The first major Mile lamb sale of the year for the North of England Mule Association (NEMSA) saw 7,810 Mules forward, a significant increase on 2013.
The show on Tuesday saw WA and A Booth, Old Hall Farm, Feizor, retain their 2013 title as the winning consignor for pens of 10 and 20 gimmer lambs. The Booth’s pen of ten Mule gimmer lambs topped the trade at £195 a head and were knocked down to John Wilson and Janet Dunning, Settle. Mr Wilson also bought the Booths’ 2013 champion pen of tens.
The Booth family’s homebred tup, Bluefaced Leicester ram, D15 Smearsett, was responsible for half the winning pen of 10’s.
Seven of their pen of 20’s were also by D15 Smearsett, which sold for £170 a head to co-judge Ken Gill, of Burton Lazars, Melton Mowbray.
The Fawcett family, Fold House Farm, Drebley, presented the second prize pen of tens, as they did last year. The majority were home-bred, either sons or grandsons of their old stock tup Y9 Dale Head, and sold for £180 a head, second top price in show. They also had the sixth prize pen in the 20’s show class, these selling away at £150 each.
Stephen’s brother John Fawcett, Dale Head Farm, Barden, performed well with his sixth prize pen of tens, which made £178 a head. Also catching the eye at £170 each was another pen of tens from Ken and Lynne Throup, Silsden Moor.
Multiple past champions Ashley and Rachel Caton, Otterburn, were again prominent when presenting the second prize pen of 20s and the fourth prize tens’ pen, most by D2 Middleton Hall sons and the family’s new championship-winning Greenhow tup, acquired last October. The tens sold for £142 a head and the 20’s for £122 each.
Kevin Wilson himself stood third in both show classes, achieving £160 a head with his pen of tens and £135 with his 20’s. Also achieving £160 a head with a tens’ pen were Embsay’s John and Claire Mason.
With a 10% increase on numbers sold the previous year, the overall sale average levelled at £99.88 a head and, while this was down £2.12 a head on the year, the general story of the sale was that running lambs were dearer, while tupping lambs were cheaper.
NEMSA Skipton branch chairman Kevin Wilson, Hewness House Farm, Blubberhouses, noted that trade was much in line with expectations and, with lots of good lambs about, the overall average reflected great credit on members for their efforts in the current climate.