THE traditional seasonal finale for Dalesbred Sheep Breeders’ Association, the annual show and sale of registered rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart, attracted an increased turnout of 158 head, well up on the previous year’s 90.

Rams were deemed an excellent trade and sold to a total clearance with a £284 sale average. Topping the trade at 600gns were BD&PM Gill & Son, of Yarlsber, Ingleton, with a shearling ram, sired by their Faraday ram out of a Brennand-got ewe, selling locally to the Hayton & Stocks farming partnership in Bolton Abbey.

Fixture regulars and multiple past champions, Wigglesworth father and daughter, Godfrey and Alison Haygarth, of Aigden Farm, were next in line on price, selling their home-bred shearling ram by a Bowdin sire for 500gns, heading to a new home in Co. Durham with KT Anderson.

Buyers travelled from across the country to bid on the quality rams brought forward, by far the furthest Abel Bros, of Tavistock, Dartmoor, who paid 400gns for a shearling from JC&VA Lancaster, of Thoralby, Leyburn. It was by a home-bred £4,500 conformation ram, out of a Kevin Wilson, Blubberhouses, got ewe.

The Association again plumped for youth in its choice of co-judges, the task this year falling to Zoe Brown and Jack Foster. The Royston Baxter Trophy, first awarded many years ago to the overall champion by the late long-serving Craven Cattle Marts foreman from Steeton and again presented by his son David, went to the Haygarths again with a shearling ram sired by a Lambert tup out of a Ryder-got ewe, selling for 250gns.

Standing reserve champion was AD Lambert, of Leyburn, with his 2020-born aged ram, sold for 140gns. The second prize shearling ram, again from the Gills, made 180gns, the third prize winner also from the Thoralby Lancasters doing better at 300gns. Shearling rams averaged £284 and aged rams £147.

Females were a sharp trade as well, with gimmer shearlings averaging £101 and selling to a top of £130 from the North Craven Coates family at Rainscar, closely followed at £120 from Ian Mounsey, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Draft ewes averaged £82 per head and topped at £100, again from Messrs Coates, with gimmer lambs averaging £60.82, peaking at £75 for Hayton & Stocks.

CCM Skipton’s latest fortnightly Wednesday sale of store lambs and breeding sheep attracted a robust entry of 5,044 head, comprising 4,800 of the former, 244 of the latter. Store lambs met a strong trade from a keen audience, selling to an overall average of £80.16. Smart pens of Beltex lambs regularly sold at £110-£124 top, these from Tosside brothers Trevor and Clive Robinson.

Among the breeding sheep, seven rams and 250 gimmer lambs were penned for sale, with a cracking run of Cheviot Mules from Rathmell’s Peter Holgate and Elsa McKechnie selling to £140. The £400 top price Texel tup came from B&A Myers & Daughters in Ripon.