Even by their own exacting standards, North Yorkshire father-and-son dairy farmers Malcolm and Robert Swires outdid themselves at the main February Craven Dairy Auction. (Mon, Feb 21)
With the Craven Dairy Auction champion and reserve champion, exhibitor Robert Swires, second from right, receives the Craven Dairy Cup from Keith Colley, of show sponsors BOCM Pauls.
Not only did the Swires, whose Holstein Friesian commercial dairy herd is based at Haverah Park, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, secure their 16th Craven Dairy Auction championship, but they also landed five of the six prizes available in the newly calven show classes, plus top price honours in both.
Champion was the Swires’ first prize newly calven cow, a stand-out daughter of the renowned Genus sire Picston Shottle. The second calver, giving 43 litres, joined Red Rose ringside regular Geoff Blezard, Ribchester, for £2,050, joint top price in both class and show.
The same price was achieved for another Swires’ newly calven cow, a non-prize winner, which also found a new home in Lancashire when joining T & M Green, Wigan.
Swires’ entries took all three rosettes in a strong section for newly calven heifers, their first and third prize entries each making £1,980 and the runner-up selling at £2,000, top price in class. The class victor, giving 27 litres and recipient of the BOCM Pauls Dairy Trophy, is a daughter of Avenham Westminster, another reliable UK-proven Genus bull.
In-calf heifers sold to a high of £1,290 for an entry from Alan Simpson, Oulston, York, to frequent Cheshire purchaser Wick Williams, Nantwich. Maiden heifers peaked at £750 for a submission from Chris Wellock, Halton East, sold to Raymond Johnson, Felliscliffe, Harrogate.
With 54 dairy cattle forward, 44 milkers among them, newly calven cows averaged £1,827 and newly calven heifers £1,493.
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