Sheep numbers rocket at sale and Suffolks take centre stage

John Nutter Jnr with the familys first prize Suffolk shearling ram.
John Nutter Jnr with the familys first prize Suffolk shearling ram.

More than 20,000 head of prime, store and breeding sheep were sold over a hectic three-day show and sale schedule at Skipton Auction Mart.

Almost half of them were penned for sale at the latest fortnightly Wednesday store and breeding sheep fixture, which incorporated the inaugural Suffolk Day featuring breed shows for gimmer and store lambs, and pedigree rams.

The total turnout of 9,755 store lambs, consisting of 6,880 Texel, Suffolk, Beltex and Continental- crosses and 2,875 mainly Mule wethers and other hill breeds, sold to an overall average of £59-30 per head, with strong lambs meeting a decent trade all day, regardless of breed, though smaller medium keep lambs were cheaper than the previous sale.

Suffolk gimmer lambs were a particularly sharp trade, selling to an overall average of £80-26 per head.

Meanwhile, the inaugural show and sale of Suffolk breeding sheep saw 30 pedigree and pure-breds go under the hammer, when a 70% clearance of rams produced a shearlings average of £569 per head, with ram lambs averaging £412.

Robert Metcalfe returned to judge the pre-sale rams show, which produced a first prize success in the shearlings class for the Nutter family, father and son – both John – who run the Aighton pedigree flock at Manor Farm, Hurst Green.

Their son of a Lakeview tup acquired from renowned Northern Ireland breeder Gary Beacom three years ago sold for top price of 600gns and found a new home in Somerset when joining Messrs Bushby and Weir, of Taunton. The Nutters sold a second entry at 550gns.

Co-sponsors were animal ID firm Top Tags and Skipton NFU.