Skipton stages annual suckled calf and over year store cattle highlight North Craven mother and son Janet and James Huck presented the champion at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Autumn showcase for this year’s crop of suckled calves and over year store cattle with show potential.

The Hucks, of Sowerthwaite Farm, Austwick, landed the title with their eight-month-old 2014-born Blonde-cross heifer, by Stubbswalden Endeavour, bred by Ken Jackson near Selby, out of a Limousin-x-British Blue heifer. The home-bred sold for £1,180 to East Yorkshire buyers, Messrs Blacker, who also paid £880 for the Hucks’ second prize winner another Blonde-cross.


Show judge Paul Barwood, of Great Yarmouth, nominated the first prize 2014-born British Blue-sired heifer as his chosen reserve champion. It was shown by Stephen Walker, from JC Walker & Son, of Brennand Farm, Dunsop Bridge, champions at the corresponding fixture last year.


Home-bred by Bluegrass Cyclone, a former AI bull bought by the Ribble Valley farming family and also responsible for the Walkers’ 2013 title winner, the runner-up, out of a British Blue-cross cow described as a consistently good breeder, made £1,020 on joining Pendle father and son Mac and Ben Townsend, of Barnside Hall Farm, Laneshawbridge.


The Townsends also paid £930 and £920 respectively the second and third prizewinners in the same class, both shown by GR&A Foy, of Conder Green, Lancaster. The same buyers struck again when paying £1,020 for the third prize 2013-born heifer, again from the Walkers.


Top price honours at £1,470 fell to Cumbrian vendor Ian Rawlinson, of Quarry Bank Farm, Marton, near Ulverston, with his second prize August, 2013-born home-bred British Blue-sired heifer. It fell to regular Skipton buyer Stephen Eastwood, of Emley, Huddersfield.


Mr Rawlinson was also responsible for the red rosette-winning 2013-born steer, sold for £1,280 to Rob Matten, of Newsham, Thirsk, along with the first prize 2014-born British Blue-sired steer, another Townsend acquisition at £1,140.


In addition, Mr Matten paid £1,200 for the second prize 2013-born steer from Peter and Edward Fox in Withgill, Clitheroe. The same vendors also had the third in class, which became another Stephen Eastwood buy at £1,250, along with the first prize 2013-born heifer, which joined another East Yorks buyer, GD Nutt, for £1,320.


Stephen Swales, of Melbourne, York, and his butcher son Anthony, who runs Knavesmire Butchers in Albermarle Road, York, were again prolific buyers at the fixture, making 15 acquisitions in total, among them the first and second prize winners in the 2014-born British Blue bull show class – the red rosette winner from the Foy family at £900 and the runner-up from Dylan Townend, of Malton, at £1,000.


These two up-and-coming youngsters will be prepared for the local show circuit in 2015, where they will be paraded by Anthony Swales’ 19-year-old son Luke, who also works at Knavesmire Butchers, before returning to the shop and the food chain in time for next year’s Christmas tables. The remaining 13 cattle will be further fattened on the family farm before going on sale at the shop from the end of this year until late March next year.


Sandra Blades, of Carnforth, sold her third prize 2014-born British Blue bull for £1,140, also stepping up with the first and second prize 2014-born Limousin-sired heifers, sold for £880 and £860 respectively.


The first prize 2014-born any other breed bull, a Bazadaise from JG Bamforth & Son in Slaithwaite, made £1,080, while the third prize 2014-born Limousin-sired bull from Turner Farms, of Honley, Meltham, sold for £1,280.


The first prize 2014-born Limousin-sired bull from Trevor Dobson, of Appleby, fell for £970 to FE Bowes & Son, of Bilbrough, York, with Dylan Townend’s third prize winner selling for £940 to ER Hyde & Sons in Wakefield.


Dick Burley, of Wath, picked up a red rosette with his 2014-born Charollais steer, sold for £1,180 to Thompson Bros in Pickering.


Tim Longton, who farms with his son Michael at Rooten Brook Farm, Quernmore, Lancaster, presented the family’s annual consignment of 44 2014-born Charolais and Limousin-sired suckler calves.


The Longtons - Tim’s father, also Tim, is a former chairman of the Craven Suckled Calf Breeders Society - have been showing and selling suckler calves at Skipton for more than 30 years. At this year’s renewal, they presented the second and third prize Charolais-sired show class winners, both falling to the same buyer, John Bowling, at £870 and £815 respectively.


The show classes formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly cattle sale, which attracted a 671-strong entry, among them 130 young feeding bulls and 518 bullocks and heifers. Strong store cattle met a nice trade, though were no dearer than the previous sale, while the young bull section saw smart goods in the correct age brackets find a very ready market. The suckled calves on offer were also a good trade, with many runs showing a slight increase on the year.


Young bulls produced a Continental-x average of £898 per head, with a native average of £700. Store bullocks averaged £938 for Continentals, and £844 for native breeds, with respective averages of £848 and £805 for store heifers.