SKIPTON Auction Mart’s inaugural Spring sale of Blue Texel and Badger Face Texel females was staged purposely to cater for the growing popularity of the two breeds – and did exactly that when producing a very good enquiry for the 36 head forward. (Mon, May 30)

In the Blue Texels, mother and daughter, Elaine and Issy Hartley, who run the Pendle flock in Roughlee, saw their run of individual gimmer lambs top at 2,000gns for Pendle Flash, a March, 2021, daughter of a Millside sire bred by Ayrshire’s David Alexander, himself a familiar face at Skipton with his Blue Texels. Out of an imported dam, Flash flew back across the border when joining Bacup’s Joanne Lyth, another gimmer lamb from the same home making 1,050gns.

Caroline Cochran and Iain Almond, who run the Towerview flock in Tockholes, Darwen, also ventured across from Red Rose territory with a brace of February and March, 2021, gimmer lamb daughters of their hard muscled stock tup, Hackney Demonstrator, both making four figures, one at 1,100gns going to JW&J Collin in Barnard Castle, the other away at 1,000gns.

Of the Badger Face, a recipient ewe with single gimmer lamb at foot from Caroline Brown and Shiela Mason, of Keasden Head, Clapham, led the way on price at 1,900gns. The March-born lamb, named Diva, is by an imported sire, Tamtain Boomtown, acquired as a reserve champion last year for 2,500gns, while the true dam is Hackney Beyonce, a 6,000gns champion again in 2021 and daughter of the 13,000gns Woodies Zara. The Northern Ireland purchaser was Armagh’s Nigel Flanagan.

The same vendors also claimed 1,300gns with an individual gimmer lamb, Caramel, one of April, 2021, twins to Tamtain Buster, a half brother to the 7,500gns Tamtain Blackbird, out of Cleenagh Ambition, herself a daughter of an imported sire, Cleenagh Hugo Boss, with the dam purchased as a top-priced 2,300gns gimmer lamb in 2020 by the Northern Craven partnership. Her well-bred daughter joined a buyer from the West Midlands, Henley-in-Arden’s Daniel Creighton.

While the weekly sale of ewes and lambs had a lighter entry of 119 head, trade was on a high, with the Ribble Valley’s Ian and Mary Lancaster, and their son Richard, of Coldcotes Farm, Wiswell, arriving with their annual consignment of breeding sheep and claiming a section-topping £550 with a single black Beltex shearling with Beltex lamb at foot, also selling others at £380 and £270.

Mathew Thornber, of Newton-in-Bowland, achieved £350 with a Texel ewe with twins and Littondale’s SMR Foster £300 with a North of England Mule shearlings with twins, both topping their respective sections. Trade for hoggs with lambs has increased as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, the weekly prime sheep entry comprised a larger turnout of 2,306 head, both the 633 Spring lambs and 1,173 hoggs taking a lift in trade before the holiday period, with processors looking to get product ready for Jubilee weekend shoppers. Lambs would be roughly £5 per head dearer on the week when selling to an overall average of £143.18, 342.7p/kg, with some classes of hoggs £10-15 each dearer, levelling at £121.57, 260.2p/kg.