Bordley’s John Stephenson retains prime cattle championship at CCM Skipton Christmas highlight
Title winner claimed by Bacup butcher co-judge
Dales farmer John Stephenson, of Bordley Green Farm, Bordley, was crowned supreme champion for the second year running at Skipton Auction Mart’s 12th annual Christmas prime cattle show and sale. (Sun, Dec 1)
Mr Stephenson secured a repeat championship success with a home-bred British Blue-cross heifer, like his 2018 title winner by the well utilised stock bull, Tanat Harlequin, acquired eight years ago from North Wales.
The winner of the young handlers show class in the hands of Mr Stephenson’s son, also John, had also competed successfully on this year’s summer show circuit, standing second at Countryside Live.
Out of a Blue-x-Parthenais cow, the 2019 female and overall supreme caught the eye of co-judge, Red Rose retail butcher Phil Gregory, who later snapped up the 535kg heifer for a sale-topping 550p/kg, or £2,943, for his DA Gregory & Sons Butchers shop in Bacup. It was also the highest price home-bred entry.
In addition, Mr Gregory paid 310p/kg, or £1.581, for a third prize 510kg Blue-cross heifer from the Critchley family in Hutton, Preston, plus, in the un-haltered section, a first prize-winning 590kg Limousin-cross steer again from the Stephensons at 245p/kg or £1,445.
Another good day for the Stephenson family at the festive highlight saw them win two further show classes for overweight steers and heifers with further Blue-cross entries by Tattan Harlequin.
The former, a 620kg steer, also reserve male champion, and the latter, a 650kg heifer, both fell to the other co-judge, livestock buyer Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate, at 240p/kg, or £1,488, and 290p/kg, or £1,885, purchasing on behalf of Thompson Wholesale Meats in Witton Le Wear, Bishop Auckland.
Overall reserve champion was the second prize winner in the young handlers show class and female reserve champion from the Jowett family, of Lower West Scholes Farm, Queensbury – husband and wife Stephen and Nicola, their daughter Kelly and her own daughter Fiona, who showed the 600kg Limousin-cross heifer.
By a bull bred by Sheila Mason’s North Craven Keasden Head herd, the heifer again joined multiple buyer Andrew Atkinson for 300p/kg, or £1,800, who also paid 259p/kg, or £1,541,for another red rosette-winning 595kg Blue-cross heifer, and 238p/kg, or £1,547, for a further second prize 650kg overweight steer, both from the same home.
To cap a good day, the Jowetts, who have a pedigree Limousin herd and also breed Charolais-x-Saler cows, finished runners-up with a further 550kg Limousin-cross heifer, which became one of multiple prize-winning purchases at 262p/kg, or £1.441, by regular Skipton buyer Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster Leisure Park.
Mr Beecroft took home a total of eight cattle, which also included the first and second prize any other breed continental heifers, the former a 550kg Blue-cross at 325p/kg, or £1,755, from the Critchley family in Hutton, Preston, also recipient of the Dick Binns Trophy, awarded annually in memory of the late West Yorkshire retail butcher.
The second prize purchase was a 550kg Pathernais-cross again from John Stephenson, at 275p/kg, or £1,512, while a further Countrystyle buy at 272p/kg, or £1,469, was the second prize 540kg steer, this too from the Critchleys,
The male champion was consigned by former Skipton Christmas supreme cattle champions, Clare Cropper and John Mellin, who farm locally in Long Preston. Their first prize 535kg Blue-cross steer sold for 330p/kg, or £1,765, to Anthony Swales for his Knavesmire Butchers in York.
From the same home came the first prize 455kg Limousin-cross heifer, a home-bred out of a former Cropper and Mellin show heifer by their main stock bull, Procters Jack Frost. It fell to Hutchinson Butchers in Ripley, Harrogate, for 300p/kg, or £1,365.
Winner of another show class for Limousin-cross steers was Rosie Foster, of Hesketh Bank, Preston, with a 520kg entry sold for 254p/kg, or £1,320, while standing second was J Nutter, of Fence, with a 520kg steer that made 253p/kg, or £1,379. Both fell to regular weekly buyer James Robertshaw, the first prize winner for Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton, the runner-up for his own Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton.
Mr Robertshaw purchased 14 cattle in total, eight for himself and six for Keelham, many of which won rosettes. A notable acquisition for Robertshaws was the un-haltered champion, a home-bred 510kg British Blue-cross heifer from Elslack’s Jim and Christine Scrivin, of Park House Farm, at 282p/kg, or £1,438.
He also claimed the un-haltered reserve champion for Keelham, this a 555kg Limousin-cross heifer consigned by Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching for 272p/kg, or £1,510.
Other prize-winning acquisitions for both businesses included the second prize 610kg Blue-cross steer, again from the Scrivin family, at 238p/kg, or £1,452, and, from the same home, a third prize 580kg Blue-cross heifer at 248p/kg, or £1,438.
The remaining haltered show class for native breeds was won by Skipton’s Geoff and Margaret Lawn with a 520kg Aberdeen-Angus heifer sold for 250p/kg, or £1,300, to George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden. He also claimed the same day’s supreme champion prime lambs for the second year running.
Back in the un-haltered classes, Simon Barker, of Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, which is based at the auction mart, claimed three rosette winners, including the first prize any other breed steer, a 590kg Blue-cross heifer from Wendy Stamper, of Chipping, at 225p/kg, or £1,327, plus two other second prize winners from the Kitching brothers, a 555kg Limousin-cross heifer at 264p/kg, or £1,465, and another 565kg heifer at 240p/kg, or £1,356.
Once again the festive fixture attracted a quality entry of 48 show cattle, which were in high demand by independent family-run retail butchers and wholesalers keen to source top quality beef for their customers’ Christmas tables. The annual highlight was supported by multiple sponsors, with NFU Mutual in Skipton the mainline sponsor.