Christmas Cracker tops seasonal Skipton sale

A home-bred newly-calven Holstein cow proved to be a seasonal ‘cracker’ as it was named champion in the well-attended Christmas Show and Sale of Dairy Cattle at Skipton Auction Mart yesterday.


Presented by Skipton Auction Mart regulars, father-and-son Anthony and James Swires of Townend Farm, Stainburn, Otley, the winner is by the farm’s own breeding bull Diamond Lucente and is a second-calver giving a daily milk yield of 32 litres. Show judge Wick Williams, Nantwich, Cheshire, selected a newly-calven Holstein Friesian heifer from Brian Moorhouse, Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, as reserve champion out of an impressive total entry of 71 dairy cattle, including 56 in milk.


Other class winners were an in-calf heifer from D J Herd of Hebden (in-calf Cows and heifers Class) who received the Frank Wade Trophy, and Richard Saxby from Hellifield scored a first and second ‘double’ in the Jersey Class. The winner of the Maiden Heifers Class came from J J and J D Booth, Penistone, Sheffield.


Lively bidding in the sale ring saw the champion making the top price for a newly-calven cow bought by the judge for £2150. The day’s overall top sale price, however, which marked an increase on the best price at Skipton’s Christmas event last year, was made by the reserve champion, bought for £2500 by Geoff Blezard, Ribchester, Lancashire. 


Average newly-calven heifer prices were £1690 and £1333 for newly-calven cows. In-calf heifers sold to a top price of £1600 bought by John Howard, Carleton, in-calf cows to £650 and maiden heifers to £710.