Geronimo chief price performer at Skipton pedigree Limousin highlight First time exhibitor lands supreme championship The Tomschoice pedigree Limousin herd of James and Sarah Cooper, based at Hill Top Farm, Dacre, Harrogate, secured top price honours at 5,400gns (£5,670) with a well-proven senior bull on Craven Limousin Day, Skipton Auction Mart’s prestigious annual Spring show and sale of pedigree Limousin bulls and females. (Wed, May 13)

Their December, 2011, Warrenderpark Geronimo, second in its show class and also senior reserve male champion, is by the Coopers’ renowned sire, Kaprico Eravelle, and was only offered for sale because Eravelle has now returned to work at the Tomschoice fold after undertaking stud duties with UK Sires.

His semen has been selling extremely well in both the UK and Ireland, and three of his bulls have also been sold by the Coopers to stud in Ireland – two at the National Cattle Breeding Centre, the other with Dovea Genetics. They were selected primarily because Eravelle is the shortest gestation bull in the Limousin herd book and also in the top 1% of the breed for his 400-day weight gain.

Geronimo was bred by the Coopers’ 29-year-old daughter, Laura, who runs her own Warrenderpark Limousin herd, named after the road she lived on while at student in Edinburgh! Her parents bought the bull for use while Eravelle was at stud.

Geronimo’s dam, the home-bred Sarkley Topknot daughter, Tomschoice Bramble, was Laura’s first cow when she first established her herd in 2007. Four Bramble bull calves have since averaged over 4,000gns.

The Skipton top price performer, which exactly matched last year’s leading price, was knocked down to commercial Limousin breeder Chris Metcalfe, of Leighton Hall Farm, Healey, Masham, who bought Geronimo purposely to replace another well-proven Cooper sire, Tomschoice Atlas, used successfully by the Metcalfes for some eight years – and still performing with credit on another small local herd.

“We know James Cooper well. We are 1,000ft up and needed a strong bull ready to go straight out and get on with his job,” said Mr Metcalfe. Geronimo will do just that on his 90-strong herd, predominantly Limousin and Limousin-cross.

On its first-ever appearance at Skipton’s premier breed highlight of the year, the Redland pedigree Limousin herd of Mark and Helen Lewis, which recently relocated to North Yorkshire, made an immediate impact when securing the supreme championship with their first prize older intermediate bull, intermediate male and overall male champion, Redland Illinois.

The Lewis’s, who have moved from Shropshire to Northlands Farm, Hunsingore, midway between Harrogate and York, secured a sparkling debut success with their August, 2013-born title winner, by the herd’s senior stock sire, Eldorado, who, like all their stock bulls, was imported from France.

The dam, the Goldies Valmet daughter Redland Diamante, is said to be one of the best cows in the herd, with great depth of breeding, according to Welshman Mr Lewis. His wife hails from County Durham and the couple were attending their second sale since moving back north.

The title winner sold for 4,440gns to father and son Clive and Richard Booth, who are hobby farmers, running Walton Cross Limousins in Liversedge, West Yorkshire, though their main trade is in the haulage business through ARR Craib Transport, based in Aberdeen, which has a 320-strong fleet of lorries operating nationwide.

The Booths established their Limousin herd four years ago and breed commercial beef cattle. They currently have 20 cows and their new acquisition was put straight to work on the herd the minute he returned home. “He is quality,” said Clive Booth

The reserve supreme championship fell to the first prize senior bull, senior male champion and reserve male champion from the South Lakeland-based Overthwaite pedigree herd of David Harker in Holme, near Carnforth. The two-year-old home-bred Overthwaite Isaac is by Haltcliffe Fencer, an 18,000gns purchase from the Ridley family in 2012.

Isaac is his first bull to be shown by Mr Harker, who also thinks a great deal of the dam, the home-bred Sympa daughter Overthwaite Elite, whose own mother, Carmorn Uanita, was bought as an eight-month-old heifer by the vendor for 6,000gns. The Skipton reserve supreme joined P Nelson, of Shap, for 4,300gns.

From a strong pen of bulls, Mr Harker also did well with his second prize intermediate bull, Overthwaite Iceberg, sired by Haltcliffe Dynamo and out of the well-bred cow, Overthwaite Duchess, which sold locally to the Lund bothers in Litton for 3,400gns.

Ian Handley’s Gunnerfleet herd in Chapel-le-Dale, Ingleton, first established 28 years ago and one of the oldest foundation herds in the country, made a welcome return to the breed highlight for the first time since taking supreme championship honours in 2011 with a strong hand of young home-bred bulls that performed with great credit, including two class wins.

Junior male champion was Gunnerfleet Jamie, a January, 2014-born son of the 32,000gns Dolcorsllwyn Brynmor, from the prolific Lockett line through the home-bred Glenrock Ventura daughter, Gunnerfleet Elocket, whose own great grand dam, Ballyburton Una, produced bulls that grossed 50,000gns in 1995, a great deal of money in those days. Jamie sold to PM&FM Hill, of Ugthorpe, Whitby, for 3,900gns.

The other red rosette winner, Gunnerfleet Intruce, who landed the younger intermediate bull class and progressed to become reserve intermediate male champion, is by the 40,000gns Plumtree Fantastic, acquired by Mr Handley three years ago, and who has always been among the top ten semen sellers.

