SILSDEN Moor's Andrew Throup won the pairs section at Skipton mart's breeding sheep show and sale on Easter Monday.

He won with a pair of Texel-cross ewes acquired as hoggs from Ben Townsend of Laneshawbridge, both with twin Beltex lambs at foot. By a ram acquired from Charlotte Findlay of Leyburn, they sold for £260 per outfit to co-judges George and Gladys Emmott from Steeton.

Father and son, Peter and Tom Simpson, from Dacre, had the first prize pen of five shearling ewes - Texels out of North of England Mules - all with twin Beltex-cross lambs at foot. They sold for £250 per outfit to Cheshire buyer David Jackson who also purchased their third prize pen for £270 per outfit. The Simpsons had two further pens at £260 and £250.

The show classes were among a solid entry of 1,184 breeding sheep, comprising 456 ewes with 728 lambs at foot. There was a fast selling trade throughout, with quality in strong demand.

Stephen Hutchinson, from Kirby Wiske, achieved the sale's top price when he sold a three-crop Beltex ewe with twins at £310, followed by a two-shear Beltex ewe and twins at £300. Both sold to Mike Allen of Staithes.

Also for sale were 2,345 prime sheep, comprising 42 Spring lambs, 2,026 hoggs and 277 cast entries.

Handy weight Spring lambs met sharp demand. The best went for around 280p/kg, topping at 286.6p for a Suffolk pen from D&A Livestock, of Haverah Park, Harrogate. Heading the per head prices at £119 each were Charollais lambs from Robert and Jackie Towers of Ingleton. The section producing an overall selling average of £110.95 per head, or 266.13p/kg.

The best hoggs commanded 250p to 320p/kg, with a by-weight high of 320p, or £112 per head, for 35kg Beltex from Henry Atkinson, of Felliscliffe. He also sold a second pen of 41kg Beltex for the £128 per head top price, or 312p.