The annual show and sale of Mule Wether lambs was a highlight of the biggest store lamb sale of the season at Skipton Auction Mart, when over 7,000 lambs went under the hammer. (Wed, Aug 25)
With the champion pen of Skipton Mule wether lambs are, from left, judge Michael Spensley, of Elslack, exhibitor Mark Harrison and his 11-year-old son Freddie, a pupil at Nidderdale High School.
Buyers flocked from many parts of the country, notably the South and Wales, to source large numbers of what represented the pick of the region’s current crop of store lambs.
As a result, the average price of just over £56 per head was around £2 up on the previous fortnightly store lamb sale. It also represented a further improved performance when compared to the £50.75 average selling price at the corresponding 2009 fixture.
The champion pen of 50 Mule Wethers was exhibited by Mark and Susan Harrison, who trade as V Verity & Son at Whitmoor Farm, West End, Summerbridge. They received the Stephen Foster Memorial Trophy, before seeing their lambs sell for top price in show at £59.80 per head (£52 in 2009) to Frank Towers, of Lancaster.
The second prize pen from D M Gott, Cowling, sold for £56.50 each to Roger Naylor, Ilkley, with the third prize pen from Granville Fairburn, Apperley Bridge, acquired at £57.80 a head by R Lloyd, Ruthin, North Wales.
Sheep pass through the newly installed EID reader
at Skipton Auction Mart.
The fixture also made history, as it was the first time Skipton’s new electronic identification (EID) race reader had been used at an official sheep sale.
Craven Cattle Marts’ farmstock sales manager and auctioneer Ted Ogden reported that the equipment had passed its initial test with flying colours ahead of the big Autumn sheep sales season.
Its use will prove particularly crucial at the opening show and sale of 6,000 Mule gimmer lambs from members of the North of England Mule Sheep Association, on Tuesday, September 7.
The Skipton store lamb entry contained 4,430 Suffolk & Continental-cross lambs, 2,091 Mule Wether lambs, 291 Cheviot Wethers and 265 Swaledale & Masham Wethers.
Average and leading prices were: Suffolk x to £66.80, av £59.51. Top – Miss JM Thompson, Darley. Texel x to £68.50, av £58.04. Top – RG Greenwood & Son, West Marton. Charollais x to £60.50, av £57.23. Top – A Wilson & Son, Malham. Beltex x to £63.40, av £59.80. Top - JGE Heseltine, Bolton Abbey. Mule Wthrs to £59.80, av £53.37. Top – V Verity & Son, West End. Masham Wthrs to £50.00, av £49.97. Top – K Lister & Son, Kettlewell. NC Cheviot to £59.00, av £58.09. Top – S Bradbury & Son, Saddleworth, Zwartble to £65.50, av £58.35. Top – R Holroyd, Littleborough. Swaledale to £46.00, av £33.66. Top – J&T Simpson, Malham.
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