His first batch of bulls averaged £8,000 and Fantastic was also responsible for this year’s Welsh Winter champion. The dam, Goldies Annie, was purchased for 11,000gns. Intruce sold for 3,700gns to Francis Caton, of Weston, Otley.

The second show class for 2014-born junior bulls was won by the Cumbrian-based Priestley family, of Cracrop Farm, Kirkcambeck, near Brampton, with Brontemoor Junglebook, who progressed to become junior reserve male champion

The March-born son of the French sire Bahut, out of their own Brontemoor Buttonmoon, whose sire, Seaview Upstart, bred Brontemoor heifers 7,500gns, was also on parade at the previous day’s Northern Limousin Extravaganza, where he became both male and overall reserve champion. A day later, he made 4,500gns, second top price in show, when selling to AR&J Alsop & Son, of Dacre

The Priestley family - Michael, Steven and Ruth, and their son Richard – whose Brontemoor pedigree herd was established on the outskirts of Bradford in 1987, were well represented at the fixture with their annual consignment consisting of nine bulls. They sold further entries at 3,300gns, 2,700gns, 2,500gns twice and 2,200gns.

Also catching the eye was one of the second prize junior bulls, the February-born Kingshaugh Groovy son, Lowflan James, from Ian Wilson and Carol Wood, who run their Lowflan pedigree herd at the farm of the same name in Ulverston. He sold for 3,700gns to WH Marston, of Crossgates, Leeds.

The show class for the youngest of the junior bulls was won by the Shuttleworth family, of Fell House, Barbon, Carnforth, with their 12-month-old Barbondale Jimmy, by fellow North Craven breeder Ian Handley’s Gunnerfleet Danny, out of Gunnerfleet Decian. He sold for 1,350gns to Frank Stubbs, of Rathmell.

Also staging their annual production sale at the fixture were local vendors John and Claire Mason, who run the Oddacres pedigree Limousin herd in Embsay, placed first in the large herd section of the North East Limousin Breeders Club 2014 herd competition.

The Masons, who sent out the top price 5,400gns intermediate bull at last year’s corresponding fixture, were again among the prizes at the latest renewal, where their entries once more attracted a good following.

The pick of them on price was their third prize junior bull, the 13-month-old Oddacres Jaguar, sired by Homebyres Dixon and bred from a Saphir cow, Oddacres Adelphi. Jaguar joined D Wallbank, of Oakworth, for 3,400gns. 

The Masons also performed well with their females. Top price at 2,800gns was their five-year-old Domino daughter, Oddacres Fifi, with her Economie-sired heifer calf at foot, which sold to Janet Sheard, whose pedigree Limousin herd is based at Low Common Farm, Almondbury, Huddersfield.

Maiden heifers got away well, with Oddacres again leading the way with their 13-month-old Homebyres Dixon daughter, Oddacres Jasive, which, after winning third prize in her class, became top price in the section at 1,700gns when selling to William Rathmell, of Tong, Bradford.

The Coopers also dominated the female show classes when sending out both the champion and reserve champion. Their title-winning Tomschoice Entente is by Brontemoor Aceofspades, acquired from the Priestley family in 2007 and used successfully for three years, averaging around £4,500 with his bulls, before being sold on to John Swales, who farms near Thirsk.

The dam is the Sarkley Topknot daughter, Tomschoice Bonhomie, and Entente, who is herself in calf to the price-topping Warrenderpark Geronimo, sold well at 2,500gns when joining Lincolnshire-based Blackfriar Limousins in Camloopsville, Norton Disney.

Reserve female champion was the Coopers’ first prize maiden heifer, the 11-month-old Tomschoice Jolly, who is herself a daughter of Tomschoice Bonhomie and full sister to Entente. By Tomshchoice Horace, she sold for 1,550gns to George Cropper in Haslingden, Rossendale.

Bonhomie, who was also offered for sale at Skipton, is in calf again to the Coopers’ 2014 Northern Limousin Extravanganza supreme champion Carwin Icaros. She sold for 1,550gns to J Feather, of Keighley.

The Tomschoice herd was well represented at this year’s pedigree highlight with a 12-strong entry, all females, apart from their top price bull. All sold away well.

The pre-sale show was judged by Peter Kirton, of Bewdley in Worcestershire’s Severn Valley, a former chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society, who also adjudicated at the previous day’s Northern Limousin Extravaganza.

Mr Kirton said the main Limousin show had produced a strong turnout of bulls, with three very good bulls in the final line-up. He described his chosen champion as “a real good-topped square-plated bull.”

This year’s entry of 76 head showed an increase on 2014 and again attracted vendors and buyers from near and far, producing a solid commercial bull trade, with 80% of the entry sold from a turnout that comprised 58% junior bulls. Senior and intermediate bulls ready for work saw a particularly strong trade, while the female section achieved a total clearance.

Chief prices and averages were: Senior Bulls to 5,400gns (av £3,478), Intermediate Bulls to 4,400gns (av £3,015), Junior Bulls to 4,500gns (av £2,378), Maiden Heifers to 1,700gns (av £1,627), Cows In-calf to 2,500gns (av £2,126), Cows with Calves to 2,800gns (av £2,422). Full results and other selling prices are at

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