The Ambleside Side Fair annual Show and Sale of Mule, Masham, Rough Fell Mule, Cheviot Mule and Continental Gimmer Lambs, followed by Store Lambs, had an entry of 5000 lambs forward for the sale. Our thanks must go to our pre-sale Judge Mr Michael Hopper of Banbury for giving up his time and expertise. There was the largest entry of show lambs put before Mr Hopper in the Mule and Rough Fell Mule classes, with the overall champion rosette being awarded to Bob Lawrence and Emma Handley, Grange-Over-Sands, with their pen of North Country Mules. The Rough Fell Mule Lamb class was won by TLB & J Knowles, Selside with the Cheviot Mules being won by JE Atkinson, Lowick and the Masham class won by BJ Bainbridge, Shap.
The sale of Mule Gimmer Lambs sold to an overall market average of £63. The dry summer down south and many struggling to sell Shearlings led to the reduced price. There was plenty of buyers present, but wanting to purchase fewer sheep this year. The trade was topped by Bob Lawrence and Emma Handley selling to £140 and £120. Strong lambs sold in excess of the £80 mark with bonny running lambs selling in excess of the £70 mark. There was an entry of over 100 Mashams forward selling to a top of £84 from JA Bennet, Long Sleddale, with all Mashams forward selling to a market average in the early sixties.
The annual sale of Rough Fell Mule gimmer lambs saw a catalogued entry of over 700 attract a keen ringside of buyers with lambs finding new homes in Scotland, Devon, Wales and the Midlands as well as the local three counties.
The sale peaked at £148 from TLB & J Knowles who sold others at £125. MJ & JD Handley achieved £109 with Booth Bros selling to £97. An average of £68.37 was achieved for all sold with increasing interest year on year.
The sale of Cheviot Mules saw £100 achieved by Booth Bros with others at £93 from AR & BJ Thompson and £88 from S Crawford. Plenty of stronger lambs were selling between £75 and £80, with all sold averaging £64.94.
Several pens of Texel X gimmer lambs sold to keen interest with TMW & H Hodgson achieving £90 and others nicely selling at between £70 and £75 for well grown, all sold averaging £68.
The fortnightly sale of Store Lambs had an entry of 1363 forward selling to an average of £55. The sale topped at £76 for Texel lambs from R Gibson & Son, Kendal. Strong lambs once again sold in excess of the £60 mark. Some buyers were slightly more cautious with the recent drop in the Prime Lamb trade.