Shearling rams met a buoyant trade at Bentham Auction Mart's opening ram sale where 556 entries went under the hammer, to produce an 81% clearance rate and an overall sale average of £431.68 for 450 – up £16.45 on the year for 83 more sold.

Champion was a Texel shearling from J Kelsall, Summerlands, Cold Cotes which later sold for £2100 to the judges, Richard and Carol Benson, Ulverston.

LEADING prices

Shearlings – Belt – £1100 Ellis Bros, Addingham. Cross – £1300 CD Timm, York; £1120, £1100 W and C Ingram, Logie Durno; £1000 JT and J Kelsall, Summerlands. Tex – £2100, £1200 J Kelsall, Summerlands; £1300, £1150, £1000 JT and J Kelsall, Summerlands. Char – £880 J Stott, Stainton. Suff – £820, £800 JH Towers and Sons, Tunstall.