ALMOST 4,000 prime sheep were penned for sale at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest weekly Monday turnout.

The 3,289 Spring lambs among them levelled at 233p/kg, a 14p/kg rise on the week, or £95.64 per head, also a solid increase on the previous sale’s £90.47.

All classes were good to sell, with sharp demand from customers seeking to secure supply for Qurbani, as no less than 46 pens in total sold for over £120 per head.

Nigel Boynton, from Grewelthorpe, took the three highest prices per kilo.

He also had three out of the four highest prices per head, their quality run averaging 44kg in weight and selling to overall averages of 312p/kg and £138.56 per head.

Leading the way at 329p/kg, or a sky high £158, was Mr Boynton’s pen-leading single Texel, which fell to regular weekly buyer Brayton Farm Shop, on the outskirts of Selby.

On the day they claimed two further lots of lambs from the same home at £140 each, plus others at the same price from L Simpson & Son, of Pateley Bridge.

Mr Boynton’s second highest price per kilo was 315p, or £139 per head, selling to Lancashire Direct Halal Meat in Blackburn, followed by further lambs at 311.9p/kg, or £131, to Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton.

Tony Kiernan from St Michaels, on the edge of the Fylde, again crossed the border with a quality run.

It was a journey worth taking and he was well rewarded when they topped at 309.8p/kg, or £127, for a 41kg pen purchased by Vivers Scotlamb in Annan. Further pens from the same vendor made £121 and £114.

Catching the eye was the day’s largest run of lambs from Anthony and Heather Hewetson in Bank Newton, whose 269 Texel-crosses averaging 41.7kg by weight sold at an overall three-figure average of £101.03 per head.

Hill-bred lambs met a sharp trade, North of England Mule wethers averaging 214p/kg and selling to highs of £96.50 and 224p/kg from the Lawn family in Skipton.

Lightweight Swaledale lambs, mainly good backed fresh looking wethers, also made an appearance, selling to 219p/kg, or £63.50, for 29kg entries from John and Claire Mason in Embsay.

The 676 cast sheep on parade saw ewes and hoggs meet a fiercer trade than anticipated

Among then were 246 white-faced ewes averaging £90, with a top of £128.50 for a Texel pen from John Brigg in Wilsden.

The best ewes made £120-£128.50, heavy ewes with less conformation £115-plus.

An overall cull ewe average of £77.27, was seen while cast rams averaged £94.09.

There was a good entry of 24 under 30-month prime cattle.

They were of more appeal to the heavier and commercial end of the retail market produced a top gross price of £1,437 (243.5p/kg) for a 590kg Limousin-cross heifer from Threshfiield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching.

It fell to James Robertshaw for his Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, as did the top gross price steer, a 615kg Limousin-cross from Silsden Moor’s Simon Bennett at £1,381 (224.5p/kg).

The duo were among a total of 11 cattle claimed by principal purchaser Mr Robershaw.

Seven of these acquisitions were for his own farm shop above Bradford, the other four destined for Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton.

Simon Barker, of the mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, also bought four cattle.

Among them the leading per kilo entry, a 575kg Limousin-cross heifer again from the Kitching brothers at 249.5p/kg (£1,435). Another regular retail buyer with a four-strong haul was George Cropper Jnr, of Sanderson’s Butchers in Baxenden.

A wet day brought 29 cull cows to market and trade was more than ready to absorb the increased entry.

The dairies among them crept into 140p/kg at the top end.

Most of the heavy dairies making 130p/kg-plus, while lean dairies sold from 92.5p/kg to 118p/kg.

Prices peaked at £1,015 and 144.5p/kg for respective black and whites from JG Hall & Son in Gargrave and CN&SA Harrison, from Elslack.

Beef-cross dairy suckler cows sold to 157.5p/kg, or £1,071, for a British Blue from Michael Mallinson, of Mount Tabor, the section producing an overall selling average of £821.85 per head, or 127.28p/kg, another solid trade.