Skipton regular presents champion rearing calf Sutton-in-Craven farmer Richard Spence produced the champion and top price at Skipton Auction Mart’s autumn rearing calf show and sale. The Skipton regular’s British Blue-cross heifer, by the Cogent sire Echo out of a top-quality British Friesian cow, reached the heady heights of £620 when selling to Vickers and Richardson, of Scarborough. Mr Spence also sold a same way bred bull calf for £490 to prolific buyer Robert Foster, of Wetherby.

Mr Spence managed to outgun the Sowray family, of Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, who had won all previous seasonal championships in Skipton’s 2014 rearing calf show arena.


However, the Sowrays – brothers Peter, Paul and Shaun  - still had a good day, with show judge Tony Binns, of Clint, Harrogate, awarding them the reserve championship for their first prize British Blue bull calf, sold for £540, top price in class, again to Vickers and Richardson, who also paid £500 and £450 for two further top-notch Blue bull calves from the Sowrays, among them the second prize winner.


The Sowrays were also responsible for the first prize Continental male stirk, as well as the third prize British Blue-cross heifer.


It was a good show of calves, with a particularly strong entry of Continentals. British Blue heifers were notably well supported, with a number of people looking for calves to grow into their suckler herds. British Blue-cross bull calves averaged £375 per head.


N Shaw & Sons, of Huddersfield, picked up first and second place for their Limousin bull calves, which produced a breed average of £294 per head and a top price of £305 for an entry from JC&DJ Marshall, of West End, this again falling to Robert Foster, who also paid £145 for the top-priced Aberdeen Angus bull calf from S Nuttall, of Blackburn.


Black and white bulls averaged £51.31 per head, with M Ryder & Sons, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, acheiving £105 with their first prize winner, yet another Robert Foster acquisition.


British Blue-cross heifers averaged £345 per head, while Limousin-cross heifers from RL Wright & Sons, of Airton, peaked at £310 for an entry sold to B&LN Dibb, of Otley. Aberdeen Angus heifer calves averaged £150, with top price of £170 scooped by local vendor Brian Moorhouse, of Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, again selling to B&LN Dibb.


The show was sponsored by Forfarmers, formerly BOCM Pauls, the regular sponsors for Skipton’s calf shows.