SKIPTON Auction Mart conducted its second fortnightly Wednesday sheep sale of the year, which attracted a much larger catalogue of 1,701 head.

The figure was more than double the 2021 opener, and another good trade, with the 1,585 store lambs and feeding ewes selling to an overall average of £83.53 per head.

There were 116 in-lamb ewes which averaged £137.21. (Jan 27)

The Beltex lamb trade was a flyer for all sizes and showing great demand.

Prices ranged from £108 to £126 joint top for the best.

These were for two pens from Martin and Val Brown, of Leyburn, and Draughton’s John and Judy Garnett.

Some smaller goods were able to command £100-£110, producing an overall section average of £104.64.

In the mix, the best Texel/Beltex lambs regularly made £110-£120, some good runs of medium/small lambs with frame and meat trading at £90-£105, while smaller longer-term leaner lambs sold in the £78-£84 range for Suffolk and Continentals.

Suffolks peaked at £115 twice for pens from Lincolnshire regular Steve Dorey, who was again well represented across several breeds, and RH&B Lofthouse, of Addingham Moorside, the section averaging £88.94, slightly bettered at £90.71 for Texels, which sold to a high of £120 from Michael Thwaite, of Paythorne.

Though fewer in number, Charollais lambs averaged £93.20, with a top of £110 from MJ&C Thornber, of West Bradford.

North of England Mules were again a good trade, mediums with meat making from £90 to a top of £105 for a pen from Kilnsey’s Malcolm Dibb, while a leaner longer-term Mule generally made from the mid £60’s up to £80.

An overall Mule wether average of £87.84 was recorded.

Of the other hill and horned lambs, Swaledales averaged £54.96, with a section high of £82 from John Hirst, of Litton, others with size making £68-£78 and mediums £58-£68.

Buyers were cautious of the very small end, which made in the £20’s up to £40,

Dalesbred averaged £54.44, with a section top of £65 from KA Liddle & Partners in Stainburn, Otley, who also consigned the £76 top price Masham pen.

Cheviots peaked at £75 from Kettlewell’s David Plews.

Feeding ewes sold to £72 for Texel, £65 for Swaledale and £61 for Cheviot.

Of the breeding sheep, in-lamb Mules sold to a top of £163 from John Richardson, of Laverock Bridge, Kendal.

The next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, February 10, at Skipton Auction Mart is also due to feature the annual special sale of Blue Faced Leicester sheep and in-lamb ewes. A round-up will be featured in the Herald.