Skipton Auction Mart’s popular annual Christmas prime livestock shows and sales are to be held for the first time this year on a Sunday - December 7.
Keith Downs is pictured right with his Skipton 2007 Christmas prime beef champion and reserve champion, joined by Victoria Robertshaw, of Keelham Hall Farm Shop, Thornton, who purchased both animals.
General manager Jeremy Eaton explains: “There has never been an event to replace the former Smithfield Christmas Fatstock Show in London and we are seeking to replicate some of the atmosphere of this famous occasion here in the north, at the same time promoting retail interest in livestock among our customers from the regional meat trade.
“Butchers are busy in their shops during the week, so often miss out on the opportunity to attend the mart in person to view prime livestock and meet farmers. A Sunday fixture will allow them to do so.
John Garnett, centre, with his Skipton 2007 Christmas prime lambs champions, flanked by purchasers James and Victoria Robertshaw, of of Keelham Hall Farm Shop, Thornton.
“In addition, prime lambs will be batched in trios for the first time, which is better suited to the requirement of our butcher buyers, as they seek to source prime quality locally reared meat for customers’ Christmas tables.
“It will be a real social occasion and appears set to spark interest reminiscent of the heyday of Smithfield.”
The first-ever CCM Stock Person of the Year will also be crowned on the day, following the introduction of a new annual award to recognise the contribution of regular vendors – and honour a champion among them.
Points have been awarded at livestock shows throughout the year and the inaugural winner will be announced after results of the Christmas shows have been evaluated. The CCM Stock Person of the Year will receive £500, courtesy of sponsors, the Silsden-based West Riding Motor Group.
There will be a ten-strong line-up of butchers’ cattle classes, with the best of the breeds competing for male, female and supreme championship success. A prize for the best home-bred animal will also be awarded, while there is a special class for young handlers.
There are also ten butchers’ sheep classes, with individual championships for both lowland and hill sheep trios at stake. A brace of cast cattle classes completes the line-up.
Prime cattle classes will be judged by James Robertshaw, of Keelham Hall Farm Shop, Thornton, Bradford, multiple buyers of past Skipton Christmas champions, and Shipley butcher Richard Binns. Adjudicator in the cast cattle classes is John Thompson, Gargrave.
Judges in the prime lamb classes are regular Skipton buyers Andrew Atkinson, Harrogate, and Mick Etherington, Crossflatts, and butchers Ian Weatherhead, Pateley Bridge, and Stephen Maskill, Hebden Bridge,
Judging begins at 4pm, ahead of sales at 5.30, both in the prime cattle ring. The event culminates with a festive roast supper for customers, at which the winner of the CCM Stock Person of the Year Awards will be announced.
All mainline sponsors of Skipton livestock shows throughout the year have contributed to the new awards. They include Guy Machinery, BOCM Pauls, Farmers & Mercantile Insurance, Yorkshire Bank, Pfizer Animal Health, Ripon Land Rover, Phillip Bolland Trailer Training, PV Dobson & Sons, Pearson Farm Supplies, KT Green, Gray’s of Shenstone, Wynnstay, Les Thackray, Crossgates Bioenergetics, Mewies Solicitors, Jacs Trade & DIY, Novartis Animal Health, Windle Beech Winthrop, High Laithe Catering and Stanforth Butchers.
Baines Family Hat-Trick on Prime Day at Skipton
Stockdales Supreme at New-Look Skipton Suckled Calves Fixture
John Bradley Shearling Champion at Skipton Dalesbred Rams Show