AN increased turnout of 2,065 prime hoggs at CCM Skipton Auction Mart’s latest weekly Monday fixture sold to a sparkling trade up 16p/kg on average on the week to stand at 317p/kg (SQQ 321.68p/kg) - or 312.8p/kg with Beltex taken out of the averages. Per head, the lambs averaged £136.60 each, an amazing £30 per head up on the same day in 2023.

It was also the monthly show day, which produced a Calderdale coup for Brian and Linda Lund and family, of Walshaw Farm, Walshaw, Hebden Bridge, who stood both champion and reserve with Blue Texel pens.

The 43kg victors made the day’s top per head and per kilo price of £210, 488p/kg, when becoming another title-winning purchase by Knavesmire Butchers, York, with the 46kg reserve champions, runners-up to the victors in the Continental-x show class, selling at £198, or 423p/kg top per kilo among the heavies.

Some of the lambs in the prize-winning pens were from the couple’s granddaughter Chloe, who started keeping pure-bred Blue Texel several years ago – dad bought her first one - and is currently away on her second stint sheep shearing in New Zealand. The Lunds had a good day when also selling 45kg and 43kg pens at £192 and £182.

The third prize Continental-x pen, 42kg Beltex-x from MJA&JR Sharpe, Gisburn, made £170, bettered at £172 with a 41kg pen, their lambs selling to a top of 419.5p/kg.

The red rosette-winning 44kg North of England Mules from John Barnes, Sawley, achieved £115 each when joining regular buyer Andrew Atkinson, Felliscliffe, while a standalone class for horned lambs was won by 38kg Swaledale from W Mason & Son, Appletreewick, making £115.

Back in the mix, while the best lambs were again a similar trade on the week, many around 400p/kg, it was the commercial types that saw the biggest lift, plenty being towards a solid £10 dearer.

Overweight lambs were in their usual strong demand, with trade to match, the over 52kg section averaging £172, 295p/kg, six pens away at £190-plus, a further 32 pens at £170-plus. The Hutchinson family, Faceby, sold quality pens to a top of £197.

The average for 46-52kg heavies was £152, 316p/kg, and while the smart end were again strong it was the commercial types that were dearer by some margin on the week. The Hutchinsons again caught the eye, selling seven pens between £175 and £189, with Tony and Kay Kiernan, St Michaels, achieving £181 and £180, followed at £175 by L Bancroft, Earby. Other decent 46-48kg lambs could make £155- £170, commercials £140-£155.

The selling average for 36-45kg medium/standard weights was £131, 323p/kg, Ellis Bros, Addingham Moorside, making £178 and £177 with 44kg and 43kg pens, the Hutchinsons right up there again with 44kg pens to £177, N Morphet, Otley, selling a 40kg pen for £174, the Kiernans back again with pens to £173. A few more 32-35kg lightweights saw N Morphet lead the way on price with 33kg Continentals making £126.

A total of 647 hill-bred and horned lambs averaged 286p/kg, the best overweights producing some cracking prices, the Hutchinsons yet again to the fore when selling 56kg Mules at £161 – others in the mix made £140-plus - while BC Ashby, Otley, made £156 with 51kg Mashams. Horned lambs saw better Swaledale wethers make 270-280p/kg, and to £128 from Ellis Bros, or 287p/kg from J&R Paisley, Illkley, the Oldham Crowthers hitting 290p/kg with Lonk wethers, 38kg Scotch Blackfaced wethers trading to 317p/kg, £120.50, from MJ&CR Elison, Skipton. Handyweight Cheviots were in strong demand, several pens around 330-330.8p/kg, or £129 for 39kg pens from two vendors, R Jackson & Son, Clitheroe, and K&J Marston, Otley.

Also penned for sale were 818 cull ewes, topping at £254.50 for Texel from H Harvey & Son, Norwich, plenty of best end ewes making £180-£205, with Martin and Val Brown, Leyburn, selling Beltex-x to £204.50. Mule ewes sold to £124.50 for a pen of six from Geoff and Margaret Booth, Lothersdale. Cull ewes averaged £96.84 and cast rams £106.17.

In the prime cattle sale ring, a small cull cow entry sold to an overall average of 146.49p/kg, £871.24, while a mature Aberdeen-Angus bull weighing 1,180kgs from R&A Jennings, Cowling, made £1,564, 132.5p/kg.

Top price among the 44 rearing calves was £500 for a British Blue-x bull from the Drake family, Thornton, Bradford, who also headed the Blue-x heifer prices at £400. Best Blue bulls were £400-plus, heifers £350-plus. Charolais heifer calves from GD&A Midgley, Halifax, sold to £355, Angus bulls to £395 from the Calton Crisps.