The countdown is on to Skipton Auction Mart’s annual gathering of ‘meat men and women’ – the Christmas prime stock shows and sales, on Sunday, November 28.
2009 Skipton Christmas prime lamb champions.
It’s the foremost event of the year for regional farmers to sell the pick of their prime cattle and lambs to retail butchers seeking to source top quality, locally reared meat for their customers’ festive tables.
There is again added interest for butchers with the staging of the second annual ‘Great Northern Pork Pie Fest,’ a pie-making competition that proved a huge success on its introduction last year.
It’s the third year Craven Cattle Marts (CCM) will hold its Christmas prime stock shows on a Sunday. In 2009, vendors, purchasers and agricultural communities turned out in their hundreds for the event, which is designed to replicate the atmosphere and sense of occasion of the former Smithfield Christmas Fatstock Show in London.
Lively bidding resulted in outstanding trading levels and prices, notably for prime stock that land the top honours.
There are 11 butchers’ cattle classes, including a new young handlers class for up-and-coming handlers up to 25-years-old. As well as the coveted supreme and reserve championships, there are special prizes for the best animal previously purchased from CCM Skipton, for the best home-bred animal and the best animal from a regular CCM vendor.
Eight butchers’ lamb classes bring together recognised sheep breeds, with supreme championship honours supplemented by lowland and hill championship awards, and special prizes for the best horned lambs, best Suffolk lambs and best pen of lambs from a regular CCM vendor.
Prime pigs are back again this year after their successful reintroduction at the 2009 show – their first appearance at Skipton in 15 years – with three show classes, one for native breed pigs, and an overall championship.
Entries for all livestock classes close on Monday, November 22. Sponsors are Farmers Guardian, Allflex, Guy Machinery and Philip Bolland Trailer Training.
The Great Northern Pork Pie competition, also open to farm shops and bakers who make pies on their own premises, features classes for traditional pork and stand pies, plus speciality cold eating pies.
To encourage friendly, cross-border rivalry between butchers, there are special awards for the best pies from Yorkshire and Lancashire, with cash prizes in all classes. The title winner will receive a trophy donated by Skipton-based PR company Moule Media.
New this year is an inaugural charity show and sale of hay sponsored by Windle, Beech, Windthrop, with classes for bales of old meadow hay and seed hay. This will later be sold at a charity auction, together with additional pies donated by butchers, with proceeds in aid of Sue Ryder Care Manorlands Hospice.
During the afternoon, CCM will also announce the winners of its 2010 Stock Person of the Year awards, with an evening reception for CCM customers also on the agenda.
CCM’s general manager Jeremy Eaton said: “The event in growing in both stature and popularity year on year. Not only does it cater for our farmer customers, but it also allows us to promote retail interest in prime stock to the regional meat trade, who also have an opportunity to meet farmers who supply them in person.
“Lively trading will be the order of the day and we again expect to achieve outstanding prices. Butcher buyers benefit from the publicity generated by the show – in fact, many have told us it helps boost their Christmas trading levels significantly.”
Full details of the event are posted at www.ccmauctions.com
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