Ravensgate Mars sparkles to bag Craven Dairy Auction title Peter Baul, who trades as M Baul & Partners and runs the Ravensgate pedigree Holstein herd at Watergate Farm, Bishop Thornton, picked up his first Craven Dairy Auction championship of 2018 at the late May show. (Monday, May 28).

Mt Baul, who milks over 180 cows at home, secured the title with his newly calven heifer, Ravensgate Mars Sparkle 265, who hails from a long-established family of milkers – its roots go back to when the Bauls first took over the farm in 1947.
By the Genus sire, Ballycairn Mascol Mars, out of Ravensgate Jackbeck Sparke 147. The 20 days-calved 28-litre heifer sold for joint top price of £1,720 to Alan Middleton, who trades as JP&KE Hartley in Beamsley.
Show co-judges, brothers Malcolm and Stephen Abbott, from Dacre awarded the reserve championship to a home-bred third calver cow from third generation commercial dairyman, Ian Parkinson, of Holme House Farm, Barden.
By another well-known Genus sire, Garrison, Mr Parkinson, who currently has 65 cows in milk, saw the overall runner-up also sell for £1,720 joint top to the Critchley family, from Hutton, near Preston, familiar faces in Skipton’s prime cattle show and sale arena.
Also catching the eye at £1,300 was a sixth calver from David Fort, of Glusburn, claimed by Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock. Newly calven cows averaged £1,510. National Milk Records again sponsored.
Solid rearing calf trade
The same morning’s weekly rearing calf sale produced solid trade for another healthy entry of 56 head, with heady prices to match, top call of £450 again falling to Fred Houseman, of Church Farm Enterprises, Burton Leonard, with a British Blue-cross bull calf. Blue bulls averaged £415 per head, with ten calves selling over the average.
A tremendous run of three to four-week-old Limousin heifer calves from Craig Stephenson, of Kirkby Lonsdale, topped at £400 and were highly sought after by both feeding and breeding farmers. The overall Continental-cross average was £382.35.
Native calf prices hit £300 twice for a brace of three to four-week-old Aberdeen-Angus bull calves from Bramhope’s Michael Heron, with John Rushton, from Elslack, producing the top price £265 heifer calf, another Angus. The native average was £255.50.
A quality turnout of black and white youngsters was matched by strong demand, bull calves averaging £157 per head and peaking at £210 for an entry from Stephen Marshall, of West End.