Festive celebrations started early for Cononley farmer James Gooch, of Tow Top Farm, after he netted his first–ever championship success in over 30 years of farming.
James Gooch, second from right, and his Skipton calf champion, are joined by sponsors’ representatives, from left, Paul Dinsdale, sales development manager Carrs Billington, Howard Gilvert, business development manager Volac International, and Carr Billington’s area sales representative Jane Ellis.
Mr Gooch’s home-bred British Blue-cross bull calf was crowned champion at the annual Christmas calves show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, Nov 30)
It sold for the show-topping price of £415 to Phil Summers, of Clayton, Bradford, who was reversing roles on the previous day when he was a leading vendor of prime cattle at Skipton’s annual Christmas prime stock fixture.
The reserve calf championship fell to another South Craven farmer, Richard Spence, of Sutton-in-Craven, with a home-bred Limousin bull calf by the Genus sireTravis, out a British Friesian dam. It was knocked down for £325 to John Otterburn, of Helmsley.
Mr Spence was also responsible for the second prize British Blue bull calf, which found a home across the border when selling for £410 to John Townson, Blackburn. Show judge was Cumbrian-based prolific calf buyer Dennis Thwaites, of Kirkby Lonsdale.
The show had joint sponsors in agricultural feeds manufacturer and supplier Carrs Billington, and Volac International, the country’s last remaining calf milk powder manufacturer and supplier.
There were 111 calves forward. Chief prices and averages were: British Blue bulls to £415 (£294), British Blue heifers to £370 (£260), Limousin bulls to £335 (£253), Limousin heifers to £325 (£212), Aberdeen Angus bulls to £240 (£210), Charolais bulls to £358 (£282), Charolais heifers to £318 (£257), black and white bulls to £195 (£72).
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