A TOTAL of 2,239 prime sheep went through the ring at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly sale and Easter show with breeding sheep remaining high on buyers’ shopping lists. (Monday, March 25).

Of the 264 breeding sheep on offer, ewes and Lambs remained in high demand with a big number of clientele beginning to get into gear as April approaches. Monday’s trade was topped by a Suffolk ewe with twin lambs from Rob Wallbank who also achieved top price for ewes with singles with a Texel ewe to £260. Richard Umpleby had a show of proper Texel types that topped out at £325 for shearlings and £320 for ewes, both with twins.

Mules are continuing to be a strong trade with trade being topped by Rosemary Berry at £280 for both ewes and shearlings with twins. There was a big show of Mules with large consignments from James and Deborah Ogden, John Collinson, Rosemary Berry, Paul and Janet and David White all with quality outfits among them.

Texel x ewes with single lambs made to £260 av £235. With twin lambs they made to £320 av £310. Texel shearlings with twin lambs to £325 av £301. Mule ewes with single lambs to £200. With twin lambs to £280 av £255. Mule Shearlings with single lambs to £220 av £215. Mule shearlings with twin lambs to £280 av £271. Suffolk ewes with twin lambs to £350.Cheviot Ewes with Twin Lambs to £300.

There were 1,951 prime hoggs forward producing another good trade with the overall average leveling at 386.3p/kg, Just for comparison with those who get confused and choose to quote their SQQ (Standard Quality Quotation) instead (lambs up to 45kg), the SQQ was 391.1p/kg.

Good heavies and overweights were £200-plus like the last few weeks, with Thomas Boothman, of Linton, selling 18 hoggs to average £228.06.

Hill lambs were every bit as good to sell as recent weeks. 49kg Mules to £174 form RG Church, heavy Mules at £175 from Keith Downs, Carleton, and £174 for 51kg form DA Wilcock, Wigan. Other good sorts either side of £170 or 350p to 365p. John & Claire Wright sold Mashams to £169 and 369.8p/kg. Cheviots to £204 and £198 from Keith Downs, other decent sorts £170 to £178. Horned Lambs to £169 form The Heath Partnership of Macclesfield. Herdwicks sold to £179, £168 and £165 or to 375p from The Heath Partnership Overweights averaged £210 per head or 373p/kg virtually the same average as last week, peaking at £248 for 59kg.

Heavies 46kg to 52kg averaged £188 or 388p/kg seeing a sharp trade throughout.

Mediums - standards, 36kg to 45kg av £166 or 400.1p/kg and were quite a bit dearer on the week with 44kg at £250 or 568p/kg and joint top price per kilo of 576p Lightweights saw a good enquiry for meat, good little Continentals up to 35kg making £130 to £145, topping at £158 for 29kg or 544p.

There was a light show of cull ewes with local farmers lambing. Beltex ewes sold to £254.50. Smart continental ewes with weight £200-£240 regular with next grading fed ewes £160-£180. Plenty of first crossed heavy ewes £140-£165 with next grade full meat ewes £120-£135. Just the lighter ewes with meat £90-£110 and lean ewes £90-£115. Plain ewes £60-£80. Mule ewes sold to £134.50. Heavy mules £120-£130 with full meat ewes £105-£115. Lean mules £85-£105 and plain ewes £60-£70. Gritstone ewes sold to £119.50. Swale ewes sold to £118.50. Plenty of full meat Swales sold at £70-£90 and the leaner ewes £50-£70 whilst plain ewes sold at £37.50-£50.

Averages on the day: Prime Hoggs – overall average £172.02 per head or 386.5p/kg. SQQ 391.0p/kg. Beltex average £205.97 per head or p/kg. Texel average £177.29 per head or 389.4p/kg. Suffolk average £178.42 per head or 342.6p/kg. Charolais average £182.43 per head or 382.6p/kg. Cheviot average £169.04 per head or 358.4p/kg. Blue Texel average £184.93 per head or 403.5p/kg. Kerry Hill average £182.00 per head or 249.6p/kg. Mule average £157.80 per head or 332.6p/kg. Masham average £160.54 per head or 367.5p/kg. Swaledale average £121.61 per head or 312.6p/kg.. Dalesbred average £83.79 per head or 260.4p/kg. Gritstone average £163 per head or 370.2p/kg. Herdwick average £162.00 per head or 354.6p/kg.