BREEDING sheep numbers totalled 861 ewes and lambs at Skipton mart on Easter Monday.

Richard Umpleby, Killinghall, won the Continental class with nine Texel-cross shearlings with twin lambs. They sold for £195 per outfit to WE Garbutt & Sons, Bridlington.

Ian Manning, Wrexham, won the Mule class with a pen of five gimmer hoggs with single Texel-cross lambs at foot, which sold for £190 per outfit. He also sold a pen of Texel hoggs with single lambs at £210 per outfit.

The best Mule hoggs with singles regularly achieved £200-plus, with 36 outfits averaging £195.97and peaking at £210 per outfit for a pen from Haverah Park father and son, Raymond and Robert Johnson.

Mule shearlings with twins sold to a day’s high of £218 per outfit from Malcolm Gratton, of Warsill.

David Smith, of Sutton-in-Craven, achieved two section highs with Texel shearling ewes with twin lambs at £215 and others with twins at £210.

Almost 2,500 prime sheep were also sold, producing a very sharp trade in all departments, notably for the 31 Spring lambs, which were markedly dearer on the week, averaging £121.14 per head, or 298.62p/kg, overall.

More than 2,000 old season lambs were also dearer on the week by 6p/kg when averaging £83.48 per head, or 188.93p/kg, overall.

Kevin Marshall, of Darley, was the leading performer with his Beltex-cross. A 41kg pen led the way at £116 per head when joining Vivers Scotlamb.

Felliscliffe’s Henry Atkinson produced the second top price £115.50 per head Beltex lambs, which also joined Vivers.

Commercial lowland lambs were a good trade, with handy weights selling either side of £2 per kilo, and heavies making 170-190p/kg, with the 46kg to 52kg weight bracket averaging 182p/kg.

Hillbred lambs also sold well, with the best Mules selling to a high of 194.4p/kg, while good horned wethers were 10p dearer on the week.

Also 427 cast sheep met an improved trade on the week. Cull ewes averaged £66.79 per head, topping at £122.50 each for a Texel offering from MR&GP Beresford, of Halton West. Cast rams averaged £76.61 per head.