Lancaster family champions at CCM Skipton Christmas carcase showcase with first-ever entry Cropper Family Butchers bags both champion and reserve The Lancaster sheep farming family - husband and wife, Ian and Mary, and son. Richard – won the supreme championship with their first-ever entry in the annual lamb carcase competition staged as part of Skipton Auction Mart’s 12th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales. (Sun, December 1)

The Lancasters, of Coldcotes Farm, Wiswell, near Clitheroe, secured the title with a red-rosette winning Beltex-cross lamb with a live weight of 34kg, dead weight 21.5kg, killing out percentage of 63.2% and AHDB grading of E3L.
The victor was by a home-bred shearling ram, itself by a ram from Andrew John Wood, who runs the Withy Trees Beltex flock near Preston. The same breeding was also responsible for the same day’s supreme champion live lambs from the prolific Lancasters, a prestigious title the family was winning for the second year in succession.
The supreme champion carcase went on to top the selling prices when claimed for £310 by show judge Clare Cropper, who with her father George runs Cropper Family Butchers in their recently opened new shop in Blackburn Road, Accrington
The reserve champion carcase, another red-rosette winning Beltex-cross, was presented by Bolton Abbey father and son, Chris and Tom Heseltine. The home-bred gimmer lamb, by a Scottish-bred Woodies tup, out of a home-bred ewe, had a live weight of 37kg, dead weight 20.1kg, killing out percentage 54.3% and AHDB grading of E2.
It sold for second top call of £180 to George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden, with the same buyer also going to £132 to claim another Heseltine first prize Beltex carcase with a live weight of 42kg, dead weight 21.9 kg, killing out 52.1% and E3L grading.
The native show class was won by a Suffolk carcase from Ian Bell, of Carleton, with a live weight of 46kg, dead weight 27.2kg, killing out 59.1%, U3H grading. It sold to a private buyer, Paul Harrison, from Tollerton.
The Swaledale show class fell to JW Stockdale & Sons, from Burnsall, with a carcase with a live weight of 41kg, dead weight 17.5kg, killing out 42.6%, O3L grading. It was bought by Parkin Family Butchers in Howden, Goole.
The Dalesbred show class once again fell to David Wilson, of JM Wilson & Sons in Beckwithsaw. With a live weight of 48kg, dead weight 25.4kg, killing out 52.9% and R4L grading, like last year’s class victor it was again claimed by Skipton-based Swaledale Foods for £84.
The Wilsons also won a special prize from Masham Sheepbreeders for a third prize-winning carcase with a live weight of 45kg, dead weight 23.1kg, killing out 51.3% and R3H grading. The buyer was Hutchinsons Butchers, of Ripley, Harrogate. Special prizes were also presented by the Northern Beltex Club, Northern Area Texel Sheepbreeders and the Dalesbred Asspciation.
The majority of the 39 lamb carcases were Beltex, with a good selection of natives, though more horned lambs could have been sold with buyers interested in these sorts just as much. The impressive turnout sold to an overall average of £110.41.
Other retail buyers of prize-winning lambs, many selling into three figures, included Featherstone Butchers in Howden, Goole, Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, Knavesmire Butchers, of York.

As in past years, all lambs had first been delivered to the mart and weighed live, before slaughter at John Penny and Sons in Rawdon, returning to the Barkers Yorkshire Butchers-run meat processing plant at the mart, which also sponsored the competition.
The fixture again presented an ideal opportunity for, primarily, regional butchers, hotels, restaurants and pubs to purchase award-winning carcases for display and sale in the run up to Christmas.