Improved seasonal trade was in evidence at July’s main Craven Dairy Auction, when a quarter of the 44-strong entry sold for more than £2,000. (Mon, July 18).
Main July Craven Dairy Auction champion Brian Moorhouse, prepares his title winner for the sale ring.
A strong turnout of quality dairy cattle saw prices rising as the sale progressed due to strong demand and keen ringside competition.
The battle for top honours was between the two dairy farmers who have between them won by far the most Craven Dairy Auction titles in recent years, father-and-son Malcolm and Robert Swires, and Brian Moorhouse.
This time around, it was Mr Moorhouse, of Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, who saw his newly calven pedigree Holstein Friesian heifer win first prize in class, before going on to be awarded the championship ahead of the second prize newly calven heifer and reserve show champion from the Swires, of Haverah Park, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate.
Judge Aubrey Greenhalgh, of Preston, said his chosen champion had a “good, hard spine, high, wide rear udder, good legs and feet.”
The title winner was Mr Moorhouse’s first-ever calf by the prolific and increasingly renowned US sire Toystory. She had herself produced her first calf two weeks before the show and was giving 26 litres. Her Jocko Besne-sired dam gave 8,000 litres as a heifer, while her grand dam was a 93pt ‘excellent’-rated cow.
Buyer of the victor at £2,120 was Stephen Jeanes, of AS & EA Jeanes, Glusburn, who also acquired the third prize newly calven heifer from Jeremy Taylor’s Smellows pedigree herd at nearby Broughton for £2,080.
Both these prices could not match the £2, 200 paid for the Swires’ reserve champion, a daughter of Myersdale Westminster, acquired from Northallerton breeder Geoff Spence and also responsible for the Swires’ latest May Craven Dairy Auction champion, which was bought by brothers Glenn and Roger Kellett, who trade as B Kellett & Son at Hatton House Farm, Bishop Thornton.
So too was the latest runner-up, giving 35 litres. However, all were bettered by a further Swires’ first calver that headed the show prices at £2,280 when becoming yet another Kellett acquisition. The brothers are rebuilding their dairy herd and Skipton has been a happy hunting ground in their quest, with Swires milkers a particularly popular choice.
For good measure, the Swires also presented the first and third prize newly calven cows, which both found a new home over the border when joining Tom Green, of T&M Green, Wigan, at £2,220 and £1,700 respectively.
The second prize newly calven cow from Stephen Coates, of GW & M Coates, Low Springs Farm, Baildon, sold for £1,620 to Ken Liversedge, Wilberfoss, York.
The first prize and top price in-calf heifer came from Andrew Brown, Hampsthwaite, joining David Shuttleworth, Gargrave, for £1,520, with Len Akrigg, Oakworth, again featuring among the prize winners when taking second and third in class, his charges selling at £1,440 and £1,400 respectively.
Newly calven heifers averaged £1,815, newly calven cows £1,490 and in-calf heifers £1,237. Animal feeds manufacturer BOCM Pauls again sponsored.
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