Keelham again snaps up Skipton prime show principals A championship and reserve championship buyer’s double was wrapped up by Keelham Farm Shop at both September’s monthly prime shows at Skipton Auction Mart

The shop, in Brighouse and Denholme Road, Thornton, near Bradford, which has bought every monthly prime cattle champion to date this year, along with many of the prime lamb title winners, further stepped up support for its local auction mart, as the countdown continues to the 2015 launch of Keelham’s new flagship farm shop in Gargrave Road, Skipton, right next to the mart site.


Keelham’s James Robertshaw first struck in the prime cattle arena when securing the victor, the first prize 490kg British Blue heifer from Jim Baines, of Trawden, which topped the by-weight prices at 266.5p/kg, or £1,306, before adding the reserve champion, the first prize 590kg British Blue bullock from Silsden Moor’s Simon Bennett, at £1,419, or 240.5p/kg.


For good measure, Keelham purchased a third prizewinner, the second prize bullock, also from Simon Bennett, at £1,185, or 240.5p/kg.


Mr Robershaw then hotfooted it to the prime lamb ringside to pay £89 per head for the champion pen of five 43kg Texels from Scott and Laura Robinson, of Barnoldswick, also securing the reserve champion 43kg Beltex pen from Tosside’s Trevor and Clive Robinson at £88 each. Laura is Trevor’s daughter and championship and reserve championship honours were reversed this month


Back with the prime cattle, top gross on the day was the £1,468, or 264.5p/kg, paid for the second prize 555kg Limousin-cross heifer from Nidderdale’s Bernard Simpson, of Heathfield, Pateley Bridge. It fell to Saltaire retail butcher Dick Binns for his Bingley Road shop.


The turnout of 57 cull cattle reflected the seasonal uplift both locally and nationally, with those carrying finish improving in trade, though the overall average of £643.25 per head, or 101.45p/kg, was distorted by the large percentage of lean lightweight dairies. However, with both processor and feeding buyer interest, particularly for young cattle, these also met a good trade.


A standalone cull cow show saw beef-cross honours falling to a Limousin from Robert Shepherd, of Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, which sold for £935, while the first prize dairy cull cow from JC&DJ Marshall & Sons, of West End, made £811.


An Aberdeen Angus cow from Skipton’s Geoff Lawn was the leading beef-bred performer at £1,082, with a by-weight top of 144.5p/kg for the second prize Limousin-cross cow from Cray’s Chris Akrigg. Black and white prices peaked at £935, or 128.5p/kg, for respective entries from WP Gratton, of Brimham Rocks, and P&J Brown & Son, of Askwith.


The prime cattle shows were judged by Richard Maudsley, of Rathmell, with Jim Holden, who buys for Woodhead Bros Butchers in Colne, officiating in the prime lamb show classes.


He was also present at the ringside to pay £69 per head for his chosen first prize pen of 41kg Suffolk-cross lambs from Skipton’s Geoff Lawn, along with the 45kg second prize winners from James Earnshaw, of Flasby, at £71 each.


A prize show for Masham prime lambs, sponsored by Masham Sheep Breeders Association, saw breed stalwart, Nidderdale’s David Verity, of Middlesmoor, land first and second prizes with 46kg and 47kg pens that both sold to Swaledale Foods in Skipton for £69 and £71 per head respectively.


Local vendor Robert Crisp, of Calton, won the red rosette in the Mule show class, his 46kg charges selling at £68 each to Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, while another show class for Lleyn prime lambs fell to a 40kg pen from Charles and Richard Kitching, of Threshfield, bought for £61 per head by Hellifield’s Paul Watson.


A massive turnout of 5,138 prime sheep saw increased supplies harder to sell than the previous week, with the 4,208 prime lambs among them trading at an overall average of £66.62 per head, or 157.6p/kg (SQQ 158.99p/kg), much in line with the countrywide average.


The day’s leading gross and by-weight price of £117.50, or 293.8p/kg, fell to a Beltex pen from Richard Maudsely, of Rathmell.


A very large show of 930 cast sheep were easily sold, with trade as strong as recent weeks. Cull ewes averaged £58.50 per head, peaking at £110.50 for a Texel pen from Henry Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, while cast rams averaged £67.62 each, with another Texel from JG Hall & Son, of Gargrave, the leading performer at £109.50.