NORTH of England Mule Sheep Association chairman, Kevin Wilson, had plenty to celebrate when he landed the top ticket in the pens of 10 Mule ewe lambs at Skipton Auction Marts' opening ewe lambs sale, which went on to sell for the top price of £270 per head.

Mr Wilson, who farms with his wife Daphne and their son James at Hewness House, Blubberhouses, won both the pens of 10 and 20 at the second ewe lamb sale last year, but was marking a best result at the opener. Six of the pen were by the F1 Bighead ram shared with Alan Busby, Marrick while the remainder were by home-bred sons of said ram. The pen was knocked down to the Haynes family, Winslow, Buckinghamshire.

The Smearsett flock of David and Robin Booth, based at Old Hall Farm, Feizor, fell just short of securing a hat-trick having led both sections for the last two years, but won the pens of 20 section and finished runner up in the pen of 10.

The majority in the reserve champion pen of 10 were by the Booths’ home-bred G11 tup called Ted, with a further two by his sons and one by the D15 Smearsett, which has been responsible for so many of the family’s top performers at Skipton in the past. They sold for £140 each, with the similarly-bred winning pen of 20 not far behind when sold for £135 per head to John Greenhalgh, of Bashall Eaves.

The second prize pen of 20 from Ashley and Rachael Caton, of Otterburn Lodge, which included four by the J1 Smearsett and the rest by home-bred tups, realised £135 each.

The sale attracted more than 600 head and levelled at £91.22, back £6.87 on the year.