Sutton’s David Smith champion at Skipton rearing calf highlight Summer show attracts bumper 187-strong turnout South Craven dairy farmer David Smith was supreme champion at the Skipton Auction Mart’s summer rearing calf show. (Mon, Aug 17) Mr Smith, who runs his Holstein Friesian commercial dairy herd at Bent Farm, Sutton-in-Craven, last won the Skipton calf championship in March, 2013, and, more than two years on, repeated the feat at the latest renewal when his first prize British Blue-cross bull calf was awarded the overall title by judge Richard Ogg, of Scunthorpe.

The youngster is a home-bred son of the renowned Cogent sire, Auchenlay Echo, out of a Friesian cow, and sold for £650 to Vickers & Richardson in Scarborough.

Mr Smith was joined in the limelight by his eight-year-old son John, a pupil at Lothersdale Primary School, who is already proving his worth on the family farm. “He knows every single cow we have,” said Mr Smith.

The reserve championship fell to the first prize British Blue-cross heifer calf from multiple past Skipton champions, brothers Peter, Paul and Shaun Sowray, of Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton.

This, too, was by a Cogent sire, Maidenlands Force, much to the delight of Cogent’s breeding advisor Barry Lawson, whose firm sponsored both the Blue bull and heifer calf show classes. The reserve chamnpion sold for the day’s top price of £660, again to Vickers & Richardson.

The Sowrays were also responsible for second and third prize Blue-cross bull calves, which made £615 and £510 respectively, along with the first prize Continental bull stirk, a Charolais-cross sold for £525.

There was a bumper turnout of 187 calves, the highest in recent times, with a good number of new vendors also in evidence and seeking to take advantage of the good trade seen at Skipton of late.

Fred and Mark Houseman, who trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, were again among the prizes when presenting the second prize Blue-cross heifer calf, which sold for £510 to Julie Stephenson, of Thornton, Bradford, the second prize native heifer calf, an Aberdeen Angus which made £245 when joining Tony Binns in Clint, Harrogate, and the second prize black and white bull calf, sold for £250 to Driffield’s Simon Thompson.

The Housemans were also represented with a strong run of Blue-cross bull calves, six of which sold into the £500s and to a high of £570. James Fortune, of Tosside, also caught to eye when selling a Blue-cross heifer calf at £600 to the show judge.

Chris Harrison, of Elslack, picked up two red rosettes with Limousin and Aberdeen Angus-cross bull calves, which sold away at £455 and £230 respectively. The former joined Tom Watson in Sawley.

Starbotton’s Richard Close presented the first prize Limousin heifer calf, sold locally for £300, top price in class, to Gargrave’s Paul Drinkall, with Sutton-in-Craven’s Richard Spence stepping forward with the first prize native heifer calf, an Aberdeen Angus which made a class-topping £300. JP&KE Hartley, of Bolton Abbey, claimed first prize in the black and white bull calf show class, their Holstein/Friesian selling for a price- topping £260

British Blues averaged £442 for bulls and £401 for heifers, with an overall selling average of £390.93 for all Continental entries on the day. They had an average age of exactly 42 days. Native breeds also sold well, with a run of some fine Herefords, out of MRIs, reaching £370 and averaging just over £300. The overall native average was £257.56 per head.

Black and whites averaged £108.22 per head, with good calves making £120-£150 and beyond. The average age here was 31 days.