There was a local championship success at Skipton’s prime lamb exhibition for the Ellis Bros farming partnership from Cragg House Farm, Addingham Moorside.

The family’s title-winning pen of five 44kg Beltex-cross lambs, a mix of pure and three-quarter breds, by Airyolland, Borderesk and home-bred tups, caught the eye of show judge George Cropper jnr, who runs Sandersons Butchers in Manchester Road, Baxenden. He later bought his choice of winners at £142 per head, or 322.7p per kg.

Standing reserve champion was the second prize pen of 44kg Beltex crosses from Seth Blakey, of Bolton-by-Bowland, shown by his girlfriend Charlotte Townson. They sold for £117 each to Kitson and Sons Butchers for its four north-east shops.

The Suffolk show class was won by John and Claire Wright, of Airton, with a 53kg pen claimed for a section-topping £95 per head by Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, who also paid £88 for the third prize 46kg pen from Newark’s Steve Dorey. The same vendor also stepped up with the second prize 44kg pen, sold for £85 to John Bowling, of Ashton-in-Makerfield.

The Ryder family, from Long Liberty Farm, Haverah Park, Harrogate, won the Mule class with a 47kg pen claimed by Nick Dalby, of Darley, at £85.50, while the first prize pen of horned lambs, 42kg Lonks from Jimmy Greenwood, of Addingham, made £81 when joining Countrystyle Meats farm shop and restaurant.

A solid opening New Year entry of 3311 prime sheep met a sound trade, with the 2910 prime lambs in the mix achieving an overall average of £84.94 per head, or 199.54p per kg.

Handy weight commercial lambs were a good trade, with the 38kg-42kg weight range mainly trading from 205-225p, with odd pens of plainer bred sorts around 200p. Heavier 46-48kg commercial lambs were also good to sell from £88 to £100, this weight range averaging £91.46.

Hill-bred lambs appeared in large numbers, as more horned wethers and tup lambs now come forward for sale. The Mules were a fast trade, selling to a top of 189p and a joint section high of £87 per head for a pen from NEMSA chairman Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses. The overall Mule average was 180.3p per kg, while horned lambs saw the better end trade around 170-180p per kg.

A good entry of 401 cast sheep averaged £65.50 having sold to £135.50 for Texel ewes from Geoff and Margaret Booth, of Lothersdale. Cast rams averaged £73.50.