Housemans home in on another Skipton rearing calf title Another top-notch youngster from the Houseman dairy farming family’s Senterprise pedigree Holstein Friesian herd at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, was crowned champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest rearing calf show and sale. (Monday, June 25) Trading as Church Farm Enterprises, the Housemans, who run a 350-strong dairy herd, with 300 currently in milk, secured the title with their first prize British Blue-cross bull calf, shown by regular consignee Fred Houseman.

Their six-week-old calf show victor is by the Genus dairy bull, Brooklands Dev, used to great effect by the Housemans and also responsible for past Skipton champions and prize winners. They have purchased close on 1,000 straws from the highly regarded sire and still retain some for further use.
Out of a Holstein cow, the pre-sale champion was picked out by show judge, Tony Binns, of Clint, Harrogate, and later claimed by him in the sale ring for £435, joint second highest price of the day.
With another solid consignment of Blue-cross calves, Church Farm Enterprises made a clean sweep of the prizes in bulls show class, also picking up second and third prize rosettes with their heifers.  Blue bulls met a strong trade, all hitting £400 and over, and averaging £417.22 per head.
Standing reserve champion was the first prize Blue-cross heifer calf from the Sowray dairy farming brothers, of Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton. Their five-week-old daughter of the Norbreck Genetics’ dairy bull, Agile De La Praule, was knocked down for top call of £460 to brothers Malcolm and Stephen Abbott, of Ings Farm, Dacre.
The Sowrays, multiple past rearing calf champions at Skipton, were also responsible for the first prize Aberdeen-Angus bull calf, a five- week-old which made a native section top of £305 on joining Robert Foster in Wetherby.
Angus bull calves were in ready demand, averaging £250 per head right through, with heifer calves peaking at £215 for the first prize winner, another Angus from Malcolm Fewster, of Cleckheaton. Native calves sold to an overall average of £189 per head.
Back with the Continentals, the first prize Limousin-cross heifer from Richard Wood, of Cross Roads, Keighley, made £250, though it was the second prize winner from Craig Stephenson, of Kirkby Lonsdale, that headed the class prices at £330 when claimed by a new buyer from South Yorkshire, Doncaster’s Amy Platt. The overall Continental-cross average was £364 per head.
James Gooch, of Cononley, who became the second vendor to achieve £435 with a Blue-cross bull calf, again claimed by Robert Foster, also sent out the first prize black and white bull calf, a Norwegian Red which made £105.
Black and whites met a straight trade, with the better end of the bulls selling from £90 up to a top £140, this one from Jim Caygill, of Rylstone. The overall breed average was £73.43 per head.
Rearing calves continue to prove in strong demand at Skipton, with more always required at weekly Monday morning sales. The next show day is on August 20.