SKIPTON mart's second annual Suffolk Day featured breed shows for pedigree rams, gimmer and store lambs on August 22. The early show and sale of rams saw a 70 rate clearance rate achieved for the 27-strong entry, which produced a ram lamb average of £434 per head, with shearling rams averaging £383.25.

Champion in the pre-sale show was the first prize ram lamb from Geoff Richmond, who runs the Sullom Suffolk flock at Goosnargh.

The home-bred semen son of the 2015 Stirling champion, the 14,000gns Castleisle Knockout, sold for 520gns to James Foster of Bolton Abbey. A ram lamb from the same home also made 375gns.

Reserve champion was a shearling ram from John Key, who runs the Midhope Suffolk flock at Midhopestones, near Penistone. This topped the prices when falling for 620gns to Robert Metcalfe, from Brearton, north of Harrogate.

Mr Key landed a clean sweep of prizes in the shearlings show class, selling others at 600gns and 550gns, along with ram lambs at 450gns twice and 420gns. All were home-bred by a selection of tups, among them the highly regarded Midhope Hans Solo.

Stephen Bolland, of Bolton Abbey, had the third-prize ram lamb, his two class entries making 400gns and 300gns.

The Suffolk gimmer lambs show class fell for the first time to Silsden Moor husband and wife, Jeff and Judith Throup, of Snow Hill Farm.

Their victors sold for top price of £96 per head to ram show judge Thomas Walmsley, with the same vendors also responsible for the third prize pen of 20, which made £91 each, producing an average for the run of £93.50.

In total, 6,357 sheep were penned for sale on what was the largest entry of the season to date and they sold at an overall average of £58.23 per head.

Stronger store lambs met a sharp trade, with the best Continentals selling into the £70s, medium Suffolk and Continental lambs from the mid-£50s to mid-£60s and long keep types trading in the early £50s. A few pens of top Mules sold from the late £50s to early £60s, with most nice lambs making £53-£56 and smaller sorts £47-£51.

Several batches of early season drawn gimmer lambs, saw the best sell into the £80s and £90s, and the next grade trading in the £70s.