CRAVEN Cattle Mart's fortnightly sale of store lambs saw an increased entry of 6,828 head sell at an overall average of £55.69 per head, up £1.27 on the previous year’s corresponding fixture last Wednesday.
The sale featured a sizeable entry of 1,480 Mule wethers, drawing a large contingent of non-local buyers keen to secure the first draw of lambs from farms across the region. The stronger Mules were £52 to £58, averaging £51.91 per head overall.
At the annual late summer show for pens of of 50 Mule wether lambs, Alan Barnes of Cowden, sent out the first prize pen and he and his shepherd Michael Burnop collected the Stephen Foster Memorial Trophy on what was their debut appearance at the show, but decided to retain the winning pen.
Mr Barnes, famed for his prize-winning poultry as well as his sheep, said it had been a good year for his flock. “We’ve had better weather - as good as it gets,” he said. “There’s plenty more to come later in the season.”
The second place Mule wethers pen from local breeders and 2013 show victors John and Claire Mason, of Oddacres Farm, Embsay, went for £54.50 per head, with the third prize winners from J Garth & Son, of Keasden, selling at £58 each. The fourth prize pen from V Verity & Son, of Harrogate, sold at £55.50.
Suffolk and continental lambs saw a nice trade. Some good Beltex types reached £62 to £72 per head, with an average of £61.19 and top price going to MJ Wells & Son, of Bakewell, with £72 per head.
Suffolk lambs went for an average of £57.61 per head, with CA Foster, of Bolton Abbey, seeing top price of £67.20 each.
Texels averaged £57.42 per head, with a high of £65 from AJ Haggas, of Otterburn, while Charollais averaged £55.15, with a top price for AG Horn, of Winterburn, at £60.20. Cheviots averaged £55.61, with B Woodcock, of Slaidburn, coming out on top with £58.50.
Also forward were the first of the this year’s Swaledale wether lambs and they found a good following to average £36.66 each. MJ Wells & Son again sold wethers to £40, while John Bland, of Crowden, sold a pen of 118 head at £38.50 each and a further 40 at £38.
In the gimmer lamb classes, Charollais averaged £88 per head, led by £99 pens from CD Timms, of Yorkefleet, while Texels were topped by Will Crane, of Silsden, at £74 per head, with an average of £60.65. Mules from Martin and Val Brown, of Newton-le-Willows, reached £70 per head.
The next fortnightly sale is on Wednesday, when an entry of 10,000 is expected, including many consignments of Suffolk and Continental gimmer lambs and a prize show for 40 or more Masham wether lambs.