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Stackyard News Feb 2011

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Keelham’s Champions Buying Spree at Skipton Prime Shows

The best two beef cattle and the top two pens of lambs were secured by Keelham Farm Shop, of Thornton, Bradford, at Skipton Auction Mart’s February prime shows and sales. (Mon, Feb 7)

John Stapleton, right, and buyer James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm Shop, with the Skipton February prime lamb champions.

John Stapleton

James Robertshaw, a director of the award-winning Brighouse & Denholme Road outlet, pulled off championship and reserve championship buying coups in both main show classes.

The cream of the beef cattle were both exhibited by Calderdale showman Brian Lund, of Walshaw Farm, Walshaw, Hebden Bridge.

His show champion was a home-bred 530kg Limousin-cross heifer, out of a British Blue-cross cow, which was knocked down to Mr Robertshaw for a show-topping price by weight of 205.5p/kg, or £1,089.

He also added Mr Lund’s reserve champion, another home-bred Limousin-cross heifer, this one out of a Parthanais-cross cow, for £1,043, or 202.5p/kg. It was the second year in succession that Mr Lund has achieved the top two prices at the corresponding monthly fixture.

Mr Roberthaw then transferred his buying interest to the prime lambs, making further top quality acquisitions of five-strong pens on behalf of Keelham Farm Shop.

He secured the 42kg Beltex-cross victors from John Stapleton, of KG Stapleton, Skipton, at £106 per head, or top price by weight of 252.4p/kg, plus the reserve champion pen of 46kg Beltex-crosses from Stephen Pepper, Oxenhope, at the leading per head price of £115, or 250p/kg. Mr Pepper just failed in his bid to win the February show title for the third year on the trot.

Keelham Farm Shop is renowned for buying the best beef and lamb the region has to offer in its continuing support of local farmers. It’s a policy that has seen the business land multiple awards over the past year, including the title of best non-multiple food retailer in the annual British Food and Farming Awards held in London.

Mr Robertshaw said: “Around 40% of our business is meat and we work closely with local farmers - directly or through our local auction marts - to develop mutually beneficial field-to-plate supply partnerships.

“Though we are always keen to buy show champions and prizewinners, as illustrated by our continuing acquisitions at Skipton, we will always buy the best quality animals - 52 weeks a year. At the same time, we remain ardent in our belief that healthy, sustainable local food should affordable for all, which is constantly reflected in our prices at Keelham.”

Prime cattle prices were headed at £1,098 (151.5p/kg) for a Simmental-cross steer from John and Alison Spensley, Thorlby. Heifers averaged 150.69p/kg and steers 140.15p/kg.

The prime lamb section also incorporated the annual prize show for pens of 10 Swaledale Wether Hoggs, won for the second consecutive year by Robert Crisp, of Nelson Farm, Calton. His charges sold for £73 each. Top price in class at £74.50 a head went to Roy Nelson, Bordley.

Mr Crisp also won the Mule and Masham show class with a pen sold at £73.50 each. Anthony Thompson, Foulridge, presented the best of the Suffolks, sold at £86, with Kevin Wilson, Blubberhouses, exhibiting the first prize Dalesbreds, which made £64.50 per head. For good measure, Brian Lund also presented the third prize pen of Beltex-cross lambs, sold for £89 each.

With trade similar to the previous week, the overall selling average for prime lambs was 173.14p/kg or £70.78 per head.

Prime cattle show classes were judged by James Dewhirst, who also officiated in the hill lamb classes, with Nick Dalby adjudicating for the lowland lambs. Full details, breed averages and top prices can be viewed at

link Swires Supreme Again at Craven Dairy Auction
link New Year Prime Hoggs Hat-Trick for Garnetts
link Bauls Bag Opening Craven Dairy Auction Championship

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