A MUCH increased entry of 3,740 prime sheep passed through the sales ring at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly Monday sale.

T he 3,466 spring lambs among them took an anticipated lift in price on the week when selling to an overall average of 186.8p/kg, or £81.19 per head, for all breeds and weights.

Trade set off at a cracking pace and was maintained throughout the sale, with smart export weights particularly good to sell.

N&AD Boynton, of Ripon, topped the per kilo prices at 261p/kg, or £107 per head, for 41kg Beltex.

These were claimed by Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson on behalf of Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, Greater Manchester, with the same combination also responsible for 42kg lambs at 245p/kg, or £103 each. Heavy lambs were keenly sought after, selling to a day’s per head high of £113 for 51kg Beltex from the Robinson brothers in Tosside.

These also fell to Hartshead Meat Co.

John Turner, from Draughton, was next best on price with 54kg Texels sold for £111 each to Skipton-based Swaledale Foods.

The next grade of three-quarters bred lambs was generally 220-240p/k, with other nice sorts making £2 to 220p/kg and commercial export types190p/kg to £2.

Commercial lowland lambs weighing 42-45kg met a much sharper trade, especially if farm assured, with additional accounts operating at the ringside. This class of lamb was generally 185-195p/kg, while nice Mule and Masham wethers in a similar weight range also found a very ready market, making around £30 to £34 over the weight, or 170-175p/kg.

Alan Throup, of Silsden, sold a 53kg pen at £93, along with two further 44kg pens at £78, plus a 43kg offering at £76.

The 274 cast sheep penned for sale were a decent trade too, topping at £107.50 per head for Texel ewes from Richard Crabtree in Otley.

Decent Continental ewes sold in the £90s, the best Mules in the mid to late £70s and the best horned ewes to £63.50. Cull ewes averaged £58.74 overall.

The traditional pipeopener to Skipton Auction Mart’s 2019 breeding sheep season was held on Tuesday.

The Great Annual Prize Sale of Gimmer Shearlings, on Tuesday, attracted a catalogue entry of 3,372 head.

There were four show classes in total, with a local win in one of the Masham classes for the Hall family, from Darnbrook.

The Halls were there with their home-bred pen of ten, by Teeswater tups, out of Dalesbred ewes.

James Hall took top honour with the first prize pen which had impressed judge Andrew Fisher.

A full report on the show will be included in next week’s Craven Herald.