A Limousin-cross bull calf from South Craven father and son dairy farmers Michael and Simon Spence broke the stranglehold held of late by British Blue youngsters when awarded the championship at Skipton Auction Mart’s September rearing calf show. (Mon, Sept 17)
Michael Spence's first-ever
Skipton rearing calf champion.
The Spences, of Bank End Farm, Silsden Moor, won their first-ever Skipton calf title with a well-bred son of a pedigree Limousin bull acquired from local breeder John Brotherton in Chelker, out of a Holstein Friesian dairy cow.
The family currently milks 110 dairy cattle, with their herd first established in 1953 by Mr Spence’s late father Dennis. Their inaugural calf champion sold for £390 to D T Houseman, of Harrogate, with the Spences also responsible for the first prize Limousin-cross heifer calf, which made £275 when joining Richard Umpleby, of Killinghall.
However, it was a British Blue – the first prize bull calf and reserve champion from brothers Shaun and Peter Sowray, of Bishop Thornton - that again achieved top price honours at £500 when becoming another quality D T Houseman acquisition.
Heifer calf prices peaked at £380 for another British Blue from Ken and Roger Wright, of Airton, with breed entries once more in strong demand to average £372 per head for Blue bull calves and £331 for heifer calves.
The overall selling average of the 102-strong entry, among them some quality youngsters, was £183 per head, with trade bucking the national trend, where calves are generally selling for less money. BOCM Pauls again sponsored.
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