeding sheep highlight for hoggs with lambs at foot and geld gimmer hoggs attracted a large entry of 2,552 head - well over double the previous year’s turnout - with the usual excellent consignments put forward for sale to a large crowd of eager buyers. (Tues, May 4)
Continental hoggs in particular created much interest, Welsh vendors leading the way when the day’s trade peaked at £510 each for a pen of three Beltex from Brecon’s Daffyd Lewis, others from the same home making £420, £380 twice and £360, while Hywel Williams, from Llanddeusant in Carmarthenshire, was close behind at £300.
Show classes made a welcome return and among the headline performers were Skipton brothers John and George Stapleton, of High Skibeden Farm, who, discounting last year’s sale-only, when they nevertheless accounted for the £260 per outfit top price pen, returned to claim a hat-trick of first prize wins in the Continental show class with their five Texel-x hoggs with single Beltex-x lambs at foot.
The 2021 victors also performed much stronger on price - by £100 per outfit, in fact, when heading the Continental section at £360 per outfit and going to Baxenden’s George Cropper Jnr. The Stapletons also consigned the second prize same way bred show pen, which made £280, selling seven pens in total from £280 upwards.
Hywel Williams returned to claim £350 with a black Beltex hogg with a black Beltex gimmer lamb at foot. The next grade of good white-faced hoggs with lambs were £230/£260 and commercials sorts £190/£220. Texels averaged £226 and Beltex £240.
Mule hoggs and lambs show class winners with a pen of five with single Texel/Beltex-x lambs were the Johnson family from Summerfield Farm, Felliscliffe – Raymond and his son Robert, now joined by the latter’s own 17-year-old daughter Gemma. The North of England Mule aficionados saw their class victors sell at a section top £220 per outfit to H&K Farms in Bedale.
While Mule hoggs and lambs found a rather more selective and weather dependant trade, the best outfits could nevertheless reach around £190-£200, with a few show pens making more, while commercial outfits were generally £170-£185. Mules averaged £183.
Suffolk Mule hoggs with lambs found a very good enquiry with trade on a high note all day, the Down-x show class falling to Matthew and Jenny Dibb, of Middle Farm, Dob Park, Otley, with five hoggs with single lambs, again heading to H&K Farms at £240 the outfit.
With increased interest in the breed at Skipton, several nice runs of Suffolk Mule hoggs with lambs sold from £220 upwards. The overall Suffolk average was £224, with all hoggs with lambs forward on the day averaging £208 per head. All three show classes were judged by Gisburn’s Matthew Middleton.
Turning to the geld gimmer hoggs, trade was always going to be sharp given the strength of the current prime market and their show class was won by David and Julie Woods, from Wilcocks Farm, Rivington, with a pen of ten home-bred North of England Mules.
Picked out by Embsay judge Annabel Mason, they sold at a joint section-topping £150 each to a buyer from Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Dales. This price was matched twice by Donald Sunderland, from Halton East, and Nick and Jackie Dalby, of Darley, while other Mule gimmer hoggs were £140-plus.
Back with the outfits, shearlings and ewes with lambs provided a good amount of variation with Continentals, Mules and horned sheep all in the mix. Best Continental ewes with twins could make from £280 up to £330 from George Hamlet, of Chipping, and £320 from Bedale’s Sid Moore. A good run of Suffolk Mule shearlings with twins from Matt Reeday in Hetton made £290, while the best end of the singles could command £180 to £230 top, again from Hywel Williams Nice outfits of younger flock-aged Mules sold at £220-£240.