Bellas Beef Shorthorn bull makes history at Skipton A home-bred pedigree Beef Shorthorn bull from Cumbria made history when becoming the first-ever champion at a brand-new pedigree native cattle show and sale staged at Skipton Auction Mart. (Wed, May 4) It came from the Croftends herd of Jonty Bellas, based at the farm of the same name at Appleby-in-Westmoreland. His two-year-old Croftends Harry first won its show class, before progressing to becoming first male, then overall champion at the inaugural fixture.

The victor’s sire is Lowther Diamond, bred by Charles Lowther on the Lowther Estate, near Penrith, and acquired three years ago by Mr Bellas, while the dam is the home-bred Croftends Cathy, who lifted the breed championship at last year’s Westmoreland Show. Harry is her first calf – she is now carrying her third.

The Croftends herd was established in 2006 and now comprises 25 cows with a further ten heifers newly calved. Jonty Bellas is the grandson of the founder, Eddie Bellas, whose own son Andrew is still involved in the family farm at the age of 70.

While the title winner returned home, top call in the Aberdeen Angus bulls section at 1,350gns (£1,417) fell to a 2015-born Aberdeen Angus from local breeders Geoff and Margaret Lawn’s Crook Rise herd at None-Go-Bye Farm, Skipton.

Runner-up in his show class, Crook Rise Walter, by Rawburn Master Plan, out of the home-bred Crook Rise Willa, found a new home with Wallbank Farms, of Tills Farm, Abbeystead, in the Forest of Bowland.

The Wallbanks – husband and wife David and Eileen and their son Alan – are dairy farmers, running the Tillbank pedigree Holstein Friesian herd, which numbers 700-strong, including 330 milkers.

They were seeking a young bull with potential to put to some of their maiden heifers to produce Angus-cross rearing calves. In fact, the fixture attracted a notable attendance of dairy producers looking for easy calving bulls and more bulls ready for work could have changed hands.

The Lawns, who farm some 250 Aberdeen Angus-cross cattle, also made a clean sweep of the prizes in the 2014-born senior heifer show class, with their red rosette winner, the April-born maiden Crook Rise Petra, progressing to become female champion and overall reserve champion. Sired by the Irish bull Bohey Corporal, she sold to Wharfedale’s Brian Church, of Askwith, for 1,400gns (£1,470).

Back with the bulls, Chris Weston, of Weston & Co, who run the Capple pedigree Hereford herd at Cappleside House, Rathmell, produced the March, 2014-born Bull Capple 1 Christopher, by Barbern 1 Enoch, out of the home-bred Capple Prunella 7th, which sold locally to Hellifield’s Roger Dakin for 1,200gns (£1,260).

In the show class for Hereford bulls, David Hanson, who runs the Hanson pedigree herd with his father Dennis at Bay View Farm, Flixton, Scarborough, took first and third prizes. The red rosette winner, also reserve male champion, was Hanson 1 Maxum, by Romany 1 Judge, acquired from Kelso’s Robert Wilson, out of the home-bred Hanson 1 Laura. It made 1,700gns and became the top-priced bull when joining John Marshall in Dacre, Harrogate.

The same sire was also responsible for the Hansons’ third prize winner, the December, 2014-born Hanson 1 Magnum, which returned home

The Hansons established their pedigree herd in 2007 with cows acquired from well-known Herefordshire breeder Gerald Blandford’s Bosa herd. Their own herd, which was a third prize winner in the North of England Hereford Cattle Society’s latest large herd competition, now comprises 55 pedigree cows, plus followers.

Reserve female champion was the first prize junior heifer, a 12-month-old Aberdeen Angus from the Buckhurst pedigree herd of Red Rose breeder J Walsh, of Buckhurst Farm, Bury. Buckhurst Elba was sired by Blelack Entertainer, whose own sire is out of the record 32,000gns Blelack Eyrie, bred in Dinnet, Aberdeenshire, by Graeme and Hayley Massie. Elba will find another opportunity in the sale ring.

The first prize Aberdeen Angus bull was a local entry from Ken and Lynne Throup, who farm at Woofa Bank, Silsden Moor, with their sons Ian and Martin. Their May, 2013-born Ickornshaw Prince Jeff was bred in nearby Cowling by Julie Metcalfe, out of her Ickornshaw Pretty Jools and by the Lawn family’s Crook Rise Jerk Eric.

The Throups’ only Angus bull has been used to sire black and white heifers. He sold for 1,050gns (£1,102) to Stephen Eastwood, of Emley, Huddersfield.

Show judges were George Redpath, of Dacre, John Kemp, of Bishop Auckland, and Ilkley’s Penny Paisley.

The inaugural pedigree show and sale, which attracted a small, but select entry of 20 head of cattle, was supported by another new sale for native-sired store and feeding cattle, among them 108 bullocks and heifers, providing an opportunity for finishers to buy cattle for turnout to grass.

A nice mix of strong cattle and yearlings for grazing were presented to a full ringside of buyers, when strong trade resulted in total clearance. John Smith, of Carleton, led the sale at £1,025 and £1,010 for two pairs of Angus heifers, with other stronger and older cattle generally reaching £900-plus.

Of the yearlings, local breeders John and Alison Spensley, of Thorlby, made £915 to £945 with their 12-month-old Angus bullocks, while Craven Cattle Marts yardman David Boothman, of Halton East, achieved £900 with a brace of 13-month-old Hereford heifers.

Stephen Wallbank, of Slaidburn, produced a pair of 12-month-old Angus bullocks that each sold at £845, while Peter and John Henfrey, of Hebden, made £820 each with their pen of five one-year-old Angus bullocks.

The pick of the commercial breeding cattle was a five-year-old Shorthorn cow with bull calf at foot from Michael Daggett, of Burnsall, which made £1,210 on joining JG Leach, of Wilsden, a multiple suckler buyer on the day.

Store bullocks sold to an overall average of £720 per head, while store heifers averaged £648 overall.