Another prime time Skipton double for Keelham Farm Shop A West Yorkshire farm shop is well on its way to buying every single prime cattle champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s monthly shows in 2014 – and is not that far behind in purchasing the monthly prime lamb champions. James Robertshaw, co-owner of Keelham Farm Shop in Brighouse and Denholme Road, Thornton, Bradford, made it an unprecedented clean sweep of monthly prime cattle title winners so far this year when securing the title winner.

It was the first prize 645kg Limousin-cross bullock from multiple past champion Simon Bennett, of Delph Farm, Silsden Moor, by his well-proven stock bull Gunnerfleet Extra, out of a British Blue-cross-Limousin cow. The victor sold for £1,545, the day’s leading per head price, or 239.5p/kg.


Keelham also paid £1,358, or 251.5p/kg, top price by weight, for the first prize 540kg British Blue-cross heifer and reserve champion from Bernard Simpson, of Heathfield, Pateley Bridge, by his Tamhorn stock bull.


They also made a third acquisition in Mr Bennett’s second prize Limousin-cross heifer, knocked down for £1,509, or 241.5p/kg. The same vendor was also reposible for the second prize British Blue-cross bullock, sold for £1,469, or 229.5p/kg, to Stanforths Butchers in Skipton.


Mr Robertshaw then hotfooted it to the prime lamb ringside to snap up the champion pen of 42kg Continentals from Bordley’s Kevin Huck for a £96 per head, or 228.6p/kg, the day’s by-weight top.


Better known as a horned sheep showman, it was the first time Mr Huck, of Knowle Bank Farm, had landed a Skipton prime lamb championship with his pen of five three-quarter Beltex, one-quarter Texel lambs, all by a tup from Gargrave’s William Beckwith.


Keelham continues to make progress on its brand-new farm shop adjoining the auction mart in Gargrave Road, Skipton, which is due to open early 2015.


Mr Robertshaw commented: “When we say we like to support and source from the local farming community, we really mean it. We like to put back into the local economy as much as we can and our local auction marts are an essential part of that economy.”


Back with the prime cattle, a standalone show for cull cows saw first and second prizes in the beef classes awarded to David Pearson, of Buckden. His red rosette-winning Limousin-cross made a section high of £969, or 141.5p/kg.


The dairy-bred show class was won by JP&KE Hartley, of Storiths, with a black and white cow from Jeremy Taylor in Broughton leading the way on price at £898. Cull cows averaged £644.63 per head overall, or 96.44p/kg. A mature Aberdeen Angus bull from RG Church, of Asquith, went under the hammer at £946.


Reserve champions in the prime lamb show for the second month in succession were Tosside’s Trevor and Clive Robinson with a pen of five 44kg Beltex-cross sold for £89 each to Bowood Yorkshire Lamb in Busby Stoop.


Hebden’s George Sunderland presented the third prize 44kg Continental pen, sold at £84.50 per head to Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson, who acquired several prize-winning pens, including, at £49 per head, the red rosette-winning horned sheep pen - 42kg Swaledales  again from Kevin Huck.


The first prize 52kg Masham pen from the Verity family in Middlesmoor, Nidderdale, made £71 each when falling to Winterburn’s James Dewhirst, buying on behalf of both

Stanforths Butchers and Swaledale Foods in Skipton.


The prime cattle shows were judged by Mr Dewhirst, with Hartwith’s Nick Dalby officiating in the prime lamb show classes, which were again sponsored by Wynnstay.


The 1,718 prime lambs forward sold to an overall average of £67.88 per head, or 153.2p/kg, with a day’s top price of £98 per head for a strong Beltex pen from Bill Logan, of Langcliffe, which joined Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.


Trade was much as expected. Handy weighted lowland lambs were short of requirements and easy to sell, while heavy lambs were cheaper. Hill-bred lambs were also less money on the week following the end of Eid and less demand from the ethnic trade.


The 125 cast ewes and rams on offer saw the former average £51.07 per head and the latter a straight £65 each.


In the weekly rearing calf sale, the 95-strong entry produced a Continental average of £306.35 per head and a native average of £197.25, with black and whites levelling at £72.83. The day’s high of £420 fell to a Simmental bull calf from GC Hayton & EC Stocks, of Bolton Abbey.