The August rearing calves show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart proved the best of the year to date, with major demand at the packed ringside resulting in an overall average selling price of almost £153 for the 139 youngsters forward. (Mon, Aug 22)
Stephen Hitchen, right, with his Skipton August rearing calf champion, joined by Keith Colley, of sponsors BOCM Pauls.
British Blues again dominated, with the title awarded to a month-old bull calf from Calderdale dairyman Stephen Hitchen, of Ing Head Farm, Ludendenfoot, his second Skipton calf championship success. The Genus Fertility Plus-sired victor is the third calf of a British Friesian cow.
Mr Hitchen, a fourth generation dairy farm with 38 milkers at present, saw his champion sell for £358 to Derek Taylor, of Burton Leonard, who also paid joint top price in show at £370 for another prize winning British Blue bull calf from show regulars and multiple champions, brothers Shaun and Peter Sowray, of Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton.
In addition, Mr Taylor paid £360 for the first prize Continental male stirk, a British Blue from James Wellock, Eshton.
Reserve champion was the first prize Limousin heifer calf from Richard Spence, Sutton-in-Craven, which also made joint top price of £370 when joining a new buyer from East Yorkshire, Simon Everatt, who returned home with a ten-strong haul of youngsters
These included the first prize and top price British Blue heifer calf at £328 from Geoff Booth, Lothersdale, and the first prize and top price Blonde d’Aquitaine heifer calf from Alan Throup, Silsden, at £290.
Mr Everatt, who specialises in Continental heifers, will fatten up his Skipton acquisitions for sale to three local butcher customers.
The top-selling Limousin-cross bull calf at £355 was presented by Kilnsey Show chairman Robert Lambert, Kettlewell, while Richard Spence also had the top price black and white bull calf at £200.
Joan and Michael Heron, Bramhope, again figured prominently among the prizes, including red rosette successes in both the native bull and heifer classes with Aberdeen Angus calves.
Aberdeen Angus class prices peaked at £292 for a bull calf from JP & KE Hartley, Beamsley, sold to Ian Ibbotson, Oakworth. The Hartleys also had the top price Aberdeen Angus heifer calf at £150.
British Blue bull calves averaged £314 and heifer calves £277, with Limousin bull calves averaging £264 and heifers £209.
Show judge was Peter Bartley, Preston, with BOCM Pauls and Midgley Motors sponsoring.
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