Hartley family Blue bull calf champion at CCM Skipton Christmas showcase Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas show season began with the seasonal rearing calf highlight, the 134 dairy-bred youngsters, the highest entry all year, achieving 100% clearance and producing flying trade for all classes. (Mon, Nov 25)

British Blue-cross calves again dominated both in the show arena and on price, with the first prize Blue-cross bullock consigned by Alan Middleton, who trades under the family partnership of JP&KE Hartley at Lane House Farm, Beamsley, tapped out as overall champion by show judge and regular Skipton calf buyer, Graham Stainthorp, of West Tanfield, Ripon.
The adjudicator then transferred his interest to the ringside when paying top call of £450 for his chosen champion, by the Genus sire, Hero, and the fourth calf of a home-bred Holstein Friesian cow. It was his fourth title-winning acquisition of the year at Skipton’s six seasonal calf shows.
The Hartleys, who run a commercial dairy herd comprising around 100 cows – they are regular buyers of both pedigree and commercial milk cattle at Skipton - were also winning their third calf championship of the year at their local auction mart.
Mr Stainthorp took home five calves in total, also going to £410 for his chosen reserve champion, the second prize Blue-cross bullock from another regular Skipton calf vendor, Joss Lancaster, who runs a 420-strong dairy herd at Paradise Farm, Horton-in-Craven. The overall runner-up was by the Cogent sire, Hitman.
A tremendous run of calves from regular vendors were in solid demand, with 21 active buyers, some new faces among them, from near and far at the ringside, including the north-east, Humberside, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire.
A total of 41 Blue-cross bull calves sold to an overall average of £323.54 per head, while Blue heifers also produced the best trade seen for quite some time when averaging £242 each. They peaked at £360 for an entry from last year’s Christmas calf show champion, seventh generation commercial dairy farmer Marcus Chadwick, who trades as Chadwick and Leaver at Southfield, near Burnley. It fell to James Hunt, a first-time buyer from Lincolnshire.
The two Limousin show classes were both won by JC&DJ Marshall & Sons, of West End, who also stepped up with the first prize black and white bull calf, which headed the section prices at £135, the overall average being a very respectable £60.76 per head.
Limousin bull calves sold to a top of £365 for an entry from Town Head Farm Products in Grassington, heifers peaking at £335 for the second prize winner from G Pickersgill & Sons, of Guiseley. The overall Continental-cross average was £286.
Native bulls and heifers also sold to a wide audience, averaging £174 overall. Four Aberdeen-Angus bulls sold to joint highs of £290, with heifers peaking at £270 for the first prize winner from Eshton’s James Wellock.