Farming cousins Andrew and Robin Jennings went head to head for championship honours at the June Craven Dairy Auction at Skipton Auction Mart this week.
It was Andrew Jennings, who trades as Jennings Farmers at Hill House Farm, Fountains, Ripon, who lifted the title with the first prize newly calven Holstein Friesian cow, while Robin, also of Hill House Farm – though this one is located in nearby South Stainley – had to settle for the reserve championship with his first prize newly calven heifer, though he then saw his charge go on to achieve top price in show.
Jennings Farmers, also victorious at the April Craven Dairy Auction, secured their latest championship with a second calver from their renowned Abbeyhouse pedigree dairy herd, a daughter of the Canadian-bred Semex sire, Wilcoxview Jasper. Giving 38 litres, she sold for £2,180 to show judge Aubrey Greenhalgh, of Preston.
However, it was Robin Jennings’ runner-up, another pedigree from his respected Stainbank dairy holding by the Genus dairy bull, Lutz-Brookview Burt, and giving 28 litres, that sold for the day’s top call of £2,220 to a relatively new dairy buyer, Wilmot Blockley, of W E and O Blockley and Son, Tarvin, Chester, who is better known at the North Yorkshire venue as a purchaser of store lambs.
Multiple champions Malcolm and Robert Swires, of, Haverah Park, Beckwithshaw, again sent out two rosette winners, the second prize newly calven heifer and the third prize newly calven cow. Both found pastures new in the north-east with JW & DW Craggs, of Yarm, the former at £2,120, the latter at £1,920.
Peter Sharp, of Oakworth, presented the second prize newly calven cow, acquired at £2,210 by ringside regular Wick Williams, of Nantwich in Cheshire, while father and son Raymond and Robert Johnson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate, exhibited the third prize newly calven heifer, which sold locally for £2,200 to Paul Bolland, of Airton.
The first prize in-calf heifer from Alan Simpson, of Oulston, Easingwold, made £1,830 when becoming a further Wick Williams acquisition, while Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, Otley, sold three 17 and 18-month-old maiden heifers to a high £1,050. All fell to Malcolm and Robert Swires.
Vendors and buyers from an ever-widening area are now regularly attending Craven Dairy Auctions. Among them at the latest renewal were first-time exhibitors, Lincolnshire-based husband and wife farmers William and Susan Skelton, who milk a 150-strong commercial herd at Hall Farm, Laughton, Gainsborough.
The Skeltons, who regularly buy shearlings at the annual autumn sheep sales at Skipton – they run a mixed flock of 700 Suffolks, Texel-cross and Mule-cross – saw their entry of four newly calven cattle sell to a high of £1,640, this also knocked down to Aubrey Greenhalgh.
An in-calf Jersey from Silsden’s Rebecca Stapleton sold for £790 to H L Smith, of Rotherham.
The newly calven heifers show class proved particularly strong, with an unprecedented16 entries among the turnout of 47. There was keen competition for the top end, with others selling consistently at £1,600 to £1,800.
Newly calven heifers averaged £1,832, newly calven cows £1,805, in-calf heifers £1,608 and maiden heifers £1,033.