SELLING averages soared on the year across all breeds at CCM Skipton Auction Mart’s third gimmer lamb show and sale of the 2023 season earlier this month.

Among the 2,711 head forward were just shy of 2,000 North of England Mules, which levelled at £125.57 per head, up £30.34 on 2022, the outcome thought to be probably the best sale anywhere of the season so far for running lambs.

A total of 505 Swaledale lambs averaged a robust £102.23, an increase of £28.72 on the year, with 69 Dales Mules levelling at £128.26, up a solid £43.85 on 2022, and 67 Masham taking a nice rise of £33.73 to average £130.90.

Four prize shows for pens of ten were again in place. Notching a notable hat-trick when presenting the first prize Swaledale gimmer lambs for the third year running were Dales father and daughter, John and Rose Tennant, Bordley, four in the pen by a Paul Ewbank tup, also responsible for other past red rosette winners, four more by a Christine Whitehead ram, the other brace by home-bred tups. Retaining the Craven Cattle Marts Trophy, they sold for the day’s top call of £180.

The second prize winners from John and Claire Mason, and daughter Annabel, Oddacres, Embsay, six by a GL Hutton Setmabanning tup, two each by Walker Low Fold and Porter Low Oxnop rams, made £160, plus another pen at £145, the third prize winners from Dale Hallam, Tintwistle, Derbyshire High Peaks, £135. Swaledale gimmers were an excellent trade, other strongest pens achieving £125-plus, nice sorts £100-£120, the smaller end £65-£90.

The first prize pen of North of England Mule gimmer lambs, all by home-bred Bluefaced Leicester tups, came from mart regulars, Chris and Christine Ryder, Blubberhouses, making £155. The second prize winners from Calton father and daughter, Robert and Ellie Crisp, half and half by Richard Mawson, Addingham, and Kitching family, Threshfield, tups, made £142, plus another pen at £145, a price matched by the third prize winners from John, Gill and James Huck, Hubberholme, who also had a further two £140 pens.

Section top of £160, plus another £150 pen, fell to Jeff and Judith Throup, Silsden Moor. Strong lambs were £140-£150, the best runners £130-£140, genuine runners £110-£128. In fact, only five pens in the whole sale were under £110 per head.

Winning the Dales Mules show class for the third consecutive year and again retaining the Josephine Bartlett Memorial Trophy were Dales father and son, Richard and Matthew Close, Starbotton, seven in the pen by Joe and Nancy Throup, Draughton, tups, the other three by home-bred rams. The second prize similarly bred pen also came from the same home, both achieving £140, the section producing plenty of interest in nice framed lambs.

Age is no barrier to success in the breeding and show arenas, as illustrated by Nidderdale’s 81-year-old David Newbould, Dallowgill, who consigned both the first and second the prize pens in The Masham Sheep Breeders’ Association-sponsored class, all by Whitfield family Wraytop Teeswater tups, out of Dalesbred ewes. Like his father before him a lifelong breed aficionado, David saw his red rosette winners, recipients of the Kemp Spokes Trophy, sell at £145, the runners-up for £130, the third prize pen from BC Ashby, Norwood, Otley, doing better at £140. The section saw a sharp trade throughout, peaking at a resounding £360 for an impeccably bred and highly fancied single gimmer lamb from the Verity family, Middlesmoor, Nidderdale.

Swaledales were judged by Will Greenwood, Bradley, Mules by Buckinghamshire’s David Blackmore and Andrew Geary, Dales Mules by Joe Gorst, Killington, and Henry Fawcett, Ingleton, and Mashams by Alice Liddle, Stainburn, and Jack Fawcett, Burton-in-Lonsdale.

CCM’s 4th Gimmer Lamb Sale, held on Tuesday 17th October saw another 1307 brought forward, resulting in a lower overall average of £107.36. “Trade wasn’t just as hot as last fortnight but remained very buoyant” commented Auctioneer Ted Ogden. Mule gimmer lambs sold to an average of £111 for the 1,137 on offer. Strong running lambs and tupping goods sold at £125-£140, with plenty of bonny running lambs selling at £115-£125. Next grade of gimmers sold at £105-£115, with the smallest lambs of the day all either side of £100. Swaledale gimmer lambs sold to £68 from A&G Greenwood, Trawden, whilst the strongest horned lambs reached £58-£68 and younger lambs £49-£58. Masham gimmers sold to a top of £125 from MJ Croft, Ripon. Plenty of other pens sold at £100-£110 and young lambs £74-£95.

The next sale of store lambs and breeding sheep is on Wednesday, November 1. Entries now closed.