A landmark 21st Craven Dairy Auction championship success was secured by North Yorkshire father and son farmers Malcolm and Robert Swires at the main March show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, March 26)
Robert Swires, second from left with his landmark 21st Craven Dairy Auction champion, joined by sponsor’s representative Keith Colley, left and judge Frank Wrathall.
The Swires’ prolific and productive Holstein Friesian commercial dairy herd, based at Haverah Park, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, holds the record for most number of Craven Dairy Auction title wins in modern day times.
Last victorious at the final show of 2011, their first and milestone champion in 2012, the first-prize newly calven pedigree heifer, sold for top price in show of £2,600 – the highest price achieved since the start of the new millennium – to Stephen Britton, of Ripon.
Giving 30 litres, the South Yorkshire-bred Flashouse Kingly Alicia, herself by the American-bred Lajeante Kingly-ET, became a further top quality addition to Mr Britton’s 220-strong pedigree dairy herd, which produces milk for Payne's Farm Dairies in Boroughbridge.
The Swires, who regularly sell around ten dairy cattle a month a Skipton, were also responsible for three further prize winners, including the second prize newly calven heifer and third prize newly calven cow, which both fell at £2,200 and £2,080 respectively to first-time buyers from County Durham, brothers John and David Craggs.
The Craggs, who have a 240-strong commercial dairy herd and supply their milk to Arla Foods, acquired eight dairy animals in total, among them the first prize newly calven cow and reserve champion from Chris Broadwith, of Low Barn Farm, Thornton Watlass, at £2,280, and the third prize newly calven heifer from Robin Jennings, of South Stainley, at £1,900.
The second best in show, a second calver giving 36 litres, was acquired by Mr Broadwith at a dispersal sale last November of the Ropner family’s famous Dalesend Holstein herd based at Patrick Brompton, near Bedale.
For good measure, the Swires also presented the second prize newly calven cow, a £2,300 acquisition by regular buyer Tom Green, of Wigan.
The Craven Dairy Auction entry of 37 produced excellent trade, with ten milkers breaking through the £2,000 barrier, six of which fell to the Swires. Peter Baul, Bishop Thornton, who already has two Craven Dairy Auction championship successes under his belt this year, sold two milkers at £2,350 and £2,020, with Brian Moorhouse, Bell Busk, achieving £2,320 and Andrew Ayrton, Eastby, £2,100.
Newly calven cows averaged £2,108 and newly calven heifers £1,918. In-calf heifers, all due April onwards, sold to £1,790 at an average of £1,667, while September, 2010-born maiden heifers, peaked at £1,100 at an average of £1,013.
Show judge was judge Frank Wrathall, of Gisburn, with BOCM Pauls again sponsoring. The next Craven Dairy Auction is on Monday, April 9.
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