Vivers eager beavers with buying spree at Skipton prime lambs showcase Kettlesing’s Henry Atkinson stood supreme champion with a five-strong pen of home-bred 39kg Beltex-cross lambs at Skipton Auction Mart’s March show and sale day and the first prize Continentals went on to sell for the day’s top call of £150 per head, or 384.6p/kg, to regular wholesale buyers Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, Dumfriesshire.

The same home was also responsible for further high priced pens selling to £148 and 379.5p/kg, the 60 Beltex lambs in the Atkinson consignment averaging a solid 323p/kg.
Kirkby Malham’s Jeff Burrow stood reserve champion with the second prize 40kg Continentals, knocked down at £130 per head, or 325p/kg, again to Vivers, who made a clean sweep of Continental class prize winners when also claiming the third prize 45kg pen from Wigglesworth’s Robert Lambert. Both were again Beltex-cross lambs.
South Yorkshire vendor Peter Longdin, from Doncaster, consigned the first prize 51kg Suffolk-cross pen, which sold at £118.50 each to John Bowling, buying on behalf of Oxfordshire wholesalers Mutch Meats, while H Harvey & Son, travelling even further from Norfolk, were rewarded with the red rosette-winning pen of ten 53kg Mules, which sold for top price in class of £118 to regular buyer Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe.
The Harveys sold a second pen of Mules at £117.50 and also did well with their Texels, which traded to a top of £143 for five at 59kg, with a further 11 at 58kg and 20 at 60kg both making £140, their total consignment averaging £133.45.
The second prize pen of 50kg Mules from North Craven’s Jeff Pickles, of Ribblehead, made £110 when joining Swaledale Foods in Skipton, while the first prize pen of ten horned lambs, 45kg Lonks from Addingham’s Jimmy Greenwood, made £106 per head when claimed by show judge Joe Bosworth, as usual buying for A&D Meats in Rossendale. The second prize horned pen, 47kg Swaledales from JW Sayer & Son, of West End, also sold well at £105 to Scotbeef.
Another solid weekly turnout of 3,318 prime sheep comprised 2,868 hoggs, which met a fair trade for all classes, selling to an overall average of 245p/kg, or £110.48 per head, with many other vendors, both local and from some distance away, achieving prices well into three figures.
Prime and commercial handy-weight lambs sold on a par with recent weeks, Texels in 36-45kg weight range averaging 254p/kg, with Beltex in the same range at 303p/kg.  Mule and Masham lambs were dearer on the week, the former averaging £101.34.
Another good trade for cast sheep saw the 450 ewes and rams forward levelling at £101 per head for all breeds, cull ewes averaging £99.65 and rams £125.65, these peaking at £159.50 for a Texel from Richard Wilson, of Beckwithshaw.
Heavy ewes sold well, the Norfolk-based Harveys again making their presence felt with a top price of £149.50 per head with a Texel-cross pen, another pen of 18 from the same home hitting £145.50. A total of 197 Texel ewes in the entry averaged £122.45, while horned ewes averaged £62.59.  Potential vendors are asked to note that Ian Smith’s sheep scanning service will commence on Monday, March 16, from 12 30-1 30pm.
Also penned for sale was a vastly increased entry of 261 breeding sheep, which met a very similar trade on the week, with outfits with lambs at two to three-weeks-old in strong demand, Chris Craven from Kexby, York, leading the way at £265 per outfit for Texel ewes with twins. Selling prices of £240 were achieved on three other occasions, with strong outfits generally £210-plus.
Weekly sales of ewes with lambs at foot are now well under way every Monday at 11.30am, with 40 to 50 outfits expected for this coming week.
The previous week saw Skipton’s final Wednesday sheep sale of the current season, with the 928 head forward a very strong entry in terms of numbers, though with quality mixed as anticipated for the time of year. However, strong smart lambs still had the ability to command three-figure prices, with the best of the rest making £85 to £100.
Store lambs averaged £74.21, feeding ewes £54.67 and breeding sheep £133.07. Looking ahead, the opening Wednesday sheep sale is scheduled for July 15, which as usual falls during Great Yorkshire Show week.