Sowrays secure Skipton Christmas rearing calf championship hat-trick The Sowray dairy farming family from Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, won their third successive Christmas rearing calf title at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, Dec 1) It capped an excellent year at the North Yorkshire venue for brothers Peter, Paul and Shaun Sowray, who have reigned supreme with their top-notch British Blue-cross bull calves at all but one of the six seasonal highlights, becoming reserve champions at the other.

They landed their latest victory with another first-rate bull calf by the Norbreck Genetics-Semex sire Brennand General and the youngster progressed to secure the day’s leading price of £530 on joining regular east coast buyers Vickers and Richardson, of Scarborough.


In a strong bull calf class, the Sowrays also presented the second prize winner, by the Genus sire Fleuron, which became another Vickers and Richardson acquisition at £440, as did another Sowray bull calf at £430. Blue bull calves averaged £345 overall.


The Sowray brothers are commercial Holstein Friesian men, with some 470 cows currently either being milked or in-calf. They will breed getting on for 500 calves this year, a good proportion of which find their way to Skipton.


The reserve championship fell to the first prize Limousin-cross heifer calf from Sutton-in-Craven’s Richard Spence, who was the only championship winner during the Skipton calf show year. It sold for £350 to Burnley butcher Gordon Edwards


Mr Spence also presented the first prize Limousin-cross bull calf, sold for £300 to Tom Watson in Sawley, with the top-price £410 Limousin-cross bull calf from Mark Smith in Winterburn joining Geoff Throup on Silsden Moor.


Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock headed the heifer calf prices at £410 with his first prize British Blue-cross that joined Mrs J Stephenson in Thornton, Bradford.


Of the native breeds, a Shorthorn-cross bull calf from David Holmes & Son in Castley sold well at £230 to show judge Matthew Dibb, of Otley, who also paid £190 for a same way bred heifer calf from the same vendor.


An Aberdeen Angus bull calf from Earby’s John Bowker made £190 when joining Robert Foster in Wetherby. Black and white bull calf prices peaked at £150 for an entry from Bolton Abbey’s JP&KE Hartley, bought by another Wetherby buyer Dave Grassam. The Hartleys also received £280 for their top price Aberdeen Angus heifer calf, which became a further Matthew Dibb acquisition.


With an entry of 92 calves, Continental-cross youngsters averaged £324, native breed calves £205 and black and white calves £68. ForFarmers, represented by Phil Coleman, again sponsored.