Roles reversed at latest Craven Dairy Auction Principal honours were reversed at the second March Craven Dairy Auction show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart, on Monday, March 26, when Mark Smith, of Rookery Farm, Winterburn, won the championship and the Lawson family, from Mill Farm, Arthington, the reserve championship.

Commercial dairy farmer Mr Smith, reserve champion at the opening monthly show a fortnight earlier, stepped up to take the latest title with his first prize newly calven heifer, by Aireburn Snowman, acquired from Bell Busk breeders Brian and Judith Moorhouse. Fifteen days calved and giving 32kg, the victor sold for top call of £2,000 to John Howard, of Heslaker Farm, Skipton.

Defending champions, father and daughter, David and Suzy Lawson, who run the Newbirks pedigree Holstein Friesian herd, had to settle for reserve billing this time around with their first prize newly calven cow, Newbirks Blueblood 911, by Larcrest Cancun. The 14 days calved 39kg second calver made £1,780 when joining Brian Blezard of Richester.

The Lawsons were also responsible for the second prize newly calven heifer, Newbirks Silver Heliotrope 382, by Seagull-Bay Silver. Ten days calved and giving 31kg, she sold for second top price of £1,950 to Ken Throup, of Woofa Bank Farm, Silsden Moor.

Peter Baul, who trades as M Baul & Partners in Bishop Thornton, presented the third prize newly calven heifer, claimed by James Goulding of Otley for £1,750, while the Moorhouses were themselves among the rosettes with the second prize newly calven cow, knocked down at £1,720 again to Brian Blezard of Ribchester.

Show judge was Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock. Despite being light on numbers, a handy contingent of buyers was ringside for the seven milkers on offer. Newly calven heifers averaged £1,725.80 per head and newly calven cows £1,750.

Rearing calves sell to £455
The same day’s weekly rearing calf sale attracted a turnout of 50 youngsters, which met a healthy trade for stronger types, with the Moon family in Wigglesworth leading the way with a £455 British Blue-cross bull calf.

The Pickersgill brothers, from Hawksworth, arrived with a strong packet of Limousin bull calves, which sold to a top of £420. The overall Continental-cross selling average was £312 per head, with native entries averaging £189 and black and whites seeing a healthy average for the types on offer of £60.91.

A large consignment of calves is anticipated for the Easter show and sale this coming Monday, April 2.