Skipton Auction Mart’s third fortnightly sale of store and breeding sheep attracted a tremendous turnout of 8,171 head, the 7,817 store lambs among them, up over 2,000 on the previous sale, again achieving total clearance and meeting similar trade when levelling at £72.05 per head for what was, in effect, the next grade of lambs. (Wed, Aug 12)

Once again, lowland lambs made up three-quarters of the entry, with Beltex to the fore, two pens from familiar faces and leading breeders each making £100 per head - one from Martin and Val Brown in Leyburn, the other from Clitheroe’s Ian and Mary Lancaster. The section averaged £80.48.

Texels ranged in price from £50 to a top of £92 each for 20 from David and Iris Boothman, of Halton East, while Suffolks were also good to sell, averaging £76.38 and trading to a top of £86 for a pen of 50 from brothers Stuart and Stephen Lund in Litton, closely followed at £85.50 for another 50 from Brearton’s Robert Metcalfe.

A large entry of 1,700 North of England Mule wether lambs topped at £80.50 apiece from Swinbank & Briggs in Malham, with a breed average of £69.14. Of the other Mules, 39 from Julie Metcalfe, of Cowling, made £77, 50 two further pens hitting £75 – 50 from Rosemary Berry, also from Cowling, and 70 from Patrick Walker in Appletreewick.

Buyers again travelled from near and far - from both the western and eastern counties, together with a large contingent from North and South Wales, all looking for good quantities of sheep in large level batches.

Potential future vendors should note that buyers are again requesting larger numbers of Mule wethers for the next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, August 26, a fixture that will also include prize shows for pens of 50 Mule wethers, 50 Down-cross and 25 or more Beltex-cross lambs.

Skipton’s second sale of 354 breeding sheep saw prices level at £118 per head across the board, with keen interest shown for both younger and aged sheep in good condition, with Suffolk crosses in particular finding a good following.

A run of young 2-shear Cheviot Mules from RG Walter & Son, of Gainsborough, topped the day at £142 per head, with others from the same home selling at £135 and £132, making the journey from Lincolnshire well worthwhile.

Local Coniston Cold husband and wife, David and Jackie Coates, sold mixed 2 and 3-shear Mules at £140, £138, £132 and £130, while correct Suffolk ewes sold to £130 twice from Cowling’s Adam Staveley and Stephen Robinson, of Harrogate.

The next catalogued sale for breeding sheep is on Friday, August 21, when an anticipated entry of up to 100 Suffolk and Continental rams will be followed by 500 Continental, Suffolk and half-bred ewes.

The annual high profile opening annual gimmer shearling sale-only of up to 6,000 Mule, Masham and Continental/Suffolk-cross is also scheduled for Tuesday. August 25.

The mart reminds attendees that face masks are now mandatory for all customers at all sales.