Repeat successes at Skipton Spring young bull showcase Sires with previous winning form at Skipton were again on the mark when responsible for both red rosette performers at the mart’s annual Spring show and sale of young feeding bulls, where all prize winners were by British Blue bulls – and all but one of them fell to York farmer and butcher Anthony Swales. (Wed, March 16)

In the under 10-months show class, James Huck, of Church Farm, Hubberholme, landed the top honour with a home-bred by their Welsh sire, Tanat Herbie, which also produced the Yorkshire Dales farming family’s class winner at Skipton’s February young bull show.

Their latest victor sold for £1,180. The Hucks, who won the same class at the corresponding show last year, also presented the runner-up at the latest renewal, again by Tanat Herbie. It made £1,120. Both prize winners were out of Limousin-cross-Blue cows.

Farming brothers David and Stephen Hollings, of Spinks Hill Farm, Pecket Well, Hebden Bridge, who landed the 10 to 12-month-old young bull show class last month with a home-bred by Littlebank Harry, acquired at Skipton several years ago from Rathmell’s Richard Maudsley, repeated the feat with a same way bred entry out of a Limousin-cross cow. It sold for £1,160.

Stephen Horsfield, of Mytholmroyd, was runner-up in the same class with an entry knocked down for £1,145, with John Fawcett, of Dale Head Farm, Barden, standing third. His charge sold away at £1,100.

All the above were purchased by Mr Swales, who remains a leading buyer of store cattle at the North Yorkshire venue, making a total of 17 acquisitions on the day. As usual, all will be further improved on the family’s Haverland Farm in Melbourne, before some return to the food chain at the family-run Knavesmire Butchers in Albermarle Road, York, for the summer trade. They will start to appear from June onwards.

Third in the under 10-month show class was Jeff Walker, from Brennand Farm, Dunsop Bridge, with a nine-month-old by the family’s renowned Cromwell Fendt. It sold for £1,020 to G Booth & Sons in Doncaster. Show judge was Rob Matten, from Thirsk.

Of the 258 young feeding bulls on offer, a pre-lambing time sale caused a reduction in size and quality as housing is cleared. However, farm-assured nine to 11-month-old Continental bulls aimed to carry the appropriate amount of cover when finished continued to sell well.

The section average was £898 per head for Continental-cross, with native bulls averaging £725. Top call of £1,200 fell to a British Blue-cross from Alan Lodge, of Malham Moor, while the top price pen of three Limousin-cross bulls came from first time Skipton vendor Wilf Baines, of Hewthwaite Farm, Dent. Each made £1,035.

A more mixed show of 385 store cattle met a decent trade, with strong sorts maintaining prices from previous sales.

“Younger cattle made up a larger proportion of the sale and seasonal grazing buyers are beginning to come out looking for cattle before turnout, with young bullocks looking especially good to sell at stages in the sale,” noted Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager Jeremy Eaton.

Store bullocks achieved a Continental-cross selling average of £937 per head, with a native average of £771. Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, led the section with a £1,240 Limousin-cross.

Andrew Fawcett, of Bishop Thornton, also caught the eye with a Limousin-cross at £1,195, a brace of British Blue-cross at £1,190 and £1,185, and three Charolais-cross at £1,170. The top price pen of three Limousin-cross bullocks from Frank Brennand, of Chapel-le-Dale, each achieved £1,180.

The heifer section produced the day’s highest priced store entry of £1,270 for a British Blue-cross again from Andrew Fawcett, who also had the top price £1,190 Charolais-cross. The top price pen of three Charolais-cross heifers from Arthur Ward, of Grantley, each made £970.

The pick of the nine breeding cattle on offer was a £1,350 Hereford cow with Limousin heifer calf at foot from W Lawson, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, while grazing cows sold to a top of £790 for a Limousin from Sutton-in-Craven’s Ivan Thomas.