English Winter Fair: Prize winners get top prices at Fair sale

A strong trade across all live and carcase classes for beef, lamb and pork has seen a significant increase in returns to exhibitors at this weekend’s English Winter Fair livestock showcase, Stafford.

Auctioneers Bagshaws report returns to producers were significantly better for all three species from the showring than the current strong trade for beef and lamb in livestock markets and direct sales.

In the live cattle championship Phil & Sharon Sellers’ Zintec-sponsored Supreme Champion Miss Scarlet, a 575kg liveweight October 2010-born Limousin x Limousin, made £4150 (£7.22/kg liveweight) to Lee Machin of Derbyshire-based Manifold Valley Meats.

Andrew Bishop’s Reserve Supreme Champion Black Beauty, a 565kg liveweight August 2010-born Limousin x Limousin/BritishBlue, made £2720 (£4.81/kg liveweight) to Nottingham-based C Bowring.

Baby beef cattle topped at £3000 (£8.70/kg liveweight) paid for Lawson & Wilkinson’s Limousin X April 2011-born heifer named Lulu which was purchased by fellow exhibitor G R Fountaine.

A total of 71 cattle were forwarded achieving an average of £3.17/kg liveweight, reports Bagshaws’ Malcolm Gale. “It was a very good trade. We would expect strong commercial cattle in an auction mart to be around £2.20/kg liveweight and taking out the top champions the quality commercial cattle at the English Winter Fair achieved £2.30-£2.40/kg.”

In the Live Lamb auction Steve & Sara Gibbons’ Blue Merle-sponsored Supreme Champion pen of lambs (Texel) sold for £590 (£11.39/kg liveweight) apiece to the day’s judge Martin Brown of Newton-le-Willows, North Yorks. Reserve Supreme Champion lambs from David Wadland (Beltex) were not offered for sale. A total of 74 lambs were forwarded averaging £2.87/kg liveweight (£133/head): “Another good trade,” said Mr Gale.

In the Live Pigs new exhibitor Mark Horsley from Skirpenbeck, North Yorkshire, saw his Pietrain pair make £170/head to fellow exhibitor Sue Hicks. The Reserve Supreme Champions were not offered for sale. Overall pigs averaged £1.20/kg liveweight (£98.38/head).

In the Michael Bradshaw Memorial Carcase Hall classes Bryan & Carole Wilson’s Supreme Champion beef carcase – a home-bred 308kg Limousin X carcase – made £5.10/kg (£1544 gross) to the section’s judge and local retail butcher Rob Stafford. The Wilson’s Reserve Supreme Champion carcase – a 380kg Limousin X – made £4.40/kg (£1673 gross) to G A Cropper of Ackrington. Overall, beef carcases averaged £4.17/kg deadweight.

Lamb carcase Champion and Reserve taken by O P & A Beresford of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, sold for £10.00/kg (£241 gross) and £10.30/kg (£266 gross), respectively, to Lee Machin of Manifold Valley Meats, Derbyshire. Overall, lamb carcases averaged £4.75/kg deadweight.

In the pig carcase classes Mark Horsley’s Supreme Champion (Pietrain) made £3.80/kg deadweight (£245 gross) to Nottingham-based R Bowring. His Reserve Supreme Champion made £5.00/kg deadweight (£320 gross) to Bridgnorth, Shropshire-based M & S Meats. Overall pig carcases averaged £2.42/kg deadweight.

Turkeys sold to a top of £155/bird in favour of exhibitor R Butler; geese sold to £45 in favour of exhibitor T Folder.