2015-11-02   facebooktwitterrss

Walkers Take Suckled Calf Championship

The Walker family, Brennand Farm continued to dominate the store cattle show arena at Skipton Auction Mart when presenting another title winner at the annual Autumn highlight for this year’s crop of suckled calves and over year store cattle. (Wed, Oct 28)

Steven Walker led out the family’s latest victor, the first prize January, 2015-born British Blue-cross heifer, a home-bred by their main stock bull Cromwell Fendt. The same sire was also responsible for the Walkers’ Skipton Spring store cattle champion and the reserve champion on Craven Champions Day earlier in the year.

Steven Walker is pictured with the family’s 2015 Skipton suckled calf champion, joined by show judge Mike Thuey.

Steven Walker is pictured with the family’s 2015 Skipton suckled calf champion, joined by show judge Mike Thuey.

Out of a Limousin cow, whose own dam was one of the family’s leading pure-bred British Blue show animals, the Walkers’ latest top performer also proved the joint leading player on price when selling for £1,400 to Dylan and Nicky Townend, of Quarry Farm, Broughton, near Malton.

The Walkers, champions at the 2013 Autumn showcase – this Bluegrass Cyclone daughter also fell to the Townends - and reserve champions last year, were also responsible for the first prize 2014-born heifer, by the AI sire Grommet, which also sold for joint top price of £1,400 to Skipton regular Malcolm Metcalfe, of Baldersby.

The same buyer also paid £1,240 for the third prize 2015-born steer, a pure-bred Limousin, by the Genus sire Conan, from N Mayor, of Chorley.

The reserve championship fell to the first prize 2015-born Limousin-cross heifer from North Craven’s Jonathan Townley, of Nutta Farm in Clapham. The home-bred, by a bull from the Sowerby family in Little Ormside, Cumbria, out of Blue-cross cow, sold for £1,080 to Goole’s Ian Swales.

Mr Townley also sent out the second prize winner in the same show class, which fell for £900 to show judge Mike Thuey, a commercial suckler cow breeder from Easingwold.

The Townends were themselves dual first prize winners in both show classes for 2015-born bulls. Their red rosette-winning Limousin was by the AI sire, Ampertaine Commander, out of a Blue-cross heifer, while the first prize Blue bull was by their own Clifftown Horatio, champion at Skipton’s annual ‘Blue Wednesday’ showpiece last year and since sold on, out of a Limousin-cross heifer.

Both fell for £1,200 and £1,080 respectively to York farmers and butchers Stephen and Anthony Swales, who also paid £1,120 for the second prize 2014 Limousin bull from Turner Farms in Holmfirth.

The Swales’s acquired nine cattle in total, all of which will be further fattened on the family farm in Melbourne, before making their way into the food chain at their Knavesmire Butchers in Albermarle Road, York, the pick of them for this year’s Christmas trade.

Also catching the eye was the third prize Limousin bull from Sandra Blades, of Carnforth, which made £1,200 when joining Waterloo Farms in Melsonby, Richmond. The same buyers also paid £1,060 for the second prize any other breed bull, a Charolais from the Walmsley family in Haverah Park, Harrogate.

Rob Matten, of Newsham, Thirsk, bought three red rosette winners – the first prize 2014-born Limousin steer from Fox Farms, run by Peter and Edward Fox in Withgill, Clitheroe, for £1,300, the first prize 2015-born any other breed bull, a Blonde from Cheshire breeder Craig Schofield, of Cheadle, at £1,020, and the first prize 2015-born British Blue steer from Ian Rawlinson, of Marton, Ulverston, for £960.

Austwick mother and son Janet and James Huck, champions at last year’s corresponding fixture, this year sent out the first and second prize 2015-born any other breed heifers, both Blondes, sold for £910 and £990 to, respectively, Charles and Richard Kitching, of Threshfield, and Bingley’s Keith Downs.

Fox Farms were also responsible for the second and third prize 2014-born Limousin-cross heifers, which both fell to Thompson Bros in Pickering for £1,380 and £1,300 respectively.

Suckled calves, although attracting a full ringside of buyers, were, as anticipated, cheaper on the year. The show classes, sponsored by JACS Trade & DIY Warehouse in Skipton, formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly sale of 539 head of cattle, which generally met with a similar trade to the previous fixture.

The 146 young feeding bulls forward sold to an overall Continental-cross average of £903 per head, with a native average of £630. Prices peaked at £1,520 and £1,500 for a brace of British Blue-cross bulls from Jeff Burrow in Kirkby Malham.

A total of 382 bullocks and heifers saw the former achieve an overall Continental-cross selling average of £899 and a native average of £847, while respective averages for store heifers were £866 and £833.

Breeding cattle prices peaked at £1,700 for an Aberdeen Angus-cross cow with a British Blue-cross heifer calf at foot.

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