Lancaster Holstein Sales’ mid-summer entry was smaller than usual, but four-figure averages reflected the huge demand for good dairy cattle.

Prices peaked at 1650gns.

A smart freshly calved heifer from Lancashire Holstein breeder Andrew Swale took bidding to 1650gns.

Mr Swale runs just 14 head in his Phoenix herd near Blackburn, but this small pool of superior genetics stirred the crowd.

Phoenix Ruby Tess Red had calved two weeks and put 32kg in the tank on the morning of the sale at an impressive 5% butterfat. She is by Rubens and out of a Ranger Red VG86 dam.

Her half-sister Phoenix Stookey Tess Red was Holstein champion at the Royal Show 2004.

“This has been a fantastic family for us,” said Mr Swale as he left the ring at Lancaster.

“It traces back to Newholme George Tess Red, a cow imported from Canada by my father for the Joylan herd.

The grand-dam of the Lancaster heifer was champion at the Dairy Farming Event 10 years ago.”

Mr Swale will be taking another member of this family, a black-and-white calved heifer by Ocean View Storm Zenith, to next week’s Royal Show.

Phoenix Ruby Tess Red was bought by Gisburn-based dairy farmer A Calvert.

David and Sheila Tomlinson’s well-known Bilsrow herd from Bilsborrow, near Preston, scooped the championship with an eye-catching calved heifer by Duncan Progress and bred out of the GP84 dam Bilsrow Bellwood Mary.

Their Bilsrow Progress Mary realised 1400gns to A Sanderson, Brampton, Cumbria.

North West Auctions’ John Hughes was in the rostrum and reckoned vendors were satisfied with the trade despite the smaller turnout.

“We only had 28 cattle entered but the current demand is certainly not getting any weaker and there were several buyers who left the sale with empty trailers,” he said.

Averages: three cows 1130, 19 freshly calved heifers 1208.

(North West Auctions)

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com