John Fawcett, of Dalehead Farm, Barden, presented the champion pen of ten lambs at the second annual ewe lamb show and sale for members of the North of England Mule Sheep Association (NEMSA) at Skipton Auction Mart.
He then saw his title-winning charges, all by home-bred rams and ram lambs, sell for £165 a head to Grindleton’s James Towler, the class co-judge.
Defending champions Ashley and Rachael Caton, of Otterburn Lodge Farm, Otterburn, were again responsible for the victorious 20’s pen, the fourth time they have secured the title at the second seasonal sale and their 11th NEMSA championship success overall with pens of both ten and 20 Mule gimmer lambs.
The Catons’ 2013 victors, by both their well regarded sire Middleton Hall D2 and home-bred ram lambs, sold for £148 each to the other co-judge in the ten’s class, Silsden’s Simon Bennett.
The day’s leading price of £170 a head was achieved by the third prize pen of ten from Patrick Walker, of WP and B Walker and Son in Appletreewick. The buyer was Lothersdales’ Geoff Booth, who also acquired the Walkers’ top price pen at the corresponding fixture last year. The family also sold a second pen of ten at £135 per head at the latest renewal to R Wilkinson, of Whitby.
A massive turnout of 7,803 Mules, predominantly running lambs, sold to an overall average of £88.67 per head, down £17.38 on the year. Craven Cattle Marts’ livestock sales manager Ted Ogden noted: “While trade was cheaper than the opening sale a fortnight earlier, stronger lambs found a decent following, though numbers were not as plentiful as usually seen, an obvious hangover from the poor spring weather conditions.
“Running lambs generally sold from £70 to £95 per head, with the smartest end making £90 to £100 each. However, customers were definitely more cautious than usual.”
Show regulars John and Claire Mason, of Oddacres Farm, Embsay, stepped forward with two prize-winning pens of ten – the runners-up and fifth prize pen. Both sold at £135 per head to the same buyers, Clitheroe’s Peter and Edward Fox.
Ken and Linda Throup, of Silsden Moor, achieved the day’s second highest price of £155 each for a ten-strong pen acquired by Malcolm Metcalfe, of Topcliffe. They also sold their fourth prize 20’s pen for £140 per head to Jim Roberts, of Farnhill, plus a further 20’s pen at £132 each to Coniston Cold’s David Coates.
Also notable at £138 apiece was the sixth prize pen of ten from Saddle End Farms in Chipping, sold to John Thwaite, of Horton-in-Craven, and the third prize pen of 20’s from Malham Moor’s Alan Lodge, which also joined David Coates for £147 each.
There were again special prizes for the highest flock averages of under and over 100 lambs. Alan Lodge comfortably headed the former with 50 charges that averaged £133.40 per head, Patrick Walker the latter with 120 lambs averaging £114.55 each, just pipping Calton’s Robert Crisp, who had 121 lambs at £114.48. Full results and prices are at ccmauctions.com
The J Marsden Perpetual Trophy was awarded to the ten’s show class winners, with the 20’s victors receiving the WFC Perpetual Trophy. Judges here were Nick Brown, of Broadway, and Malcolm Pearson, of West Marton.