Yorkshire Dales sheep farmer Michael Hall, of Scosthrop Farm, Airton, secured championship honours at Skipton Auction Mart’s August prime lamb show with a five-strong 43kg Beltex-cross pen by home-bred tups that went on to sell to Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster for the day’s leading call of £138 per head, or 320.9p/kg. (Monday, August 7)

Mr Hall, who currently has 250 breeding ewes, predominantly Beltex-cross, also stepped up with the third prize 44kg Continental pen, again claimed by Countrystyle Meats for £111 each.

The Lancaster Leisure Park farm shop remains one of the leading buyers of both prime lambs at cattle at the North Yorkshire venue, where sale rings were busier, with larger entries of both cattle and sheep as numbers begin to grow.

Countrystyle Meats took home seven pens of 21 lambs in total, also acquiring six cattle, including the reserve champion from the Critchley family in Hutton, Preston.

Back in the prime lamb show, judged by Michael Winchester from Woodhead Brothers Meat Co in Colne, Red Rose breeders Laura and David Coar, of Yew Tree Farm Darwen, picked up their first-ever reserve championship at Skipton with the second prize Continental pen, five home-bred 41kg Beltex-cross, all by a ram from Cheshire’s Paul Slater. They sold at £98 per head to Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

The Down-cross show class produced a win for James Earnshaw, of Flasby, his 47kg Suffolks also heading the class prices at £100 each when joining Skipton-based Swaledale Foods.

Hellifield’s Paul Watson claimed all three prize winners in the Mule show class for Dunbia Foods in Preston, with the 46kg red rosette winners from the Booth family in Feizor, above Settle, also heading the section prices at £89 per head.

The total entry of 3,177 prime sheep incorporated 2,603 lambs, with trade very similar to the previous week when producing an overall selling average of £83.20 per head, or 198.03p/kg. With multiple three figure prices seen in the Beltex, Suffolk and Texel classes, vendors were said to be pleased with returns,

Ian Hammond, of Glasshouses, sold 48kg Texel lambs to a section high of £124 per head, these also falling to Countrystyle Meats. Amy Beresford, from Halton West, sold Beltex lambs to £113, Simon Bennett, of Silsden Moor, Texels to £112, and Giggleswick’s Mick Hewitt, champion in July, Beltex to £110.

Some strong prices per kilo were also the order of the day, with many achieving 250p/kg-plus. Mr Hewitt sold pens to 261.9p and Mr Hammond to 258.3p.

Plenty of the next grade of smart lambs made 220-245p, other nice sorts 205p-215p and commercial lowland first-cross lambs 190-205p. Mule wethers sold to a top of £94 for an offering from Charles and Richard Kitching of Threshfield.

Also penned for sale were 574 cast sheep, with another large turnout of cull ewes selling away nicely, as trade remained strong. They averaged £50.54 per head overall, with a high of £105.50 each for a Charollais pen from Tony Kiernan, of Longridge. Cast rams averaged £63.50 per head.

Pic caption 1: Michael Hall is pictured right with his August prime lamb champions at Skipton, assisted by good friend and near neighbour John Beckwith.

Pic caption 2: David and Laura Coar are pictured with their August reserve champion prime lambs at Skipton, helped by the mart’s Rob Hayton.