Calderdale’s Brian Lund, of Walshaw, Hebden Bridge, was champion with a 565kg Limousin-cross bull at the March prime cattle show at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, March 5)
Brian Lund, left, with his Skipton March prime lamb champion, joined by judge John Thompson, of Gargrave.
The title winner sold for £1,184, or 209.5p/kg, to Bowland Foods, Preston, on behalf of regular customer John Wilkinson Butchers in Ormskirk Market. The Lancashire meat wholesaler buys one or two bulls every week for Wilkinsons and prize-winning Skipton-bought beef is particularly popular among the shop’s customers.
Mr Lund, who is regularly among the rosettes at Skipton, was also responsible for the first prize heifer, a 520kg British Blue, which became another acquisition by Bowland Foods at £1,256, or 241.5p, joint top price by weight.
It is destined for Andrew’s Family Butchers in Burnley Market Hall, not the first time owner Andrew Walker has sourced prize-winning Skipton beef. In fact, he also bought Mr Lund’s reserve champion Limousin-cross heifer at the February prime cattle show.
Bowland Foods, who supply a string of quality Red Rose retail customers, this month also paid the same per head and by weight price as the red rosette-winning heifer for the second prize 520kg British Blue-cross heifer from local vendors John and Alison Spensley, of Thorlby. It was bought on behalf of Chris Speak, of Speak’s Butchers, which has shops in Padiham and Read.
The first prize steer and reserve champion, a 615kg British Blue from Jim Baines, of Trawden, was acquired for £1,344, or 218.5p/kg, by Keelham Farm Shop in Thornton, Bradford, multiple buyers of prime beef champions and prizewinners at Skipton.
Mr Baines also achieved top price in show with a British Blue-cross heifer that made £1,366, 235.5p/kg, along with a third BB-x heifer at £1,342, 237.5p/kg.
There was also a special show for cast cows, which is now set to be a regular fixture at Skipton in response to increasing interest in pure-bred and pedigree cows for export.
John Barker, of Lawrence House, Scotton, Knaresborough, won both red rosettes in the beef-cross and pedigree or pure-bred classes with a Limousin-cross and a Bazadaise that achieved £1,251 - also top price by weight at 163.5p/kg - and £1,169 respectively, the latter price also emulated by an Aberdeen Angus from J & AJ Preston, Stainforth.
The first prize dairy class winner, a black and white from G Abbott & Sons, Dacre, also headed the show prices at £1,276 when sold to Dawn Meats at Carnaby, Bridlington.
There was unprecedented trade for cull cows, which for the first time ever averaged over £900 per head, or 132.74p/kg. Of the 42-strong entry, 27 were dairy cows, which themselves averaged over £850 per head. “It’s the best trade in living memory,” said Craven Cattle Marts’ general manager Jeremy Eaton.
Stephen Pepper, left, is joined by willing helpers as he parades his Skipton March prime lamb champions.February prime lamb champion Stephen Pepper, of Windle House Farm, Oxenhope, not only repeated the feat at the March show, but also landed the reserve championship with two exceptional five-strong pens of pure-bred Beltex.
The 52kg title winners sold for £125 each to Calderdale meat wholesalers J&E Medcalf, on behalf of S & J Dorsey Butchers in Borough Market, Halifax, though it was the 43kg runners-up that topped the prices at £158 per head when joining butcher George Cropper for his stall in Accrington Market. Mr Cropper regularly sources top quality lambs, champions and prizewinners among them, at Skipton.
Brian Church, of Asquith, presented the first prize Suffolk-cross lambs, knocked down at £85.50 per head to Dunbia Foods, Preston, while regular Nottinghamshire vendor Stephen Dorey, of Newark, had the second prize pen, one of his six quality pens that sold to a high of £106.50 each.
In fact, Mr Dorey performed well in many of the prime lamb classes. He also had the first prize and top price Mashams at £82.50 a head, the first prize and top price Lonks, sold at £83.80 each to Shropshire-based Euroquality Lamb, plus the top price by weight in a further two classes - Cheviots at 211.4p/kg and Dalesbred at 191.7p/kg.
The first prize Swaledales from Rita Tulley, of MIR Heseltine & Co, Summerbridge, also headed the class prices at £83.50.
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