MARKET REPORT - WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2014 PRESS
Craven Champions Day, Skipton Auction Mart’s annual show and sale of commercial store cattle with future show potential, proved one of the best on record, attracting an increased entry of 65 up-and-coming bullocks and heifers, with all prize winners achieving four-figure selling prices at an overall average of £1,406.81 per head, a marked improvement on the previous year’s £1,240.
The Akrigg family, of Manor Farm, Cray – father
Chris and his three sons Tom, John and Will – once again had a
field day at a fixture that has proved a happy hunting ground for them in past
years when clinching both the male and female championship, with the latter,
the first prize British Blue-sired heifer, progressing to land the supreme
championship, their fourth Craven Champions Day title.
Responsibility for the breeding and preparation of
their latest eight-month-old title winner can be put down to John Akrigg, who
also works as a land agent for rural, commercial and residential property
consultants Windle Beech Winthrop, based at the auction mart.
The victor, shown by John’s brother Tom, is by Dragon
Blues Dennis, a Welsh-bred sire bought purposely for show calf production. Out
of a Limousin-x-British Blue cow, the supreme champion sold for a show-topping
£2,600, well excelling the £1,750 top price achieved by the family with another
British Blue-cross heifer at last year’s corresponding fixture.
The 2014 principal was knocked down to Richard
Sandham, of Town End Farm, Carlton, Yeadon, buying on behalf of his 12-year-old
daughter Holly. The up-and-coming young farmer, a pupil a Guiseley Secondary
School, said she had been saving up to buy what is her first cow.
She now plans to parade her Skipton champion on the
local show circuit, hoping to emulate past leading performers at the fixture,
which have gone on to perform with credit in the agricultural show
arena. The heifer will then be put to the Sandham family’s Limousin stock bull,
hopefully producing future show stock.
The supreme champion became the first recipient of the
Jack Walker Trophy, presented by son Jeff in memory of his late father, who
died last Christmas. He was a familiar face at Skipton Auction Mart, notably
around the cattle sales ring, and the Walker family, from Brennand Farm, Dunsop
Bridge, are also four-times winners of the Craven Champions Day title.
They went close again this year when sending out the
reserve supreme champion, the first prize winner in the young handlers show
class, another top-notch British Blue-sired heifer shown by 19-year-old Rob
A well-bred daughter of the Walkers’ own Bluegrass
Cyclone, who was also responsible for Clitheroe-based Ian Townson’s 2013 Craven
Champions Day title winner, the reserve champion, out of a British Blue-cross
cow, sold for £1,500 to the Turnbull farming family in Coxwold, near York, one
of whom, Annie Turnbull, co-judged the show with pedigree Blonde breeder Lucy
Corner, of Darlington.
Turning to the bovine boys, the Akriggs landed the
male championship with their first prize British Blue-sired bullock, shown by
Tom’s partner Emily Carr, who also works for Windle Beech Winthrop. The
nine-month-old son of the AI sire Eternel was also responsible for Akriggs’ 2013
top price achiever and their 2012 title winner.
Out of a three-quarters bred Limousin cow, the bullock
found a new home with Clive Delamore, of Delamore Farms in Terrington St
Clement, Norfolk, for £2,000. He has also bought a previous Akrigg Craven
Champions Day champion.
The family picked up a third red rosette with the first
prize any breed bullock, another British Blue-cross, sold for £1,120 to
Lincolnshire buyers P&B Hodgson & Son, of Boston. They also had the
second prize British Blue-sired heifer, which became a £1,500 acquisition by M
Keel, of Thirsk.
There were also further successes for the Walker family,
who sent out the second prize British Blue-sired bullock, sold to Stephen
Eastwood of Emley, Huddersfield, for £1,420, along with the third prize any
breed heifer, again a British Blue-cross knocked down for £1,290 to Thompson
Bros in Pickering, represented by Les Thompson.
Show regulars David and Linda Broadbent, of
Midgley, Halifax, stepped up with the first prize Limousin-sired heifer, which
made £1,480 on joining Richard Critchley, of Hutton, Preston, and the second
prize any other breed heifer, acquired for £1,040 by A Kaye in Dunford Bridge,
Another red rosette fell to the first prize
Charolais-sired bullock from Clapham’s Sheila Mason, the reigning breeding and
store cattle champion in Craven Cattle Marts’ Farmer of the Year awards, who
also sent out the third prize British Blue-sired heifer. Both sold to the same
buyer, GD Nutt, of Thirtleby, Hull, at £1,660 and £1,340 respectively.
