Skipton New Year primestock opener a runaway success

The opening cattle and lamb primestock show and sales of 2014 at Skipton saw strong trade throughout.  The prime cattle title winner was Wharfedale’s Richard Stevenson, Elsing Bottom Farm, Farnley, who has not shown at Skipton for well over a decade, while the prime lamb victors were husband and wife Brian and Lisa Hall, Scaleber Farm, Gargrave, who were entering lambs into the prize show at the North Yorkshire venue for the first time ever.


Mr Stevenson bred both the sire, from his ‘Richphill’ stock bull lines, and dam of the supreme champion – the first prize 630kg British Blue-x-Limousin steer, which fell for the day’s leading price of £1,717, or 272.5ppk, to James Robertshaw, Keelham Farm Shop, Thornton, Bradford.


Skipton New Year prime cattle champion

Skipton New Year prime cattle champion

Mr Robertshaw also snapped up the reserve champion, a 575kg Limousin-x-British Blue heifer from Bernard Simpson, Heathfield, Pateley Bridge, at £1,544, or 268.5ppk, second top price in show, along with a Blonde-cross heifer from Roger Wood, Cross Roads, at £1,388, or 227.5ppk.


The Halls clinched a debut prime lamb championship at the first attempt with their first prize 42kg Beltex-cross pen of five lambs, which also topped the selling prices when falling at £130 a head, or 309.5ppk, to another regular buyer Anthony Swales, for his Knavesmire Butchers shop in York.


Brian and Lisa Hall are pictured with their Skipton New Year prime lamb champions.

Brian and Lisa Hall are pictured with their Skipton New Year prime lamb champions.

Mr Swales swooped to secure all three prize-winning Continental pens, adding the 40kg second prize and reserve champion Texel-cross pen from Trawden’s Hayley Baines at £116 a head, or 290ppk, and the third prize 41kg Beltex-cross pen from Jimmy Towler, of Grindleton, at £96 each. All will be sold through his Albermarle Road shop.


Back in the prime cattle section, which attracted a solid 98-strong entry, Bernard Simpson, who was also responsible for both the champion and reserve at the 2013 primestock opener, sold a second Limousin-cross heifer at £1,394, or 260.5ppk, to Gordon Edwards, Edwards Farm Butchers in Padiham Road, Burnley.


Roger Wood also achieved £1,414, or 217.5ppk, with a second Blonde-cross heifer sold to Stanforths Butchers in Skipton, while Trawden’s Jimmy Baines, a multiple past Skipton champion, was again to the fore with the second and third prize British Blue-cross heifers. They sold at £1,385, or 249.5ppk, and £1,156, or 224.5ppk, to, respectively, Riley Bros Butchers in Dunnockshaw, and Charlie Clough for his retail butchers shop in Northowram, Halifax.


Prime cattle over 30 months sold to a high of £1,024, or 136.5ppk, for a black and white heifer from Bell Busk’s Brian Moorhouse. The buyer was John Thompson, Samlesbury.


There were standalone show classes for the 79 cast cattle forward, with the championship awarded to a Blonde-cross heifer from Kiirkless pedigree Limousin breeder Janet Sheard, Low Common Farm, Almondbury, Huddersfield.


Her victor, acquired at Skipton in 2002 and who has since produced some ten calves, achieved the day’s leading per head price of £1,055, with the top by-weight price of 137.5ppk falling to a Blonde-cross cow from Steeton’s Mark Evans.


The reserve champion, a Limousin-cross cow from E&SCL Harker & Son, of Lofthouse, was second top on price at £1,043, or 135.5ppk, with the pick of the dairy-bred entries from Bishop Thornton’s Peter Baul also achieving four figures when selling at £1,034. Cull cows sold to an overall average of £728.32, or 111.34ppk.


A lighter show of 2,381 prime sheep was seen at the New Year opener, with an active ringside of 18 separate buyers driving up prices by £2 to £4 a head on the week. The 2,115 old season lambs among them sold to an overall average of £76.04 a head, or 181.8ppk, with prize winners in all show classes heading the respective section prices.


Brian Lund, of Walshaw, Hebden Bridge, stepped forward with the first and second prize 41kg and 42kg Sufffolk-cross pens, which both achieved £82.50 a head on joining Woodhead Bros in Colne.


The third prize 42kg pen from Charles and Richard Kitching, of Threshfield, sold to show judge Paul Watson, of Hellifield, at £80 a head, who also paid £75 each for the first prize pen of 47kg Mules from Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses.


Mr Watson then added the first and second prize pens of horned lambs – the 42kg red rosette winners from WA&A Booth in Feizor at £72 a head, and the 44kg runners-up from Calton’s Robert Crisp for £75 each.


Hill-bred lambs met with a sharper trade on the week, especially heavier Mule lambs, where the day’s top breed price of £100 fell to a single lamb sold on behalf of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope.


It was champion at the Addingham & District Sheep Breeders’ Association annual charity show and sale at Skipton last month, when shown by Patrick and Thomas Walker, of Appletreewick. The lamb was sold no less than four times to raise £830 in total for Manorlands, before being put away to return to the January opener to boost the charity kitty even further. It was knocked down to Andrew Atkinson in Felliscliffe.


There were also 261 cast sheep among the entry, with cull ewes selling away well at £57.35 a head overall and to a high of £117.50 for a Texel pen from Bob Newby, of Wetherby. Cast rams were also strong when averaging £71.38 each, with a day’s high of £101.50 for another Texel from Embsay’s Bobby and Christine Clarkson.


(CCM Auctions)