2018 principals again dominate at opening CCM Skipton calf show The opening rearing calf show of the year at Skipton Auction Mart saw the winning-most exhibitors from 2018 return to again land the principal honours with Blue-cross youngsters. (Mon, Jan 7) The Sowray brothers - Shaun, Peter and Paul - who run their Holstein Friesian dairy herd at Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, lifted another in a long line of title wins, including two last year, with the first prize bullock, a seven-week-old by the Norbreck Genetics dairy bull, Newton Blues Kracker, a recent addition to the Sowray breeding programme.

The New Year victor sold for a sale-topping £460 to the Stainthorpe family in West Tanfield, near Ripon. The Sowrays’ seven-strong consignment of Blues, which also included the second prize bull and heifer, saw their bulls average £393.
Standing reserve champion with the first prize heifer were father and son, Fred and Mark Houseman, who trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, also multiple past champions who rattled up a hat-trick of title wins in 2018.
The seven-week-old daughter of the Genus sire Brookfield Dev, well utilised by the family and also responsible for some of their former Skipton champions, was knocked down for a section high of £410 to brothers Stephen and Malcolm Abbott, of Dacre. The Housemans also arrived with a seven-strong consignment of Blue-crosses, all by Dev, which averaged £381 overall.
A sold turnout of 127calves after the Christmas and New Year break attracted no fewer than 25 different buyers ringside. Throughout the sale calves met a good, steady trade, with the better end of the Continental-cross bulls regularly topping £400, with middle of the road entries seeing a straight trade.
The best Continental-cross heifer calves regularly made £350-£400, though smaller, plainer types were harder to place, with prices ranging from £180- £240. The overall Continental-cross selling average was £303.65.
Craven Dairy Auction regular Mark Smith, of Winterburn, won both Limousin show classes with a bull calf sold for £340 and a heifer calf at £350. The top price £360 Limousin-cross bull calf came from Andrew Ayrton, of Eastby.
Native bull calves were also a straight trade, averaging £206 per head, while increased interest in native heifer calves produced an average of £135, with an overall section average of £170.50. Two class-winning Aberdeen-Angus entries from JP&KE Hartley & Son in Bolton Abbey sold to highs of £250 for a bull calf and £200 for a heifer calf.
Black and white youngsters averaged £69 per head, with dairy bull calves well supported, the best end selling either side of £100, with John Dugdale, of Settle, achieving top call of £150, while the first prize black and white bull calf from Ian Briggs, of Guiseley, made £110. The same vendor also sold a Hereford-cross bull calf at £155.
Show judge was Tom Heseltine, of Hesketh House & Farm Park in Bolton Abbey, with Dugdale Nutrition, represented by regional ruminant specialist Robert Skelton, undertaking the first of a series of rearing calf sponsorships.