With Craven remaining outside the Bluetongue protection zone now extended into parts of North Yorkshire, Skipton Auction Mart took steps to meet the needs of both vendors and purchasers of store lambs when staging separate clear area and protection zone sales. (Wed, July 23)
CCM chairman Michael McKenzie shepherds his first prize-winning charges in the temporary ring at the Skipton clear area store lamb sale.
The decision to hold a double-header at Skipton’s second annual seasonal store lamb fixture, which attracted an entry of almost 2,000, paid dividends, resulting in major demand and keen trade. Selling prices were notably up on the corresponding fixture last year.
The clear area sale, held on the outskirts of Skipton at Manor Farm, Thorlby, courtesy of John and Alison Spensley, saw Littondale husband-and-wife farmers Michael and Carol McKenzie, of Blue Scar Farm, Arncliffe – Michael is chairman of Craven Cattle Marts - achieve a clean sweep of prizes in the show classes with their annual consignment of Suffolk-cross lambs.
Their first prize winners, chosen by judge Stephen Dorey, of Newark, and awarded the Robert Morphet Memorial Trophy for the best pen of 50 Suffolk-cross lambs, sold for the day’s top price of £48.20 a head (£42.40 last year) to Paul Watson, of Hellifield, who also went on to purchase the McKenzies’ second and third prize winning pens at £44.80 and £42.50 per head respectively.
The average selling price at the clear sale was £39.40 a head, while trade was also buoyant at the protection zone sale at Skipton Auction Mart, where prices averaged £39.70 per head, giving an overall average selling price at both events of £39.59, comfortably ahead of the corresponding £35.17 aggregate at the 2007 fixture.
Suffolk-cross lambs sold to £48.20 (average £41.48), Texel-cross to £42.60 (£38.50) and Mule wethers to £34 (£33.31)
Jeremy Eaton, general manager at Skipton Auction Mart, said: “We can now only hope that the decision to extend the Bluetongue protection zone into parts of North Yorkshire will be further widened in the near future to include Craven as Defra continues to roll out its vaccine programme.
“This would allow us to trade on a relatively level playing field, though a further extension of the protection zone into neighbouring Lancashire fairly quickly would also be welcome.
“However, if boundaries do not change we intend to repeat store lambs sales in the same format - possibly even breeding sheep sales.”
World Record Sheep Dog Price for Skipton Youngster
Michael Parker Peaks Again at Skipton Store Lamb Opener
Greenwoods' Debut Skipton Prime Lambs Title