Two home-bred British Blue bulls from West Yorkshire breeders Tim and Lisa Metcalfe, of Town Bottom Farm, Clayton, Bradford, secured top honours at the Lingfields Beef Cattle Fair, Skipton Auction Mart’s annual multi-breeds show and sale of pedigree beef breeding cattle. (Wed, May 23)
Tim and Lisa Metcalfe with their 2012 Lingfields Beef Cattle Fair supreme and reserve champion.
Both the champion and reserve champion, first and second respectively in the show class for 2010-born bulls, are high-class sons of their former stock bull Greystone Poncho, who was bred locally in North Craven by the Coates family, of Stainforth, and retired aged 13 after four productive years with the Metcalfes’ Towngate herd.
They had earlier used Poncho as an AI bull and had obviously liked the product so much that they bought the producer!
Their pure white September-born title winner, Towngate Fly, is a grandson of Lutin Du Bouchelet out of the Jardinier De La Bonne Raie daughter Ridge Dean Nirage, who has had nine natural calvings and is, according to Mr Metcalfe, one of the easiest cows he has ever calved.
Ready for work, having already settled two cows in calf, the victor achieved top price in show at 3,600gns (£3,780) when joining regular buyer Andrew Ogden, of Cowling.
The reserve champion, the April-born Towngate Fagin, out of the Greenside Olympia daughter Greenside Shamrock – said to be the best cow in the Metcalfes’ herd – already has calves on the ground. He joined John Whitaker, of Colne for 3,400gns (£3,570).
A bird’s eye view of the leading contenders at the 2012 Lingfields Beef Cattle Fair.The Metcalfes also sold a third 2010-born British Blue son of Greystone Poncho, Towngate Fiver, for 2,800gns (£2,940) to Richard Greenwood, of Bradley, who sells premium quality feeding bulls at Skipton’s fortnightly sales.
Show judge Rob Paisley, who runs the Westmoor herd of pedigree Shorthorns at Middleton, Ilkley, said of his chosen two frontrunners: “Both are good mobile bulls. The champion has a very good top line right through to the shoulders.”
The third prize 2010-born bull was a July Limousin from the Red Rose Siddall herd of Paul Fletcher at Birch, Heywood, Rochdale. Siddall Filip, by the Mas Do Clo son Millerscotenook Cedric, out of Siddall Sall, fell at 1,900gns (£1,995) to Nick Parker, Silsden.
Limousins were also responsible for the top three prizes in the show class for 2011-born bulls, with first and second falling to home-bred entries from the Toftgate herd of Chris and Caroline Prince at Greenhow, Pateley Bridge.
The red rosette winner, Toftgate Greg, who turned 14 months on the day of the show, is by Homebyres Cutlet, out of Toftgate Cotton, a daughter of Greenwell Trubull, himself the sire of the Princes’ class runner-up, the March-born Toftgate Grant, whose dam is Toftgate Ultra.
They made 1,850gns (£1,942.50), joint top price in class, and 1,500gns (£1,575) respectively when finding new homes with M Taylor & Son, of Rathmell, and FG & GCL Stephenson, of Kirkby Lonsdale.
Third in class was a March-born entry from the Oddacres Limousin herd of 2011 show champions, John and Claire Mason in Embsay. Oddacres Gilbert, by Homebyres Dixon, out of Oddacres Dolly, sold for 1,850gns (£1,942.50) to Billy Lawson, of Burley in Wharfedale.
W Richardson & Sons, of Laverock Bridge Farm, Kendal, achieved 2,350gns (£2,467.50) for a pure-bred July, 2010-born Rocky son, sold to Milford Kemp, of York, while the Brontemoor herd of the Priestley family, now based at Kirkcambeck, Brampton, saw their sole entry, the July, 2010, Brontemoor Furlong, by the Nenuphar son Elite Ben, make 2,300gns (£2,415) when joining G & H Sztejnke, of Clapham.
Commercial beef cattle breeders seeking to source quality stock bulls to supplement their herds – they had 17 to choose from - were again in evidence at a packed ringside, with 2010-born bulls averaging 2,800gns and 2011 bulls 1,730gns.
The fixture, sponsored by livestock nutrition company Marr and Macgregor Feeds, brought down the curtain on Skipton’s successful 2012 pedigree beef season.
“Our pedigree month of May has seen a noticeable uplift in the quality of breeding bulls available, consistently achieving near total clearances, with plenty of choice for all specialist beef producers,” noted Craven Cattle Marts’ general manager Jeremy Eaton.
The event, which coincided with the same day’s fortnightly sale of over 600 head of store cattle, also marked one of the first opportunities to buy breeding cattle from a genuine production sale, with Richard and Yvonne Wood, of Cross Roads, presenting a lovely run of British Blue, Limousin and Aberdeen Angus heifers with Limousin calves at foot, which met with considerable competition at the ringside.
Their leading performer, a British Blue-x heifer with Limousin-x bull calf, sold for joint top price of £2,350, with other entries achieving £2,000 twice, £1,950, £1,900 and £1,850. K Tennant, Peckett Well, also made £2,350 with a British Blue-x heifer with Limousin-x bull calf at foot.
This resulted in some impressive averages, with British Blue-x heifers with Limousin-x bull calves averaging £2,125, with Limousin-x heifer calves £1,900, Limousin-x heifers with Limousin-x bull calves £1,888, with heifer calves £1,738, and British Blue-x cows with Limousin-x bull calves £1,765.
4,000gns Leads the Field in Skipton Working Dogs Sale
Welshman Kevin Evans Top Dog Again at CCM Charity Trial
Skipton Hoggs Highlight Attracts 1,500-Plus Entry