Bamforth steer supreme champion at Skipton Christmas prime cattle highlight Lincolnshire show judges swoop to secure both their principals Calderdale’s David Bamforth was supreme champion and local breeder John Stephenson, from Bordley, stood reserve supreme champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas prime cattle show and sale, at which leading regional independent retail butchers and meat wholesalers again sourced top quality beef for their customers’ Christmas tables. (Sun, Nov 27)

The title winner, a home-bred 670kg Limousin cross bullock, made the day’s leading price of £2,981.50, or £4.45p/kg, while the 640kg runner-up, a British Blue heifer, sold for £2,035, or £3.18p/kg.

It was an outcome that more than justified the choices of the show judges, Lincolnshire farmers and wholesale butchers, mother and son Miranda and Richard Brown – they trade as L Brown & Son Wholesale Meats at City Abattoir, Crofton Road, Lincoln – who, looking for “some meat for Christmas,” then proceeded to claim both their principals at the ringside on behalf of regular customers.  They bought others too.

Mr Bamforth, of Hoyle Bottom Farm, Wainstalls, landed leading honours with his first prize any other breed steer and male champion, which also won a special prize for the best home-bred animal. The first time-shown 18-month-old son of his main Waindale herd stock bull is out of a pure British Blue cow owned by Mr Bamforth’s wife Lesley.  “I call her Baby Blue and we still have her – she’s a real favourite and has had six or seven lovely calves. I won’t let David sell her!” said Mrs Bamforth.

John Stephenson was lifting reserve supreme honours for the second year in succession, this time with his first prize over 526kg British Blue heifer and female champion. It was the home-bred’s second time out, as the heifer was also second in class at Kilnsey Show this year.

It proved another highly successful outing at the annual highlight for Mr Stephenson, who also sent out the first prize over 526kg British Blue steer and reserve male champion, which was purchased at Skipton in February this year as the first prize 10 to 12-month-old young feeding bull in the hands of breeders, brothers David and Stephen Hollings, of Peckett Well. This, too, joined the Browns at £1,612, or £2.52p/kg.

Reserve female champion was the red rosette-winning any other breed heifer, a 652kg Limousin shown jointly by Janet Sheard, of Almondbury, Huddersfield, and Stephen and Nicola Jowett, of Lower West Scholes Farm, Queensbury.

Acquired from her Pickering breeders, Mark Harriman and Sarah Warriner, the youngster had been paraded with great success on the regional show circuit this summer by the Jowett’s 16-year-old daughter Fiona, becoming champion at Honley, reserve champion at Arthington and third in class at the Great Yorkshire. She was again in charge of the heifer at Skipton when it sold for £1,612, or 258p/kg, to Kendalls Farm Butchers, for its shops in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate.

Fiona, who is studying for a Level 3 in Agriculture at Bishop Burton College, returned to the show ring to take first prize in the young handlers’ competition class with a Blonde d’Aquitaine heifer purchased as a second prize winner at Skipton’s Craven Champions Day highlight in February in the hands of Austwick mother and son, Janet and James Huck.

This, too, has had a great run in the 2016 show arena, standing fourth at the English Winter Fair and fifth at Countryside Live. Fiona’s eight-year-old brother George has also shown the same animal with great success. Also awarded a special prize for the best beast purchased from CCM Skipton, it sold for £1,703, or £2.62p/kg, to Edwards Farm Butchers in Burnley.

The 2015 Christmas prime cattle supreme champions, Clare Cropper and John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston, were again prominent among the prizes at the latest renewal, including a class win in the under 525kg British Blue steer category with an animal bought earlier this year when a prize winner at Skipton. It joined York farmer and butcher Anthony Swales for £1,837, or £3.50p/kg, and will be prepared for customers’ Christmas tables at his Knavesmire Butchers Shop in Albermarle Road.

The duo had further successes with bought-in cattle further improved at home, including a runners-up slot with a 550kg Limousin-cross steer that also fell to Mr Swales, who bought seven cattle in all, for £2,090, or £3.80p/kg.

They followed up with second and third prize wins in the over 525kg British Blue steers class. The former weighed in at 625kg and this too fell to Mr Swales for £2,000, or £3.20p/kg, while the latter, a 600kg entry, sold for £1,674, or £2.79p/kg, to prolific Skipton buyer James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm Shop, who made 11 acquisitions in total for his family-run shops in Skipton and Thornton.

Clare also finished second in the young handlers’ show class with a 635kg British Blue-cross, which also figured among the Keelham purchases at £1,892, or £2.98p/kg.

Willie Timm, of TWH Farming, based at Olive Farm, Easingwold, was another prolific prize winner, landing the native or dairy-bred cattle category with an Angus heifer that had won the same show class the previous year. It returned 12 months later weighing 715kg and became another Anthony Swales buy at £1,823, or £2.55p/kg.

So too did another Timm entry, a 705kg British Blue-cross that finished third in the young handlers show class in the hands of 14-year-old Beth Pickup, of Bolton-by-Bowland. This one made £2,115, or £3.00p/kg.

Mr Timm also claimed a third prize with a 700kg Limousin-cross steer sold at £1,610, or £2.30p/kg, to Baxenden retail butcher Andrew Sanderson, who also made a second acquisition with the runner-up in the under 525kg British Blue heifer class, a 500kg entry from Richard Critchley, of Hutton, Preston. This was knocked down at £1,600, or £3.20p/kg.

Eric Swales, of Fieldhouse Farm, Rawcliffe, Goole, justified the long trip from over near the east coast when picking up the red rosette in the show class for under 525kg British Blue heifers with a 520kg entry bought in March this year and further improved at home. Shown by his son Ian, it returned to near its place of origin when bought for £1,742, or £3.35 per kilo, by Featherstone Butchers in Howden.

A special prize for the best animal from a regular CCM vendor went to the second prize over 526kg British Blue heifer from Jim and Christine Scrivin, who farm with their son Chris at Park House, Elslack. Home-bred by Croftend Gaffer, a bull acquired three years ago from the Bellas herd in Appleby, the heifer weighed in at 650kgs and sold for £1,690, or £2.60p/kg, to Kitsons Butchers, which has three shops in Stockton-on-Tees, Hutton Rudby and Northallerton.

Local breeders Geoff and Margaret Lawn, of Skipton, took both second and third prizes in the native-bred show class with Aberdeen Angus entries. The former, a 535kg heifer, made £1,380, or £2.59p/kg, when also falling to the adjudicators, while the latter, a 550kg steer, sold at £1,430, or £2.60p/kg, to Stanforths Butchers in Skipton.

The 60 prime cattle on parade also included four classes for pen-judged un-haltered steers and heifers to further cater for the many commercial beef producers who support Skipton’s weekly prime cattle sale, but are not able to halter train animals.

Willie Timm claimed the champion’s rosette here with his first prize pure-bred 660kg Limousin heifer, which also fell to Kitsons Butchers at £1,716, or £2.60p/kg, while the reserve champion was the second prize winner in the same class, a 590kg Limousin-cross from regular vendor Ben Townend, of Laneshawbridge. This joined another regular retail butcher buyer, D&A Gregory & Sons Butchers in Bacup, for £1,781, or £3.02p/kg.

Calderdale’s Brian Lund, of Walshaw, was responsible for the red rosette-winning 600kg British Blue steer, which sold for £1,500, or £2.50p/kg, to Cononley’s Robert Wade for New Laithe Farm Butchers in nearby Cross Hills.

The remaining show class for Blue heifers fell to Jimmy Baines, of Trawden, his 405kg charge becoming a further Edwards Farm Butchers buy at £1.397, or £3.45p/kg.