A North Yorkshire farmer and a West Yorkshire farm shop made history when showing and buying the first-ever prime beef champion to pass through Skipton Auction Mart’s newly upgraded main cattle ring at the opening New Year show and sale. (Mon, Jan 2)
Bernard Simpson is pictured in the brand-new cattle ring at CCM Skipton with his New Year heifer champion.
Bernard Simpson, of Heathfield, Pateley Bridge, was responsible for the title winner, a 490kg home-bred British Blue heifer that sold to Keelham Farm Shop at Thornton, Bradford, for the leading by-weight price of 223.5p/kg, or £1,095.
The victor is by Mr Simpson’s own stock bull, acquired at Skipton several years ago. He also sold a second British Blue heifer at 221.5p/kg, or £1,263.
Award-winning Keelham Farm Shop, which bought the supreme beef champion at Skipton’s final show last year, the high profile Christmas primestock fixture, secured a New Year double when also purchasing the reserve champion British Blue steer from Brian Lund, of Walshaw, Hebden Bridge, at £1,249, or 201.5p/kg.
The same exhibitor also sold a Limousin-cross heifer at 221.5p/kg, or £1,196, a third acquisition by Keelham Farm Shop.
The top gross price at £1,360 fell to the first prize 665kg British Blue steer from multiple Skipton champion and 2011 prime beef section winner in the 2011 CCM Stockperson of the Year awards, Jim Baines, of Trawden. It sold to Stanforths Butchers, Skipton.
Show judge was Jeff Burrow, Hanlith. Prime heifers averaged 193p/kg and steers 176p/kg, with an overall average of 187p/kg.
A show class for cast cows saw the championship awarded to the first prize Blonde d’Aquitaine from Ken Lister, Starbotton, sold at 166.6p/kg, £1,199, to J & E Medcalf Wholesale Butchers, Halifax, with the first prize dairy class winner from Stephen and Malcolm Abbott, Dacre, chosen as reserve champion and selling for 130.5p/kg, £920, to Dawn Meats, Carnaby.
CCM’s Craven Ring upgrade has involved the removal of the old ringside, rostrum and concrete floors, renewal of the drainage system, installation of the new ringside and rostrum position, removal and replacement of the old cattle scale, laying of new concrete floors and refurbishment of the heating system.
There is also a new tiered standing area to enhance ringside viewing for customers, plus extra standing room at the ringside, while side-by-side cattle gates allow stock to enter and exit the ring in a more central location.
CCM's Ted Ogden, farmstock sales manager and auctioneer explained: "The improvements were carried out with the safety and comfort of customers and livestock as priorities, also allowing cattle to be shown off to their best advantage.“
Show judge Paul Watson, second from left, and CCM staff gather in Jonathan Beresford’s New Year prime lamb champions.Champions at the opening prime lambs show were the first prize pen of 37kg Beltex-cross Continentals from Jonathan Beresford, of Haughfield Farm, Coniston Cold, bought at £94 per head by Bobby Booth, Rossendale, on behalf of Euroquality Lamb in Shropshire. Mr Booth also paid £87 each, again for Euroquality Lamb, for the first prize and top price pen of ten 46kg Mules from Jim Scriven, Kelbrook.
The second prize and reserve champion pen of 40kg Continentals from James Towler, Grindleton, sold for £96 each to Riley Bros Wholesale Butchers in Dunnockshaw, Burnley, though it was the third prize pen of 45kg Beltex from Stephen Pepper, Oxenhope, that achieved top price in show at £110 apiece when joining Vivers Scotlamb, Annan.
Brian Lund was again to the fore, presenting the first prize pen of 47kg Suffolks, sold at £93.50 a head to Andrew Atkinson, Kettlesing, on behalf of Alec Traves Wholesale Butchers, Escrick, York.
The first prize and top price pen of ten 43kg hill-bred lambs from Grain Farms at Hebden Bridge sold for £87 to Kepak Wakefield. The overall selling average of the 3,500 prime lambs forward was £81.55 per head, or 195.9p/kg, compared to £69.14 per head, 165.62p/kg, at the opening 2011 fixture.
Prime lambs judge was Paul Watson, Hellifield, and sponsor Guy Machinery, Skipton. Overall prime sheep sale prices on the day were headed at 258.5p/kg by a pen of Beltex-x-Texel from John and Linda Mellin, Hull House, Hellifield.
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