An overall average selling price of £134.58 per head – a huge increase of £32.35 on 2009 – was achieved for the 3,388-strong entry at the annual show and sale of gimmer shearlings at Skipton Auction Mart. (Tues, Aug 24)
With the Skipton Mule gimmer shearling champions are, from left, co-judges Martin Jennings and Angus Dean, David Coates’ shepherd James Dewhurst, trophy presenter Thomas Boothman, and Joe Coates, David’s father.
Taking into account that last year’s average was itself £19 a head higher than 2008, the year-on-year increase in prices and ever-growing confidence in the sheep industry was clearly reflected at what remains one of Skipton’s major events of the summer months.
With quality sheep abounding, the ringside was packed to the gunnels and there was particular interest in NEMSA-tagged consignments from regular vendors, many of which were sourced from the 2009 Skipton Mule gimmer lamb sale, itself one of the leading fixtures of its kind in the UK.
A total of 19 quality pens of ten Mule shearling gimmers faced co-judges Angus Dean, of Threshfield, and Martin Jennings, of Cowling. After careful deliberation, they awarded the championship to David Coates, of Pot Haw Farm, Coniston Cold.
The victors, expertly prepared for the show ring by shepherd James Dewhurst, received the Edgar Boothman Memorial Trophy, presented by Edgar’s nephew Thomas Boothman, of Linton Hall, Grassington.
The title winners went on to sell for the day’s top price of £198 per head to James Bracewell, of Bent House Farm, Cliviger, Burnley. The 2,448 Mules forward averaged £137.23 each – up £35.63 on 2009.
A prize class for Masham gimmer shearlings was won by an exhibitor from Norfolk, John Wright, of Fellside Farm, Cromer. He brought a 38-strong consignment of Mashams to sell near the recognised home of the breed and was rewarded when his first prize winning pen of ten sold for £125 each to RW & M Walker, of East Morton, Keighley.
Top price in class at £158 a head fell to Mike Allen, of Saltburn, his charges purchased by Michael and David Wilson, of Beckwithshaw – the latter is chairman of Masham Sheepbreeders’ Association. A total of 183 Mashams averaged £122.82 – up £34.55 per head on the previous year.
First prize in the Continentals class fell to a pen of Texels from RH & MR Ireland, of Whalley, acquired at £158 each by S J Stables, another long distance traveller from Wincanton. Nick Dalby, Hartwith, had the top-priced Texels at £164 apiece when his second prize pen joined Mark Thompson, of Long Preston.
Continental class prices peaked at £182 per head for a pen of shearlings from Bob Newby, of Wetherby. The 697 Texel and Continental-cross shearlings entered averaged £128.17, a rise of £13.15 a head on 2009.
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