Show principals claim leading prices at CCM Skipton beef cattle highlight British Blue and Charolais bulls bagged principal show and leading price honours at Skipton Auction Mart’s Lingfields Beef Cattle Fair, the multi-breeds finale of the venue’s 2019 pedigree beef season. (Wed, May 29) Claiming both the championship and top price of 2,600gns was a 22-month-old Blue bull from Stewart Gill’s Hallfield pedigree herd in Dacre, Harrogate, who was showing for the first time at the annual highlight.

His Hallfield Malc is by the Phenomene De Martinpre son, Trencrorn KA Ching, acquired some three years ago from Cornwall breeder Gail Ellis, who farms at Lelant, ten miles north of Lands End and who herself bought the supreme champion bull from Richard and Wendy Maudsley’s Littlebank herd in Rathmell at Skipton’s annual ‘Blue Wednesday’ pedigree fixture at the beginning of May.
Out of the Dafydd D’Ochain daughter, Hallfield Easy, the well-grown naturally born victor, the first prize senior bull shown by Mr Gill’s son, Joel, found a new home in Nidderdale when claimed by Pateley Bridge father and son, Joe and Trevor Stoney.
Local show judge John Lancaster, from Bordley, turned to the junior bulls show class when awarding the reserve championship to the first prize winner, a 14-month-old Charolais with an EBV in the top 10% for calving from North Yorkshire father and son, Chris and David Timm, who run their Wensleydale pedigree herd in Appleton Roebuck, York.
The adjudicator was right on the money again when their easy calving Goldies Lawson son, Wensleydale Orlando, out of the Chunal Dougie daughter, Balbithan Iris, sold for second top call of 2,400gns to GR&J Batty, of Tatham in Lancashire.
Of the pure-bred bulls on offer, Silsden Moor’s Simon Bennett sold his ready for work Limousin, a July, 2017, Gunnerfleet Limmy son, to Stuart Barrett, of Summerbridge, for 2,000gns.
The pedigree females saw a top call of 1,300gns for a 12-month-old Limousin maiden heifer from K Sunderland, who runs the Plover Heights herd at Lumb, Rossendale. His Ploverheights Omega, bred by the Wilodge Cerberus son, Cornfield Jack, found a new home in Kirklees when claimed M&S Shaw, of Shelley.
A total turnout of 82 breeding cattle featured a good entry of commercial beef breeding cattle, as numbers grow for the late Spring/early summer sales, which the mart reports will continue for the next few weeks with some good cattle on offer. All outfits sold well and to four-figure highs, with a top of £2,100 for a British Blue-cross heifer with Limousin-cross heifer calf at foot from Samantha Sudgen, of Laycock.
In addition, beef-bred feeding cows saw seasonal numbers still at a high point, with 73 head forward. While there were only a couple of pure-bred cows, these and the best three-quarter breds were nicely sold from £1,000 to a top of £1,190 for a Limousin from HF Stubbs, of Rathmell, with an overall section average of £874.72 per head.
Again, the genuine cows for turning out and grazing were strongly sought after, with a packed ringside of customers competing hard to secure cattle while they are still available. Numbers are still required.
All the above formed part of the mart’s fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale, which attracted a total entry of almost 700 head, comprising 610 feeding cattle, among them 170 young bulls and 367 bullocks and heifers.
A good entry of strong Spring-born bulls was keenly contested, notably stronger sorts, with £1,100 the ceiling for most of the top end, a reflection of the reducing deadweight price.
While stores ranged in price, strong short-keep cattle were slightly dearer on the fortnight, due to an overall better quality turnout throughout. A run of 14 Limousin-cross and Blonde-cross bulling heifers from Andrew Rigby, of Slaidburn, caught the eye when averaging £1,197, peaking at £1,300, this one heading to Long Preston with John Mellin and Clare Cropper.
The more commercial end of the strong cattle was harder to place as a result of the falling deadweight price. However, the best beef/dairy crosses from the likes of the Naylor family in Ilkley could still command £1,100-plus.
Younger cattle found a much more selective audience, though there were still plenty of bidders in the £600-£700 bracket for the smaller end. Smarter yearling cattle with retail potential were not quite as potent as a direct result of the downward pressures on the end product price. The best of the yearlings came from the Lodge family in Malham, who topped the section at £1,100. 
Another strong turnout of native-sired cattle, among them 92 sire-identified entries, produced a standout price of £1,070 for a big Hereford bullock from the Ewin-Newhouse family in Giggleswick.