Young ladies in high demand as over 5,000 lambs sold at Skipton A bumper turnout of 10,586 head packed the sheep pens at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday sale, when 5,139 gimmer lambs sold for an overall average of £106.05 per head and 5,363 store lambs at £80.42.

Gimmer lamb trade was very buoyant for strong shearling makers, both first cross and pure-bred entries selling to a wide audience, the section also featuring a trio of show classes.

Continentals victor for the third successive year was Owain Chapman, who farms with his partner Jenny Dolphin at Inmans Farm, Skyreholme, with a pen of ten pure Texel lambs the same way bred as his previous victors, being by a Blackburn-based Lucas & Nairey tup purchased at Skipton three years earlier, out of Skipton-bought gimmer shearlings from the Coverdale family in Beckwithshaw.

They sold for £170 each, top price of the day among the gimmer lambs, a price matched by Easingwold’s Ken and Hazel Gamble, both pens falling to James Robertshaw for his Keelham Farm in Thornton, above Bradford.

The Gambles also stood runners-up for the second consecutive year in the Continentals show, their lambs away at £130, with the third prize pen from Bordley’s Kevin Huck making £112.Texel and Continental-cross gimmers were in high demand throughout.

The Suffolk show was won by Matt Reeday, of F Reeday & Son at Manor Farm, Hetton, with lambs by home-bred tups that made £125, though bettered by both the second and third prize pens from Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, and Litton brothers Stephen and Stewart Lund, last year’s class victors.

Their pens sold at £135 joint section top and £130 respectively, the other section high coming from SA Robinson, of Harrogate. Suffolk crosses sold very well, with tupping lambs generally £115-£130 and running Suffolk-x gimmers £95-£110.

First and second prizes in a new show class for Cheviot Mules fell to Ian and Laura Moorhouse, of Falshaw Farm, Dacre, with home-bred lambs by their traditional Bluefaced Leicester tup, sold at £98 and £95 per head respectively. Show classes were judged by Whitwell’s Ian Lancaster.

Overall, the mart reported a definite leaning towards Suffolk and Texel gimmers bred from the North of England Mule ewe, especially good clean skinned sorts with smart heads. In the mix, best end first crosses sold from £130-£150, while best Beltex lambs were a good trade yet again with the top end £110-£128.

Turning to the stores, a larger entry of long-keep lambs proved a good trade, strong lambs commanding £90-£98, with an odd pen of mixed wethers and gimmers up to £112. Beltex lambs were well supported throughout, most making £86-£102, while North of England Mule store trade was solid all day, strong pens making £79.50-£86 and nearly all £75 and upwards.

Masham wethers were an excellent trade, selling to a top of £97 from Kettlewell’s K Lister & Sons, with a section average of £88. Again travelling up from Derbyshire, John Bland’s annual consignment of Swaledale wether lambs topped at £58 and averaged £50. Cheviot lambs were a good trade at either side of £80.