Red Rose “raiders” ruled at Skipton Auction Mart’s April shows and sales of prime lambs and cattle on Monday (Apr 6) – when a strong Spring turnout saw a total of over 2,500 head of sheep and cattle pass through the sales rings, with recent robust levels of trade maintained.
Paul Baines with his father’s March prime cattle champion at Skipton, joined by judge Richard Binns, left.
It was the Easter prime lamb show and sale, with butcher buyers or their ringside representatives again out in force as they sought to source quality lambs for customers’ Easter tables.
History repeated itself, as both the champion and reserve champion pens came from exhibitors who also landed top honours at the corresponding 2008 fixture.
The title winners were a pair of Beltex-cross-Charollais lambs again shown by Robert Towers, of Camp House Farm, Farleton, Lancaster. By the Towers’ stock tup Jethro – jointly owned by Mr Towers’ 15-year-old daughter Josie, a pupil at Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, and bred in Ireland by Alan Lecky - the 35kg victors sold for £98 (280p/kilo) each to judge Richard Binns, of Saltaire butchers RC Binns, Bingley Road.
As last year, the reserve champion pen of Suffolks was shown by Mark Evans, Tower Gate Farm, Steeton. His 44kg charges made £108 a head (246p/kilo) when acquired by GB Holt, Helmshore, Rossendale.
Josie and Robert Towers are pictured with their Skipton Easter prime lamb champions, with show judge and buyer Richard Binns, centre, along with Mark Evans and the reserve champion Suffolks.
Craven Cattle Mart’s 2008 Stockperson of the Year Jimmy Baines, who has farms in Trawden and Gisburn, clearly illustrated that he is unwilling to give up his title without a fight when again securing the prime cattle championship with an 11-month-old British Blue-cross heifer.
The 505kg victor sold for £967 (192p/kg) to Nidderdale and Harrogate butcher Paul Kendall, buying for his two shops in High Street, Pateley Bridge, and Skipton Road, Harrogate, the latter – Kendall’s Farm Butchers - newly opened last September.
Kendalls Butchers, regular buyers of prize-winning cattle and lambs at Skipton, also paid the top price in the prime lamb show when securing the third prize pen of 43kg Suffolk-cross-Dorset lambs from Raymond and Robert Johnson, Felliscliffe, Harrogate, for £115 apiece.
For good measure, Jimmy Baines also sent out the victors in a special show of prime hoggs, his pen of five 46kg Texel-cross sheep selling for £97 each to Roy Schofield, Todmorden. Mr Baines also had the first prize pen of Swaledales.
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