£230 top price for 5,000 gimmer lambs on offer

Masham, Mule and Swaledale gimmer lambs had their day in the show and sale rings, as Skipton Auction Mart’s peak sheep season continued with the annual ewe lamb seasonal fixture.

The 5,000-plus turnout met with one of the best trades of the season to date, with lots of quality pens selling at three figures to a packed ringside, among them many repeat buyers. Running Mule lambs proved popular throughout the day, with others ready for the tup also slightly dearer.

Averages showed an across-the-board increase on the corresponding 2011 fixture, with the predominant entry of 3,779 Mules averaging £100.86 per head, £18 up on last year. The 897 Swaledales averaged £79.08 (+£13.84), 344 Mashams £93.24 (+0.15) and 48 Continentals £90.31 (+£19.95).

Chris Akrigg, of Manor Farm, Cray, made a successful return to the Swaledale show arena when exhibiting the first prize pen of ten lambs, which progressed to lift the overall gimmer lamb championship, then land the day’s leading price of £230 per head when selling locally to James Hall, of Darnbrook.

John and Sarah Tennant, of Low Bucker House Farm, Bordley, Swaledale victors for the previous three years, had to settle for second in class at this year’s renewal, their pen selling for £160 per head to Angus Dean, of Threshfield.

Bordley’s Kevin Huck presented the third prize Swaledale pen, a £142 per head acquisition by Gary Schofield, of Bucken. He also sold three further pens at £98, £88, and £85.

Nidderdale father-and-son Masham maestros Roland and David Verity, of Grange Farm, Bouthwaite, Ramsgill, stepped up to land their fifth consecutive title at the Masham Sheep Breeders’ Association show, their pen of ten selling for £150 per head, top price in class, to Keith Liddle, of JB Liddle & Son, Stainburn, Otley, who has bought the Verity victors for the past several years.

With a consignment numbering 110, the Veritys also presented the second prize pen, knocked down at £128 to Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, Otley, also selling six further high price pens, among them £105 and £100 per head performers. The third prize pen of Mashams from D&GC Newbould, of Dallowgill, sold for £120 to Turner Bros, of Helperby, York.

Ashley and Rachael Caton, of Otterburn Lodge Farm, Otterburn, continued their sparkling run of form in the Mule show classes – they won three of the four titles up for grabs at the previous month’s two North of England Mule Sheep Association annual highlights – when their first prize pen of ten, all bred similarly to their NEMSA entries, sold for £135 each to judge Robert Johnson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate. The Catons sold a second pen at £117.

Mr Johnson also paid a class-topping £142 per head for the second prize pen from Craven Cattle Marts’ Stockperson of the Year, Robert Crisp, of Calton, who sold further pens at £118 and £115. The third prize pen of Mules from E&SL Harker, of Lofthouse, sold for £132 to Stuart Horn, of Kelbrook.

Other high price achievers were: Mules – Taylor Bros £138, Ashfield Farms £138, JK Wilson £134, JC&N Throup £134, E&SCL Harker £132, JH Throup £130, AJ Mason £127, D Lodge £126, JA Throup £125, £124, £121, £116, £115, EW&JR Parkinson £124, W Harrison & Son £124, Saddle End Farms £122, R&KA Burley £122, AS&L Throup £120, Taylor Bros £118, AP Percival, £118, J&G Huck £116, RH&EA Close £116, R&C Greenwood £115.

Swaledales – I Wilson, £135, £115, £100, £98, R Tennant £102, £95, £85, RW&B Chapman £102, £98. Mashams – JK Wilson £120, £93, £91, A&SL Throup £120, £92, D&GC Newbould £120, £100, £96. Full show results and prices are at ccmauctions.c