Seven up for Linton’s Thomas Boothman at Skipton Easter ewes and lambs highlight Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Easter show and sale of ewes with lambs at foot produced another in a long line of successes for Thomas Boothman, who has so often dominated the early season highlights at his local mart and did so again when consigning the pen of 5s show class victors for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year


Mr Boothman, of Linton Hall Farm, Linton, added to his already considerable tally of breeding sheep rosettes with home-bred Texel shearling ewes with pure twin lambs at foot, all got by a John Mellin Hull House ram. They sold for a section-topping £390 per outfit to NL Kendall, of Hebden Bridge. With just ten Boothman outfits forward, the second of them, same way bred, finished runners-up in the same show class, again selling well at £380 the outfit to RA Batty in Kendal.

The first and second prize pairs pens came from regular York area vendor Chris Craven, of Whitethorn Farm, Kexby, who is this year lambing some 800 ewes and was represented at the Esater showcase by 20 outfits, as usual all offered for sale with twin lambs at foot. Those with singles remain at home. Both his prize-winning pens, home-bred Texel-x pairs with Texel/Beltex-x twin lambs, each made £270 per outfit, the red rosette winners joining Grimsby’s Ben Foxon.

The third prize pairs from Calderdale’s John Midgley, who farms in Luddendenfoot’, sold for £250 per outfit, the third prize pen of 5s from father and son, Peter and Tom Simpson, of Dacre, doing better at £280. 

Solid trade for 410 breeding sheep saw nice Continental outfits of twins command £250-£290 and the best singles £180/£190 per outfit. North of England Mules with twins sold either side of £200, depending on age of ewe and size of lambs, while singles generally made £150-£170 for these types, a few commercial outfits £170/£180 for twins and in the £140’s for singles. 

The mart says more breeding sheep are required each week as the warmer Spring days approach and buyers start to look for good farming outfits as well as older outfits just to feed out. 

Safe distancing show judge was Andrew Hutchinson, from Faceby, who was also to excel with his prime sheep on a busy Easter Monday Bank Holiday that saw a further 2,766 head go under the hammer, with more solid trade to match. Here again, the mart reports that many more sheep could have been sold across all sections, a point for potential future vendors to note.

Forty Spring lambs averaged £166.79 per head, or 402p/kg, the previous week’s Easter champion, Ingleton’s Robert Towers, returning with another quality brace of 45kg Charollais, which topped at £192, or 426p/kg, when purchased by Lister Brown, of Halifax. Easter reserve champions, Charles and Stephen Marwood, from Whenby, York, were also back with more, including a trio of 44kg Charollais sold at £187. Better Spring lambs achieved £170- £185.

Trade for 2,294 prime hoggs was said to be ‘absolutely storming from start to finish,’ the whole levelling at 316p/kg (SQQ 322p) or £140.46 per head. A total of 15 pens made £4 per kilo or more, topping at £196 each, or 445p/kg, for 44kg Beltex from Stuart Forshaw in Longridge, claimed by Brayton Farm Shop, Selby.

Others in this price bracket included the Faceby Hutchinsons, who sold no fewer than 20 pens between £170 and £186, and to highs of 425p/kg and 418p/kg, plus four other pens over £4. The mainstream weight range of 36kg-45kg was the dearest of the season so far, averaging 323.7p/kg, or £136.48, while heavy hoggs 52kg-plus averaged £158.31 and 46-52kg entries £149.51.

The monthly prime hoggs show was judged by Rossendale livestock buyer Joe Bosworth, who awarded first prize in the Continental-x class to five 41kg lambs from Trawden’s Hayley Baines, sold for £174 each to Vivers Scot Lamb. 

North Lincolnshire regular Steve Dorey stood first and second in the Mule/Masham show class with 45kg and 46kg pens sold for £135 and £134, while Airton’s John and Claire Wright won the horned show class with 39kg Dalesbred that made £117 and the Phillipson family in Briercliffe the other horned/hill class with 47kg Lonks at £134 each.

Also penned for sale were 432 cast sheep. Cull ewe trade proved even dearer than the previous week and was strong for all goods, heavy Continentals doing best at £160-£173.50, with a section average of £106.52. Cast rams also sold well to £177.50 for a Texel, averaging £135.64.