Craven Dairy Auction Christmas coup No4 for Aireburn herd An unprecedented fourth successive Craven Dairy Auction Christmas championship was bagged by local husband and wife, Brian and Judith Moorhouse, who run the multi award-winning Aireburn pedigree Holstein herd at Hesper Farm, Bell Busk. (Monday, November 30)


The past multiple champions and prize winners at their local Skipton Auction Mart clinched yet another festive title with their first prize heifer in milk, Aireburn Crackshot Lou, a two weeks-calved 30kg daughter of the Semex sire, Sandy Valley Crackshot, out of a VG88 Aireburn Zelgadis dam who has seven generations of VG or EX behind her. 

The victor, which retained the Craven Cattle Marts Trophy, sold for £3,000 top call, also the highest price of the year for a black and white milker, when finding pastures new in Calderdale with the Ludendenfoot-based Hitchen family, joining their 200-strong herd at Crib Farm Dairies, from where her milk, along with others, will make its way on to customers’ doorsteps.

The prolific Moorhouses were also responsible for the second prize newly calven heifer, Aireburn Stone Linda, by the Worldwide Sires dairy bull, Stone, out of an Octavian-sired dam. Just a week calved and giving 23 litres, she made £2,150.

A total of nine fresh heifers were forward in the in-milk class, with the third prize winner coming from Geoff and Margaret Booth’s Dowshawdale pedigree herd in Lothersdale. In fact, Dowshawdale Mogul Dilys proved to be the very last dairy heifer to sell from the herd, which has now been fully dispersed. Their final selling price was a solid  £2,350.

Two entries graced the cow in milk show class and winning it, then becoming overall reserve champion, was a third calved non-pedigree from the milky Trusting family of new father and son vendors, Paul and Phillip Dunn, who run the 120-head Newsley pedigree dairy herd in Helmsley and were making their first trip to Skipton with this fortnight calved black cow by a Miresdale sire. Approaching 50kg per day, she made £1,800.

The other in-milk cow, a second calver and the second prize winner from the Walker family in Laycock, Keighley, made £1,620. Of the 14 heifers forward, eight made £2,000 or more, with the 13 sold averaging £2,060. 

Pedigree newly calven heifers themselves averaged £2,221, their commercial counterparts £1,845, with a top of £2,350 from Robert Crisp in Calton. Commercial newly calven cows averaged £1,710, the overall average for the festive highlight coming in at £2,016.

The Christmas show had Cumbrian co-judges in John Harrison and Ernie Wilson, both from Penrith. Sponsors were the mart-based NFU Mutual, National Milk Records and Mulberry Farming Asset Finance. The last dairy sale of 2020 is on Monday, December 14.