2019-02-06  facebooktwitterrss

Halls of Fame at Skipton Prime Lamb Show

‘Halls of fame’ was a phrase that readily sprang to mind when two different local farming families of the same name took principal honours in the flagship Continental show class at Skipton Auction Mart’s February prime lambs show. (Mon, Feb 4)

Michael Hall, of Scosthrop Farm, in the Malhamdale village of the same name, won the supreme championship with his first prize pen of five  Beltex-cross lambs, all by home-bred tups, which went on to sell for the day’s joint top price per head price of £125, or 277.8p/kg. He was also responsible for the same way bred third prize pen. Both weighed in at 45kg, with Mr Hall adding a third pen at £124.

Michael Hall, right, with his CCM Skipton February prime lamb champions, assisted by, from left, James Towler, Andrew Fisher and judge Paul Watson.

Michael Hall, right, with his CCM Skipton February prime lamb champions, assisted by, from left, James Towler, Andrew Fisher and judge Paul Watson.
pic: Moule Media

Making £122 per head was the second prize and reserve champion pen of 46kg Beltex-cross from JG Hall & Son, of Gargrave. All three Continental class prizewinners were claimed by regular buyers Vivers Scot Lamb, of Annan.

A special show for Swaledales was won by a pen of ten 48kg wether lambs from Rob Tennant, of Hemplands Farm, Conistone-with-Kilnsey, a good number got by a Middlesmoor-based Mark Ewebank tup. They sold for £82.50 each to Hellifield show judge Paul Watson.

Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, topped the Swaledale gross prices with a £84 pen, with W Mason & Son, of Appletreewick, achieving a by-weight high of 184p/kg. The overall breed average was £70.25 per head, or 174.9p/kg.

With other show classes also on the agenda, North of England Mule Sheep Association Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, picked up a brace of red rosettes for ten-strong pens of both home-bred 46kg Mules and 42kg Dalesbred lambs. These sold at £85.50 and £76 respectively, both again to Mr Watson, who also went to £90 to claim the first prize Suffolk-cross 52kg pen from John and Claire Wright, of Airton.

The first prize horned pen, 43kg Lonks from Jim Greenwood Addingham, sold for at £83, or 193p/kg section top, to John Bowling, of Asjton-in-Makerfield.

At 2,551 head overall, prime sheep numbers were tighter, probably as a consequence of a dearer trade than expected for commercial lambs, producing an overall selling average for the 2,282 hoggs on parade of £88.26 per head, or 198.36p/kg, with 36-45kg lambs across all breeds averaging 205.97p/kg. The turnout comprised 70% lowland and 30% hill-bred lambs.

Smart Beltex types got away nicely, selling to the day’s top £3 per kilo price, or £117 per head, for a pen from the Hutchinson family in Faceby, with pens from the same home also making £124 and £122.

A further 22 pens of strong lambs sold at 250p- plus, and another 41 pens at 225p-plus. The remainder of the smart lambs made £100 to £120, depending on weight, and the overall Beltex average was £105.12 per head, or 242.3p/kg.

Commercial export weight lambs were again strong to sell, generally seeing 220-225p/kg for nice sorts, 205-215p for the next grade. Heavy lowland lambs exceeded predictions and were dearer on the week.

Typically, a 52-58kg lamb sold at £100 to £108, with the smarter wholesale butchers’ types making over £110. This weight range topped at £115 for 53kg Continentals from Peter Longdin, of Doncaster. Better 48kg-51kg entries made £95-£100, with commercial sorts selling into the early £90s.

Hill-bred lambs easily maintained the previous week’s good rates. Heavy 45-48kg Mules made around £40 over the weight, peaking at £89.50 for a pen from Ronnie Bailey, of Reeth, while nice 41-42kg Mule lambs getting into the export weight category sold in the £190s, the Threshfield-based Kitching family catching the eye with 43kg and 41kg pens at £82.50 at £79.50 respectively.

Horned lambs were also good to sell, Lonks topping at £90 from Chris Crowther, of Greenfield, with Scotch Blackfaced entries selling to £88, or 190p/kg, from Bob Stubbs, of Northwich. Good lightweight horned wethers found a nice following.

Also among the mix were 269 cast sheep. Cull ewes sold to £120 for Texels from Richard Wilson, of Crimple Head, Beckwithshaw, with other heavy lowland ewes generally around £100. Strong Mule ewes made into the £70s, topping at £82.50, while horned ewes saw Lonks and Gritstones both in the £50s and 60s, the best Swaledale and Dalesbred selling in the £40s. Cull ewes averaged a shade over £61 each and cast rams £49.64.

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