More festive show success for Keasden Head herd at CCM Skipton Christmas store cattle highlight Sheila Mason’s Keasden Head herd in North Craven secured yet another championship, also picking up the reserve championship for good measure, at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas store cattle fixture. (Wed, Dec 5) Sheila, fresh from her success the previous day when also standing champion at the Christmas cast cattle show, followed up with a notable double with a brace of home-bred Limousin-cross heifers, aged 13 months and 12 months, tapped out by Scottish show judge Ian Wainwright, of Fife, who later backed his judgment in the sale ring when acquiring the principals for his Todd Hall herd at £1,100 and £1,000.

The first prize bullock also hailed from North Craven. The 10-month-old British Blue-cross was consigned by Jonathan Townley, of Nutter Green, Clapham, and sold for £1,180, bettered at £1,220 by the second prize winner from Fox Farms, of Withgill, Clitheroe, champion and reserve at last year’s corresponding fixture. The same home was also responsible for the day’s top price steer, a £1,350 Charolais, claimed by Andrew Atkinson Livestock in Felliscliffe, Harrogate.
Mr Townley also finished third in the bullock show class with a 14-month-old Limousin-cross sold for £990, with the Walker family from Dunsop Bridge taking third prize in the heifers with another 14-month-old Limousin-cross knocked down at £1,055.
The show classes, sponsored by Cheshire-based fertiliser firm TES Agri, formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale, which attracted another solid turnout of 490 head, the majority feeders. More cattle could have been sold, with buyers offloading fat cattle for the Christmas trade and looking to replenish stock numbers.
Suckler-bred cattle were the dearest they have been for a while, with the turnout of 312 bullocks and heifers seeing the strongest end selling better on the fortnight, while younger 14 month-plus cattle also got away well, with buyers seeking frame and size to finish. The section produced overall averages of £947 for steers and £870 for heifers, which sold to a high of £1,200 for a British Blue-cross from Austwick’s James and Deborah Ogden, who also stepped up with the top price £1,160 Limousin-cross heifer.
A cracking across-the-board trade for a large entry of 73 beef-bred feeding cows saw Continental and Aberdeen-Angus entries perform best on price, peaking at £1,160 for a Limousin from Tim and Lisa Metcalfe, from Clayton, Bradford, sold to JB Eastwood & Son, of Emley, Huddersfield, closely followed by a £1,150 Angus from Blackburn’s David Pawson. The Angus selling average was £943. A pure Charolais cow from Mandy Rogers, of Halton East, also caught the eye at £1,040, this section averaging £1,010.
Also penned for sale were 21 breeding cattle, which sold to a top of £1,320 for a pedigree Simmental heifer with her same way bred calf from David Lofthouse, of Singleton, on Lancashire’s Fylde, while British Blue cows and calves sold to a top of £1,140 for a tidy outfit from the Blakey family in Greenhow.
Eighty one young feeding bulls were also a nice trade, with most of the Spring-born calves knocking on the door at £800 and occasionally more. Autumn-born cattle remained a good trade, with the strong end making £900 to £1,075. Older bulls made up to £1,000.
Over 12 month entries peaked at £1,190 for Limousin-cross from John Lambert, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, with under 10-month bulls selling to £1,175 for one from R Gumley, of Littleborough, and to £1,075 for 11 to12 month-olds, this from G&JSM Hartley in Wennington.
The final fortnightly cattle sale of the year is on Wednesday, December 18, returning in 2020 with the Great New Year opener on Wednesday, January 8.