OVER 3,500 prime sheep went under the hammer at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest Monday sale, the 2,594 Spring lambs among them showing a further rise of 5p per kilo on the week when trading to yet another solid overall average of 233.3p/kg, or £95.71 per head.

In fact, most classes showed a rise on the week, with heavy lambs a great trade all day, top price of £141 per head falling to Continentals from the Gibson family in Church Fenton, York, and becoming one of several high price pens acquired by Brayton Farm Shop, near Selby.

In total, 25 pens made in excess of £120 per head, with a further 64 lots selling at £110-plus. Other retail butcher buyers of quality three-figure pens included Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton, Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton and Kendalls Farm Butchers in Harrogate and Pateley Bridge.

Heading the per kilo prices at 305p were Continentals from Doncaster’s Tom Hill and Ruby Wright, which became one of several acquisitions by leading wholesale buyer Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, with another wholesaler, Vivers Scotlamb, again in action at the ringside.

No less than 94 pens made 250p/kg or above, again showing high demand and premium prices available for this type of lamb at Skipton, with Beltex an excellent illustration when averaging 252p/kg.

A large turnout of 925 cast and feeding sheep saw the Gibson family again present the top price pen of £123.50 per head Texel cull ewes, the section averaging £73.91, with cast rams selling to £119.50 and averaging £91.72.

Turning to the prime cattle, the Kitching brothers, Charles and Richard, from Threshfield, enjoyed a very good day, claiming the top gross prices and overall top price per kilo with three different animals.

Their leading gross at £1,431 (240.5p/kg) was a 595kg Limousin-cross steer sold to the mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, another 585kg same way bred steer taking second top of £1,413 (241.5p/kg) when one of three purchases by Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton,

Taking top price by weight of 253.5p/kg (£1,382) was another Kitching Limousin, this one a 545kg heifer sold to Sanderson’s Butchers in Baxenden, which also took home a trio, as did Ellison’s Butchers in Cullingworth. Once again the leading combined purchaser was James Robertshaw, also buying for his own Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton.

A good range of cattle in the 18-strong under 30-month entry included a pen of non-assured native-bred steers, which topped at181.5p/kg, or £1,053.

There was no let up in price for a light turnout of 11 cull cows, which averaged £715.18, or 118.57p/kg, a 980kg Holstein from Brian and Judith Moorhouse in Bell Busk the pick of the grosses at £1,161, with a pure-bred Beef Shorthorn from Hartlington’s Jeremy Daggett top per kilo at 155.5p (£1,156)

The 23 rearing calves on offer were again keenly contested by regular buyers, selling to £420 twice for a British Blue-cross bulls, which averaged £369, Blue-cross heifers selling to £395 and averaging £372. Black and white youngsters peaked at £120, averaging £83.

Trade was described as ‘brilliant’ at Skipton’s latest monthly Saturday livestock collective sale of 151 bulls, heifers, steers and in-calf cows. (July 11)

British Blue-cross heifers sold very well and in considerable numbers at around £600/ £700, the strongest making up to £820, with an overall section average of £689. Black and white heifers also did well, selling to £810 at an average of £750.

A total of 55 black and whites among the stirk entry topped at £775 with an average of £528, while Montbéliard-cross stirks sold to £600, with good six to eight-month-old Limousins around the same mark.

With Wednesday store cattle vendors looking to replenish recently sold stock, Blue-cross bullocks again sold well, while solid demand for in-calf cows saw five Aberdeen-Angus sell to £980 at an average of £902.

Next month’s Saturday livestock collective on August 8.

In the interim, online bidding was underway yesterday and today (Thursday) for Skipton’s first virtual timed sale with real-time viewing of working sheep dogs, along with the opening store lambs sale of the season yesterday. Full reports on both will appear in next week’s Herald.

The second online sale of farm machinery and associated items on Wednesday and Thursday, August 6 & 7. Entries close on Friday, July 24.