Feeders out in force at Skipton festive store cattle highlight The annual Christmas store cattle shows at Skipton Auction Mart attracted a plentiful turnout for the time of year of 394 head, which were sold at a packed ringside, with most classes easily cleared to a fast-selling trade, as feeders sought to keep their sheds full over the festive period. All prize winners easily made into four figures.

A total of 177 young feeding bulls were entered for sale at the fortnightly fixture, with first prize in the show class falling to a pure-bred 11-month-old British Blue from Ulverston’s Ian Richardson, who runs his Quarry Bank pedigree herd at the Cumbrian farm of the same name.


His 13-year-old son Richard, a pupil at Dowdales Secondary School in Dalton, also played a big part in preparing the victor, by the Norbreck Genetics’ Empire son Boherard Cantona, out of a pure Blue cow.


The red rosette winner also proved the standout performer in the sales ring when knocked down for the day’s top call of £1,530 to regular Skipton buyer, York farmer and butcher Anthony Swales, who will now fully mature the beef in readiness for the Christmas trade at his Knavesmire Butchers shop in the city’s Albermarle Road. Some first-rate beef roasts and other prime cuts are in prospect.


The top price pen of three Limousin from J&K Harker, of Lofthouse, each sold at £1,110 to R Hills, of Bardsey, Leeds. Young bulls sold to an overall Continental-cross average of £859 per head, with a native average £705.


Over 200 head of store bullocks and heifers were put before the auctioneer, with strong entries especially well sought after, while good commercial heifers rising a year old found plenty of favour at the ringside.


The first prize bullock was presented by Hebden Bridge’s Steven Horsfield. The home-bred was sired by a bull acquired locally from Cragg Vale’s George Sunderland, out of a Blonde-cross cow, and sold for £1,080 to the show judge, Alan Coates, of Ribchester. Ian Rawlinson again stepped up with the class runner-up, which made £1,180 when joining J Hargreaves, of Walton-le-Dale.


Peter and Edward Fox, of Clitheroe, headed the section prices with a £1,300 Limousin-cross sold to Thirsk’s John Matten, who judged the young bull show class, while I&D Whiteley, of Soyland, Halifax presented the top price pen of three Charolais bullocks, which fell at £1,140 each when also falling to Mr Coates. The Continental-cross average was £1,024, and native average a straight £1,000.


Sheila Mason, who runs the Keasden Head pedigree herd in Clapham, came forward with the first prize heifer, a 15-month-old pure British Blue by the herd’s renowned stock bull, Bringlee Campbell, acquired from his Shropshire breeder Graham Brindley. Out of a home-bred cow, the red rosette holder headed the class selling prices at £1,400 when falling to showman DS Townend, of Malton.


J Townson, of Whalley, produced the top price pen of three Simmental heifers, sold at £1,055 per head to Stephen Eastwood in Emley, Huddersfield. Store heifers sold to a Continental-cross average of £930, with a native mean of £716.


Young bulls were judged by Thirsk’s Rob Matten, heifers and bullocks by Alan Coates, of Ribchester. Full show results, selling prices and averages are at Skipton’s final pre-Christmas fortnightly store cattle is on Wednesday, December 17.