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Skipton Christmas Primestock Shows are Biggest and Best Yet
2012-11-28

A mart record price of £3,810, or £6.35p/kg, for the supreme champion prime heifer, and £500 per head, or £12.20p/kg, for the supreme champion prime lambs, were the standout highlights on an action-packed day of solid trade at Skipton Auction Mart’s fifth annual Lingfield Christmas primestock shows and sales, the biggest and best on record to date. (Sun, November 25)

Pictured with the Skipton Christmas prime beef supreme champion are, from left, co-judges Geoff Nutter and John Whiteside, exhibitor Hayley Baines and buyers Alan and Veronica Walker.

prime beef supreme champion

The climax of Skipton’s primestock year, with outstanding quality on show, is a seasonal highlight for the region’s farmers, leading independent retail butchers and meat wholesalers, as the fixture is responsible for putting many a festive roast on Christmas tables across Yorkshire, Lancashire and well beyond, including north of the border. Around 1,500 people – both customers and onlookers - turned out for the high profile fixture.

The prime cattle supreme championship fell to the first prize British Blue heifer and female champion from Hayley Baines, of Little Middup Farm, Gisburn. The 15-month-old, bred in Cumbria by Norman Dodd, of Tebay, was bought earlier this year and raised to peak condition by 26-year-old Hayley.

Weighing in at 600kg, the victor, which also won a special prize for the best beast from a regular Craven Cattle Marts vendor, was purchased by Calderdale farmers and butchers, husband and wife Alan and Veronica Walker, who run F&A Walker Butchers in Halifax, and will sell the title winner through their new online shop.

Pictured with their Skipton Christmas prime lamb supreme champions are Martin, Hannah and Val Brown, with, standing from left, judge Paul Watson, sponsors Robert Garth, Gary Robinson, Angela Calvert and Gavin Howarth, CCM chairman Anthony Hewetson, and buyer Dave Kirby.

prime lamb supreme champions
The prime lamb supreme championship returned to familiar hands when falling to a top-notch Beltex-cross trio from Martin and Val Brown, of Beechwood House Farm, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale, the 2010 victors and runners-up last year.

Their first prize 41kg Continental-cross trimmed lambs, also lowland champions and winners of special prizes for the best pen from a regular CCM vendor, sold to Dave Kirby, buying on behalf of Lancashire Direct Halal Meats, of Blackburn. The victors will be sold to Lancashire Direct’s retail customers through their unit in Eden Street.

John Midgley, left, with his champion trio of Piétrain-cross-Large White prime pigs, joined by butcher judge Paul Leadbeater.

Piétrain-cross-Large White prime pigs
Calderdale’s John Midgley, of Dean House Farm, Ludendenfoot, was responsible for the champion trio of Piétrain-cross-Large White prime pigs, sold for £235 per head to John Summers Family Butchers, of Clayton, Bradford.

Back with the prime cattle, the 2011 supreme champions, Clare Cropper and John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston, this year has to settle for the reserve championship with their young handlers’ British Blue-cross heifer class winner and reserve female champion.

The 17-month-old home-bred is by a sire from Richard Maudsely’s Littlebank herd at nearby Rathmell, and the tenth calf of an extremely productive Limousin cow. The 560kg reserve champion sold for £1,792, or 320p/kg, to James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm Shop, Thornton, Bradford, a regular buyer of both prime cattle and lamb champions and prizewinners at Skipton.

The reserve supreme champion prime lambs, a pen of three 39kg Beltex-cross from Robert Garth and Kelly Armitage, of Peaks View, Bentham, sold for £160 per head to Vivers Scot Lamb, of Annan.

The hill-bred championship again fell to Martin Throup, who farms on Silsden Moor, with the first prize pen of 49kg Mules, sold for £78 to Yorkshire Halal Meat Supplies for its Keighley supermarket.

The reserve hill breed champions, the first prize pen of 42kg Dalesbreds from Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, made £70 each when selling locally to Andrew Ashby, of the Millstones Restaurant & Mill 67 Bistro in Felliscliffe, Harrogate.

Stephen Pepper, left, checks out his Skipton prime lamb carcase champion, joined by wife Tracy, and judges Matthew Inskip and Ian Weatherhead.

lamb carcase champion
One of the most eagerly anticipated events this year was the inaugural lamb carcase competition, which attracted a 43-strong entry and created keen interest among both regular prime lamb vendors and butcher buyers, producing an overall average price of £104.50 per lamb.

Red Rose butcher George Cropper, whose shop is in Accrington Market, made a total of six acquisitions, among them the champion pure-bred Beltex carcase from Stephen Pepper, of Oxenhope, which had a 43kg live weight, a dead weight of 24.8kg, MLC grading of E3H and killing out percentage of 57.6%. It sold for the top price of £272, or a dead weight of £10.97 per kg.

Prime lamb supreme champions Martin and Val Brown also made their mark with the second prize and reserve champion 40kg Beltex-cross E3L 57.7%, carcase, which sold for the second top price of £160, or a dead weight of £6.93/kg, to Anothony Swales, of Knavesmire Butchers in York.

The Browns also chipped in with the highest killing out weight of 61.9% for their second prize 41kg Beltex-cross E3L carcase, which was purchased for £128 by Watson Livestock, of Hellifield.

link South Devons Make Debut at Skipton
link Skipton Beef Shorthorn Females Sell to 3,100gns
link Cross-Border Successes at Skipton Prime Shows

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