A SOUTH Lakeland farmer clinched his fourth consecutive title at Skipton Auction Mart's winter Texel showcase.

A home-bred shearling ewe belonging to Peter Woof, of Storth End Farm, Stainton, near Kendal, was marked out as champion for both size and power by the judge at the mart's 2020 pedigree opener.

It was the judge himself - Steven Kirby, who runs a flock at Ainderby Steeple, North Yorkshire - who bought the champion ewe, with it going for 800gns.

The leading in-lamb price of 1,100gns went to the first-prize ewe, belonging to Freda Booth and Helen Keighley, the mother and daughter team who run the Wigglesworth flock, near Settle. It sold to David Hargreaves, of Airton, North Yorkshire.

Ms Booth and Ms Keighley arrived with 21 females - 11 ewes and 10 shearlings - constituting a major reduction in the number of stock ewes in their award-winning flock. Husband and father John Booth is on the verge of retiring, which is the reason for the sale.

TheWigglesworth flock also claimed two runner-up rosettes with a pair of in-lamb females. One of these, the second-prize shearling ewe, made 900gns when it joined Richard Wilson's Crimple Head flock at Beckwithshaw, Harrogate.

The other, which finished second in the ewe class, made 400gns when joining David Towell's Moor Top flock at Glusburn, North Yorkshire.

Elsewhere, John and Alison North, who run the Loxley flock at Giggleswick, sold a trio of ewe lambs, among them the third- and fourth-prize winners. The top call among the three was 300gns.

The fixture represented a good start to the 2020 pedigree sales calendar, with the 80 Texels put forward representing an increase of 50 per cent on 2019. The clearance rate was 90 per cent.