All eyes were on store lamb trade at Skipton last week when one of the first major sales this season took place.

More than 3,300 store lambs were forward and were quickly snapped up to average 58.88 each, an increase of £2.15 a head on last year’s corresponding fixture.

CCM auctioneers said strong lambs sold about £60 plus, medium lambs £56-£59, with smaller lambs selling in the early to mid-£50s.

Prices peaked at £70 a head twice for Texel pens from Adrian Leech, Hebden Bridge, with the 2,384 Texel store lambs on offer selling to an overall average of £59.94 a head, while 390 Suffolk averaged £59.81; 166 Charollais £55; 71 Hampshire £55.99 and 20 Mule £47.65.

However, it was Beltex lambs – 297 in total – that produced the day’s leading overall average of £60.80 a head, with a high of £66 each for a consignment from Tom Heseltine, Hesketh House, Bolton Abbey.

Tom Heseltine with his winning pen of Beltex store lambs, which produced the day’s leading overall average of £60.80 a head.

Tom Heseltine with his winning pen of Beltex store lambs, which produced the day’s leading overall average of £60.80 a head.

These April-born lambs, all by home-bred Beltex rams out of Texel ewes, were also awarded first prize in the annual show for pens of 40 or more lambs. They formed part of a 142-strong consignment on the day from the Heseltines, which sold to an overall average of £62.04 a head.

Standing second in show was James Hall, Darnbrook, with 40 Texel-cross that each made £64. However, it was the third prize Texel-cross pen, from Robert Greenwood, Marton Scar Farm, West Marton, that topped the show prices when selling at £68 each.