Sowray calf sets new £780 record price at Skipton A new all-time high mart record price of £780 for a rearing calf was paid for the supreme champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Spring show and sale. (Mon, March 21) It fell to the first prize British Blue-cross bull calf from the Sowray dairy farming family – brothers Shaun, Peter and Paul - from Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton. By the Cogent sire, Dinmore Gaultier, which the Sowrays have only recently starting using, the 37-day-old title winner attracted spirited bidding at a packed ringside before joining Lynne Vickers, of Scarborough.

It was the second highest price they had ever achieved for one of their calves, an outcome also warmly welcomed by Cogent, who again sponsored the British Blue show classes.

In fact, the Sowray family stole the show with their Blues at the latest renewal, also taking the reserve championship with the second prize bull calf, by the Genus sire Fleuron, which became another Lynne Vickers acquisition at £620.

She is a regular buyer of first-rate show calves at Skipton, among them many from the Sowray brothers, multiple past champions and regular prize winners at the North Yorkshire venue.

The Sowrays also secured the second and third highest prices of the day with two further entries, both by the well utilised Norbreck Genetics-Semex dairy bull, Brennand General. They sold for £650 and £640 respectively to the same buyers, the Mason family from Lincolnshire.

The family also presented the first and second prize British Blue-cross heifer calves, the red rosette winner by another Cogent sire, Maidenlands Force, the runner-up again by Brennand General. These sold for £390 and £370 to, respectively, pre-sale show judge Samantha Asquith, of Otley, and George and Pauline Fleetwood, of Mirfield.

For good measure, the Sowrays completed a clean sweep of the prizes in the Blue bull calf show class with their third placed entry selling for £610. They also chipped in with the third prize Limousin bull calf, which sold for £330. Both fell to the Mason family.

Shaun Sowray described the family’s latest offering as “the best group of calves we have ever had.” Their ten entries averaged £508 per head overall.

A superb show of Continental calves met a searing trade, with 10 youngsters achieving over £400.

In the Limousin bull calf show class, Richard Spence, of Sutton-in- Craven, took first prize with an entry that also topped the breed prices at £430. He was closely followed by the runner-up from Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, Otley, at £410, with the same vendor also responsible for the first prize Limousin heifer calf, which made £320.

In the native section, Lincoln Red calves consigned by Nidderdale’s David Brown, of Lofthouse, took first and second prizes in the bull show class, selling at £315 and £295.
Despite a middle of the road show of black and whites calves, these too were also met by a ferocious trade, with anything bright achieving £85 to £108 throughout the sale, the latter for the first prize and top price entry from Alan and Susan Throup, of Silsden Moor.

Rearing calf trade at Skipton shows no sign of letting up and Monday’s show day attracted an entry of 83 youngsters with an average age of 40 days. Continental entries sold to an overall average of £364.26 per head, with natives calves averaging £200.60 and black and whites £85.30.