Skipton prime lamb sale tops £137 a head

Red Rose sheep breeder Robert Towers dominated the prime lamb landscape at CCM Skipton’s June show with yet another champion pen, this week.

A multiple title winner and top price achiever at Skipton Auction Mart, Mr Towers, of Camp House Farm, Farleton, Lancaster, landed his latest success with the first prize Continental-cross pen, five 42kg Beltex-cross-Charollais lambs.

They sold for £125 a head, or 297.6p/kg, to Riley Bros Wholesale Butchers, of Dunnockshaw, Burnley, for their own retail shop in Love Clough, Rossendale.


Mr Towers was also responsible with the third prize same way bred 41kg pen. They fell for £117.50 each, or 286.6/kg, to Vivers Scotlamb, Annan, who also paid £121 per head, or 295.1p/kg, for the second prize 41kg Beltex-cross pen from Neil Caton, of Stainforth.


Mark Evans, of Tower Gate Farm, Steeton, had the first and third prize pens in the Suffolk prime lamb show class. His 48kg red rosette winners sold for £128 each, or 278.3p/kg, to Halifax meat wholesalers J and E Medcalf and Son, as did the other 43kg prize pen at £116 per head. The red rosette winners are destined for Far Barsey Farm Shop in Barkisland, Halifax.


South Yorkshire vendor John Key, of Midhopestones, had the second prize Down-cross pen, his 49kg charges joining Alec Traves Meat Wholeslares in Eskrick, York, for £128 each, or 261.2p/kg. Mr Key also stepped forward with a 65kg Suffolk pen that sold for the day’s highest per head price of £137, or 210.8p/kg, to Swaledale Foods in Haworth.


With 429 Spring lambs forward, trade was firmer than anticipated, with all classes achieving three figure highs. The top end made over 300p/kg, with eye-catching performances for a Beltex pen from Joe and Trevor Stoney, of Pateley Bridge, at 329.5p/kg, the day’s by-weight top, and a 328.9p/kg Texel pen from Anthony Thompson, of Foulridge. Both fell to Vivers Scotlamb. The Stoneys also achieved £100 per head, or 227.3p/kg, for a quality pen of 44kg Dales Mule wether lambs.


Good lambs sold at 260-290p/kg and commercial types 240-250p/kg, producing an overall prime lamb average of 261.6p/kg, or £104.46 per head.


While at the tail end of the season, a total of 629 prime and mature hoggs saw better quality sorts achieve over 200p/kg, with heavy meated hoggs also good to sell. The overall average was £73.24 a head, or 176.5p/kg, with a per head and by-weight top of £124, or 221.4p/kg, for a Texel pen from Willie and Mark Keighley, of Leathley.


A big show of almost 600 cast ewes found a ready market, considering entries were virtually double the previous week, with plenty of pens of heavy ewes achieving three figures and averaging £61.72 per head throughout. Texels from James Garth & Son, of Keasden, were the leading performers on price at £127.50 each.


Cast rams averaged £66.33 per head, with the three leading performers, all Texels, from MEC Higgs, of Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge, achieving £135.50, £126.50 and £121.50.