18 December 1998

Top-class stock on parade

TOP-CLASS stock have again been on parade at primestock shows at markets this year.

And the farming industry has forgotten its troubles to enjoy these traditional and well-supported events.

At Penrith, Cumbria, judge Keith Mackay found his champion in a Belgian Blue x Limousin-cross steer from Messrs A D and A Richardson Low Bank End Farm, Appleby, Cumbria.

"Weve been regular exhibitors at this event for many years but this is the first time we have won the championship," said a delighted Andrew Richardson.

The steer, which had been successfully shown during the summer, was spotted at a sale of suckled calves at Carlisle. "He wasnt expensive, just a very strong calf that looked as though he could grow into something a bit special," said Mr Richardson.

The beast made 230p a kilo to Cumbria Meats buying on behalf of Pioneer Foods. The reserve ticket went to a Blonde dAquitaine sired steer from J E Raine and Sons, Ravenwood. It made 210p a kilo to &#42 Clark and Sons, Penrith. With a sale average of 126.3p/kg, trade was described as "absolutely sparkling for a top-quality entry," by auctioneer Richard Morris

"What a confidence booster the show turned out to be," said auctioneers South East Marts at Winslow, Bucks. "Tremendous cattle lines, sheep pens overflowing and plenty of buyers paying old-fashioned – pre-BSE – prices."

The champion was a Belgian Blue cross steer shown by Parrott Brothers, Whitchurch. It weighed 645kgs and made 278p/kg (£1783) to George Stanton & Sons of Winslow. It was certainly a big day for George Stanton who, age 87, has been buying stock from the mart for the past 54 years.

It was a worthwhile trip for Philip and Mark Parrott, who also showed the reserve champion, a 540kg Belgian Blue heifer which made 200p/kg.

At Rugby, Warks, a bumper 350p/kg was made by the champion, a 565kg beast from A & &#42 Williams.

Stock from the "cream" of west Cumbrian farms was on show at Cockermouth, a mart celebrating its 125th anniversary. "Fantastic scenes," said auctioneer Adam Day after Richard Millers champion beast made £3.10/kg (£1782.50) and John Bowes lambs made £1.40/kg (£64.50 each). &#42