Sowray Bros champion and reserve at CCM Skipton calf show A tremendous and quality turnout of 108 rearing calves for Skipton Auction Mart’s July show and sale produced solid trade throughout. (Mon, July 15) The Sowray dairy farming brothers - Shaun, Peter and Paul - who run their Holstein Friesian herd at Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, were again the headline performers when clinching principal honours with British Blue-cross youngsters both by the Norbreck Genetics dairy bull, Newton Blues Kracker, who has also been responsible for an earlier Skipton calf champion.

Lifting the titlefor the Sowrays was the first prize Blue bull calf, with judge Richard Umpleby, of Killinghall, tapping out their red rosette-winning Blue heifer calf as reserve champion, both going on to sell for £440 to, respectively, Graham Stainthorpe in West Tanfield, Ripon, and brothers Stephen and Malcolm Abbott in Dacre, Harrogate.
While calves were slightly younger than previous show days many at the top end commanded solid prices, a good number breaking through the £400 barrier, with others selling into the high £300s. Many regular vendors left well satisfied.
The best continental heifers more than kept up with their male counterparts, with the highest priced calf of the day, a nine-week-old first prize winning stirk again from the Sowrays and by another Norbreck sire, Jack, netting top call of £465 when again falling to the Abbotts.
Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock won both Limousin-cross show classes, topping both on price with his £425 bull and £300 heifer, while David Smith, from Sutton-in-Craven, also picked up two red rosettes in the other continental bull and heifer show classes with a brace of Charolais-cross youngsters that sold to a top of £390 for the first prize bull. Across the board, continental calves averaged a solid £329.
Of the native entries, young calves sold away nicely, with both three to four-week-old bulls and heifers regularly making £140-£150, the former topping at £215 for a Hereford-cross from Keith Slater, of Goosnargh, the latter at £150 twice for a brace of Aberdeen-Angus from Eshton’s James Wellock. An overall native selling average of £142.30 was recorded.
A mixed show of dairy bull calves saw a straight trade. By far the best was a fleshy calf from Ralph Guy, or Earby, which topped at £165. The section average was £57.
Prime cattle trade bucks trend
Skipton prime cattle trade continued to buck the trend nationally, with another good entry of 19 under 30-month-olds from regular vendors again keenly sought after by retail buyers. Top gross of £1,413 fell to a 600kg Limousin-cross heifer from the Kitching brothers in Threshfield, which became one of four purchases by James Robertshaw for his Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton.
The same buyer also acquired the leading price per kilo entry, a 520kg Blonde-cross heifer from the Critchley family in Hutton at 258.5p/kg, this on behalf of Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton, which bought two. Other retail butcher buyers were Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop & Restaurant in Lancaster, and Skipton-based Stanforths, both with three, and one each for Ellisons in Cullingworth, Sandersons in Baxenden and Brayton Farm Shop in Selby.
The 28 cull cows on offer were a sharp trade, with a handful of meated cattle more than compensated for by the majority of the entry, which were lean and plain. That aside, all classes were good to sell, producing an overall section average of £636.33 per head, or 99.84p/kg.
Prime lamb trade firmer             
While Skipton Spring lamb numbers were tighter at 1,849 head, this had a positive effect on trade, with prices generally firmer on the week, producing an overall selling average of £83.42 per head, or 192.6p/kg.
Tony and Kay Kiernan, from St Michaels, Preston, produced a nice consignment of three-quarters bred 43kg Beltex lambs and it was from these that both the top price head and per kilo were found at £117 and 272p/kg. They were among several acquisitions by regular buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.
Other top end Beltex and Texel pens sold into three figures to both regular retail and wholesale buyers, heavy lambs in the 46-52kg weight range catching the eye in particular, with customers definitely keener and selling prices up 5p/kg on average on the week to level just shy of 193p/kg.
The 342 cast sheep on offer were an excellent trade, with ten buyers operating strongly, producing an overall cull ewe selling average of £74.93 per head, about £2 up on the week. Heavy cull ewes were in notable demand, with some solid three-figure prices seen and a top of £130.50 for Texels from JG Hall & Son, of Gargrave.