Increases in both the numbers forward and section averages were witnessed, at CCM Auction Mart’s first store lamb sale of the season at Skipton.

A total of 3071 lambs were forward compared to the previous year’s turnout of 2126 head, with all breed averages showing an increase on 2018 to level at £64.59 overall – up £3.09 on the year.

The annual pre-sale show for pens of 40 or more lambs saw the championship awarded to a pen of April-born Dutch Texel cross Beltex lambs from Andrew Haggas, of Grove Farm, Otterburn. They were by a selection of home-bred and bought in tups and later sold for the top price of £90 to the pre-show judge Neil Tattersall, from Ellerton.

Mr Tattersall found his reserve winners in the second prize pen to the champion from Heseltine family, of Hesketh Farm Park in Bolton Abbey. The runners-up, sold for third top price of £80, with the third prize pen of Texel lambs from Bradley’s Sam Berry making £72.

Michael and Elaine Dugdale, Giggleswick, sold the second highest priced lot at £82 with Texel and Beltex cross lambs.

averages: Beltex lambs – £75.65; Texel lambs – £63.95; Suffolk – £64.18; Mule – £55.16; Charollais – £57.93; Blue Texel – £74.