Airedale herd dominates annual CCM Skipton Aberdeen-Angus females sale The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s third annual autumn sale-only of pedigree females at Skipton Auction Mart was dominated by the local Airedale herd of South Craven father and son breeders, David and Josh Isherwood, of Lane Bridge Farm, Kildwick. (Wed, Nov 11)


Their annual herd reduction sale was responsible for all but two of the total turnout of 39 head, the majority of which found new homes and claimed the two leading prices of 4,200gns and 4,000gns.  

The 4,200gns top call fell to their February, 2017, Airedale Miss Essence, by the Carrington Park Time On son, Weeton Lord Horatio, out of a Lockerley Legolas-sired Rawburn cow. Five months in-calf to Shadwell Evolution, she travelled north of the border to Dumfries to join the Abbey herd of I&J Burgess, who took home three in total. 

They had travelled down with near neighbour Donald Graham, who runs the Carruthers Angus herd at Corrie, Lockerbie, who didn’t make the return journey empty handed when also adding three from the Airedale offering. Another well-known Scottish breeder, Mark Wattie, who runs the Tonley herd near Alford in Aberdeenshire, was also among the purchasers.

Back at the top end, making 4,000gns was Airedale Kylie, a five-year-old daughter of Rawburn Ernst, also a product of Lockerley Legolas, out of the Blelack Duke daughter, Oak Moor Kyle. Sold with her third calf at foot, an August-born Airedale Lord Sinden son, the outfit joined RA Nicholson in Brandesburton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The Isherwoods sold other lots at 3,600gns, 3,200gns and 3,000gns, with their 37-strong consignment – just three returned home - achieving an overall selling average of £2,100 per head. Seventeen in-calf heifers themselves averaged £2,563, while nine cow and calf outfits, two with twin calves, averaged £2,158.

David Isherwood explained: “As we have done in the past, the cows offered for sale gave prospective buyers the opportunity to acquire some of our best genetics – healthy cows of good breeding and great temperament.”  Following the reduction sale, the herd now stands at 120 head.

The Isherwoods, who farm 117 acres of meadow and pasture land alongside the River Aire, established their award-winning Airedale herd in 2013 to give added prestige and stature to the combined farming and butchery operation – son Josh heads up Isherwoods Butchers in Silsden, founded in 1987 and now the town’s last remaining traditional family-run butcher. Aberdeen-Angus meat from the herd continues to be in big demand at the Kirkgate shop.

Back at the sale, Dr William and Mrs Margaret Taylor, who run the Crook Hill Angus herd in Stocksfield, Northumberland, made 2,200gns with their single entry, Crook Hill Miss Bishampton, a June, 2018, daughter of Ardrossan Admiral, out of Liley Miss Bishampton, herself by Nightingale Poundman. 

Scanned in-calf to Rawburn Makka Pakka, she remained in North Yorkshire when joining the Yearsley herd of husband and wife, Adrian and Penny Johnson, from Brandsby, who were responsible for the 2,600gns top price performer at last year’s Skipton breed highlight.

The new ‘normal’ was very much the case at the Angus fixture, with a socially distanced group of buyers in the sale ring and a large amount of bidders and interested parties tuned in on the internet, which produced bids and several sales.

Averages showed an extremely healthy across-the-board increase on the year, with cows and calves levelling at £3,255 (2019 £1,512), in-calf cows £2,562 (2019 £2,021) and heifers £2,310 (2019 £1,176).

Greystone British Blues sell to 4,300gns
The Angus fixture was immediately followed by a production or draft sale of five pedigree British Blue cattle from the renowned North Craven-based Greystone pedigree herd run by brothers Alan and Graham Coates at Rainscar Farm, Stainforth, which created considerable interest from around the country. 

Their leading price at 4,300gns sale was the two-year-old bull, Greystone Nitram, bred from easy calving lines and by the outstanding Harpon De L’Orgelot son, Javanais De Rocourt, who has one of the best progeny tests in Belgium. Out of a home-bred dam by Adagio Du Stordeur, the promising white bull – he has worked easily with six pedigree cows and heifers - sold locally to Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock. 

The pick of the heifers was Greystone Opel, a very correct white May, 2019, Jardinier De La Bonne Raie daughter, out of a home-bred dam sired by Almeley Ginola, which joined Dean Saunders, who runs the Maidenlands pedigree herd in Ulverston, for 3,000gns. Greystone heifers averaged £2,888.