Harry serves up another Skipton champion for Calderdale farming brothers Calderdale farming brothers David and Stephen Hollings, of Spinks Hill Farm, Pecket Well, Hebden Bridge, claimed another championship at Skipton Auction Mart. (Wed, Apr 12) It came in the Spring store cattle show with the Hollings brothers’ first prize British Blue-cross heifer by Littlebank Harry, who was also responsible for their victor in a young bulls show at Skipton last month.

In fact, the prolific sire, which was bought out of Skipton from North Craven breeder Richard Maudsley, of Rathmell, has landed multiple show successes for the brothers at the mart. Their latest title winner became the day’s top price heifer when selling for £1,290 to Adrian Stansfield, who farms near Barnsley.

Judge Ian Swales, of Goole, remained in the heifer show class for his overall reserve champion, the second prize winner, another Blue-cross from local breeders Steven and Tracey Fawcett, and their daughter Samantha, of Fold House, Drebley. Among the second cross of calves to their Warwickshire-bred New Close bull, the runner-up made £1,190 when joining Thompson Brothers in Pickering.

Also on the same day’s agenda was an inaugural show for feeding cows, featuring classes for both Continental-sired and native-sired cattle, and staged to provide added interest to customers who bring store cattle, geld and feeding cows to Wednesday sale days.

John Fawcett, of Dale Head Farm, Barden, won the Continental show class with a seven-year old Blonde-cross and mother of three calves that went on to top the sale at £1,420, also taking third spot with a nine-year-old Limousin-cross cow, mother to six calves, sold for £1,070.

The first prize native-sired feeding cow was a five-year-old Beef Shorthorn from Geoffrey Wilson, of Gordale Farm, Malham. She was sired by Dunsyre Bonaparte, bred south of Edinburgh by Carey Coombs and bought out of The Hon Gerald Turton’s renowned Upsall Castle Estate Shorthorn herd near Thirsk at a North of England Beef Shorthorn Club annual sale at Skipton.

Mr Wilson currently keeps 35 Beef Shorthorn, all by Bonaparte, whose red rosette winner made £1,200. The same vendor also sold a seven-year-old Limousin-cross cow for £1,220.

Robert Wade, from Cononley, presented a nice run of cows, the best of these a four-year-old cross-bred beef animal at £1,300. A Tennant, of Peckett Well, sold an overage Charollais heifer at £1,250, while the Stockdale family in Burnsall made £1,230 with a six-year-old Blue-cross.

Another good run of cows from Andrew Houseman, of Dacre, peaked at £1,210 for an eight-year old-Limousin cross. The 43 cows entered attracted a large ringside of buyers, with 12 different purchasers and an overall sale average of £985.38 per head.

The show classes formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly Wednesday cattle fixture, which attracted 531 head.  First up were young feeding bulls, with the 139 head achieving total clearance and some tremendous top end prices for a lambing time sale.

Stuart Gill, of Dacre, made £1,380 with a Blue-cross, Cononley’s Willie Naylor hit £1,300 with a Limousin-cross,  while the Drebley-based Fawcetts again caught the eye with two nine and ten-month-old bulls sold at £1,260 and £1,250.

The top price pen of three Charollais-cross bulls from D&A Livestock in Haverah Park, Harrogate, each made £1,050, with Continental bulls averaging £1,048.17 across the board and native entries £903.66.

Back with the stores, there were plenty of buyers for grazing cattle, with yearling bullocks in very strong demand and yearling heifers also good to sell, while strong cattle were short of requirements and traded slightly dearer on the fortnight.

Richard Maudsley, of the Littlebank herd in Rathmell, topped the steers at £1,320 with a Limousin-cross, while the top price pen of five Limousin steers from Austwick’s James and Deborah Ogden each made £1,210. The section produced a Continental-cross average of £1,013.29, with a native average of £929.38.

The Ogdens were also responsible for the top price pen of four Limousin-cross heifers, which each made £1,150. Continental-cross heifers averaged £927.77 and natives £819.78.

With customers now increasingly looking for replacements, the ten beef breeding cattle consigned for sale sold to £1,420 for Aberdeen Angus cows with Angus bull calves.

Skipton’s next Wednesday cattle sale on April 26 also sees the onset of the 2017 pedigree beef season with the annual show and sale of pedigree British Blue bulls and females,