JUST short of 3,000 head, were on offer at the opening seasonal show and sale of store lambs at Skipton Auction Mart on Wednesday.
The overall average selling price of £62.91 per head was down £2.77 on last year’s corresponding fixture, which was itself exceptional with an overall average up £12 a head on the 2010 sale, 441 more lambs were sold this year, among them 833 Suffolk-cross, which averaged £63.72.
Livestock sales manager and auctioneer Ted Ogden noted: “A good show included lambs for short, medium and long-term keep. Smart Texel and Beltex types sold for around £65 to a high of £75.50 per head, while stronger lambs were in the mid-£60s. Medium-sized lambs were generally £58 to £62, with nice keeping lambs selling in the mid to late £50s. Several pens of Mule lambs found a ready ringside and sold to average £52 per head.”
The title-winning pen of 40 or more store lambs, a well-matched submission of 50 Suffolk-cross, was shown by Dales sheep farmer, Michael Parker, Winterburn. The sold for the day’s joint top price of £75.50 per head to F. Errington and Son, Penrith. Mr Parker presented a consignment of 270 Suffolk-cross, with other pens selling well at £66.50 and £65 a head.
Top price honours were shared by the second prize pen of 42 Texel-cross-Beltex lambs from Richard and Robert Greenwood, West Marton, which sold to F. Tomlinson, Wigton.
Third prize was awarded to a pen of 43 Beltex-cross lambs from Annabelle Sugden, of Laycock, Keighley. They sold at £73 each to Stephen Maskill, of Hebden Bridge.
A total of 1,777 Texel-x store lambs averaged £62.73, 30 Charollais-x £70.20, 155 Mule Wethers £52.02 and 12 Lonk Wethers £56.88.
In addition, 179 breeding ewes found a ready market, with 110 commercial Mule shearlings, selling to average of £128.29 and to a high of £142 per head for a pen from C and N Shearing, Littledale, Lancaster. T.C. Crick, Hawes, also sold four Mule shearling pens at £130 a head, along with Texel-cross shearling pens at £123, £122 and £120.