A BUMPER turnout of 10,586 head packed the sheep pens at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday sale, when 5,139 gimmer lambs sold for an overall average of £106.05 per head and 5,363 store lambs at £80.42.

Gimmer lamb trade was very buoyant for strong shearling makers, both first cross and pure-bred entries selling to a wide audience, the section also featuring a trio of show classes.

Continentals victor for the third successive year was Owain Chapman, who farms with his partner Jenny Dolphin at Inmans Farm, Skyreholme, near Appletreewick, with a pen of ten pure Texel lambs the same way bred as his previous victors, being by a Blackburn-based Lucas and Nairey tup purchased at Skipton three years earlier, out of Skipton-bought gimmer shearlings from the Coverdale family in Beckwithshaw.

They sold for £170 each, top price of the day among the gimmer lambs, a price matched by Easingwold’s Ken and Hazel Gamble, both pens falling to James Robertshaw for his Keelham Farm in Thornton, near Bradford.

The Suffolk show was won by Matt Reeday, of F Reeday & Son at Manor Farm, Hetton, with lambs by home-bred tups that made £125, though bettered by both the second and third prize pens from Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, and Litton brothers Stephen and Stewart Lund, last year’s class victors. Their pens sold at £135 joint section top and £130 respectively, the other section high coming from SA Robinson, of Harrogate.

First and second prizes in a new show class for Cheviot Mules fell to Ian and Laura Moorhouse, of Falshaw Farm, Dacre, with home-bred lambs by their traditional Bluefaced Leicester tup, sold at £98 and £95 per head respectively. Show classes were judged by Whitwell’s Ian Lancaster.