PRICES were sharp at Skipton Auction Mart at the old season lamb show and sale.

The New Year saw prices remain in line with the previous sale held over the holiday period, with best end lambs doing a sharp trade all day.

Top price of 330p or £129 was reached by WA, VJ and JA Towler, of Grindleton, for a pen of five 39kg Beltex, purchased by Hamlets Butchers in Garstang.

In the monthly show, the champion pen of five lambs came from Frankland Farms, of Rathmell. Weighing 47kg, they sold for £120 each to show judge Mick Etherington, of Eldwick, on behalf of Kitson and Sons Butchers, which has three shops in Northallerton, Stockton-on-Tees and Hutton Rudby.

Messrs EP and JM Hutchinson, from Faceby, presented the reserve champion pen and they sold for the second highest price on the day, of £128 each, purchased by Skipton regulars Countrystyle Meats, of Lancaster.

Third in the Continental class was JS Eddleston, of Great Harwood, who sold a pen for £98 each to Vivers Scot Lamb.

In the Mule class, JH and J Ryder, of Haverah Park. was first and JK Wilson, of Blubberhouses, second, both selling to Paul Watson, of Hellifield, for £82 and £89 a head respectively. Mr Watson also picked up the first prize pen in the Horned class, from J and G Huck, of Hubberholme, for £83.50, while JK Wilson was again second, selling for £65 to Yorkshire Halal.

Commercial lambs found a ready market all day, with heavies particularly good to sell, the 46kg to 52kg weight bracket averaging 189p and the 36kg to 45kg bracket levelling at 196p.

The overall selling average for a total of 3,228 lambs was 192.8p/kg, which comprised 844 Mule, Masham and Horned lambs and 2,384 Lowland bred lambs.

Cull Ewes averaged £67.38, with JR Crabtree, of Low Snowden, reaching top price for Texels with £113.50, while cast rams averaged £61.53.