Ribble Valley farmer's Beltex-cross lambs secure auction mart title

James Towler, pictured centre, with his latest Skipton prime lamb champions, joined by his brother David, right, and judge Mick Etherington.
James Towler, pictured centre, with his latest Skipton prime lamb champions, joined by his brother David, right, and judge Mick Etherington.
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A farmer from Grindleton was named champion earlier this week at a prime lambs show and sale.

James Towler, of Steelands Farm, took the title at Skipton Auction Mart’s March prime lambs show and sale on Monday with a pen of five home-bred 43kg Beltex-cross purchased for the day’s leading per head price of £118, or 274p/kg, by regular buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

Mr Towler has won several monthly prime lamb titles at Skipton and his latest victors, picked out by judge Mick Etherington, of Eldwick, were by a mix of home-bred tups and others from the McAllister family in Northern Ireland and local breeder Karen Shutleworth, of Gargrave,

With sheep trade under pressure around the country, the Skipton entry of 2,913 prime lambs got away nicely when selling to an overall average of £84.87 per head, or 190p/kg, and SQQ of 196p.

Also penned for sale were 233 cast sheep, with cull ewes peaking at £106.50 per head, while Cast rams averaged £58.90.

Of the breeding sheep, 61 ewes with 90 lambs at foot produced some excellent top end prices of £230 and £220.

Some older broken-mouthed Mules with twins could be picked up for £155 to £165, with older broken-mouthed Texels with twins selling at £170-£180. Good singles made £145 to £155, commercial singles £120-£140.