3,000-plus wether lambs take centre stage at CCM Skipton This season’s horned wether lambs had their main show and sale day of the year at Skipton Auction Mart when another large turnout of 8,723 store lambs included 2,100 Mule and Masham wethers, and 1,200 horned wethers, all trading to an overall selling average of £77.75 per head.

Smart pens of Beltex lambs hit three figures, the three top prices all consigned by Tosside brothers Trevor and Clive Robinson at £116, £110 and £108. Continental gimmer lambs generally made £100-£120 for nice types, Bank Newton’s Anthony and Heather Hewetson achieving the day’s leading price with a £122 per head pen, plus another at £118. Suffolk crosses sold from the mid £90s to a top of £110 for a pen from Littondale brothers Stephen and Stuart Lund.

Both Mule and Masham wethers sold well, the strongest hitting £80-plus, good frame lambs £76-£79, and long keep types £70-£75. There were show classes for Swaledale, Dalesbred, Cheviot and other hill-bred wether lambs, all judged by mart regular, Ian Lancaster, of Wiswell, Clitheroe.

Taking first place among the Swaledales, just as they did when the show was last staged in 2019, were hill farmers Paul and Caroline Newbould, of Potter Lane Farm, Dallowgill, with a pen of 26 lambs reared on heather moorland in the Nidderdale Area of Natural Beauty.

The couple run the Moor flock of 300 pure-bred Swaledale ewes, plus another 400 that go to the Bluefaced Leicester tup to produce the all-purpose North of England Mule. Their red rosette winners were among a brace of pens that made £63 and £59 each.

The Dalesbred show class also fell to Nidderdale and Middlesmoor’s DH Challis, who had two pens at £51 and £50, another Nidderdale family, the Stoneys, of Bewerley, leading the breed prices with a £70 pen. K Lister & Son, of Kettlewell, stepped up with the first prize Cheviot wethers, which made £75 each.

Of the other hill breeds, F Macaskill, of Killin in Perthshire, was rewarded after making the long trip south of the border with a consignment of 300 Scottish Blackface wethers when his main show pen was tapped out as class winner, his three leading pens on price making £64 per head for five, £60 each for 21 and £50 apiece for 85.

Also among the mix were 87 horned feeding ewes, which sold to an overall average of £40.48