Stephen Fawcett, of Barden, was also prominent when
achieving £2,000 with his second prize Limousin-sired heifer, bought locally by
Skipton’s N Tiffin.
Stephen Eastwood, a regular buyer at Skipton, also
snapped up three further prizewinners – the first prize any breed heifer, a
British Blue-cross from John Butler, of Rochdale, at £1,180, the first prize
any breed bullock, an Aberdeen Angus from J Walsh, of Bury, at £1,210, and the
second prize winner in the young handlers show class, a British Blue-sired
heifer from AM&E Hartley, of Roughlee, Nelson, for £1,310.
Thompson Bros also bought three more award winners – the
second prize any breed heifer, another British Blue-cross from John Butler at
£1,330, the second prize any breed bullock, a British Blue-cross again from TWH
Farming in Easingwold for £1,260, and the first prize any other breed heifer, a
Blonde-cross from Saddle End Farms in Chipping at £1,200.
Show sponsors were Huddersfield-based
agricultural agent and CCM field officer Janet Sheard, West Marton fencing
contractor Bob Lancaster, Carrs Billington and Top Tags Animal ID.
Commercial stores strong
Craven Champions Day formed part of Skipton’s
fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale, which attracted 836 head in total, with
commercial store cattle and other premium entries highly sought after and
prices showing an improvement on the fortnight.
In fact, strong cattle were noticeably dearer, with
regular customers all appearing keener and several more travelled buyers, many
from Lincolnshire and further down the Eastern counties, attracted by the
larger numbers on offer at Skipton, giving them an unrivalled choice.
The 312 young feeding bulls were a shade
easier on the fortnight, though buyers were prepared to compete strongly for the
nine to ten-month premium bulls in forward condition. They sold to an overall
Continental-cross average of £857.94, with a dairy average of £620.50.
H&S Maudsley, of Rathmell, and EW&JR Parkinson,
of Dunsop Bridge, presented the joint top price British Blue-cross young bulls
at £1,300 – the former the highest priced animal under 12-months-old, the
latter heading the 13 to 17-month prices, with respective age range selling
averages of £852.73 and £912.93. The top
price pen of three Limousin-cross bulls from SJ Burton, of Fellbeck, Pateley
Bridge, each made £1,130.
A total of 429 bullocks and heifers were
consigned for sale, with the former selling to an overall Continental-cross
average of £1,068.64 per head and a native average of £853.22. Younger cattle
were notably good to sell, with the two top-priced pens of three of more
bullocks from Joe Drinkall, of Anglezarke, and Roland Carr, of Addingham, only
10-11months old. Mr Drinkall’s four Charolais-cross sold for £1,020 per head,
while four Limousin-cross from Mr Carr each made £980.
Heifers were also in strong demand, as buyers sought to
keep sheds topped up, selling to a Continental-cross average of £977.75 each
and a native average of £820.10. Austwick’s James and Deborah Ogden presented
the two top price pens – three Limousin-cross each sold for £1,170 and a same
breed pen of five that made £1,045 per head.
The day also
featured a full dispersal sale of commercial beef breeding cattle on behalf of
David Findlay, of Bird Ridding Farm, Coverham, Middleham.
The mixed herd had
been developed with both care and pride over the past 11 years by Mr Findlay
and the sale, which comprised 47 outfits and two stock bulls, attracted a
packed ringside, with 29 buyers drawn from the throughout the North of England,
along with a large consignment from Lincolnshire. It gave them the opportunity
to secure BVD vaccinated, scanned low maintenance cows.
Topping the sale at
£3,500 was a home-bred four-year-old British Blue stock bull, which joined John
Corlett in Cockermouth, with the top-priced female a British Blue-cross cow
with Charolais bull calf at £1,580.
In fact, all breeds
sold to four-figure highs and there was particularly strong trade for
Herefords, with in-calf Hereford cows, run with both Charolais and British Blue
bulls, the majority fourth calvers and above, selling to a top of £1,400 at an
overall average of £1,223.
A Charolais stock
bull made £1,500, while in-calf British Blue-cross cows also sold to £1,400 at
an average of £1,304.
Mr Findlay, a
regular customer at Skipton, has almost finished lambing 50 pure Beltex ewes
and farms a further 450 Cheviot and Continental-cross ewes.
There was a
94-strong turnout of breeding cattle on the day, with a top price of £1,700
falling to a British Blue-cross in-calf heifer (av £1,322), closely followed at
£1,650 by a Limousin-cross cow with Limousin-cross heifer calf. Aberdeen Angus
in-calf heifers sold to a high of £1,160, with an average of £1,050. Full
listings are at www.ccmauctions.com