Leading honours change hands at Skipton prime cattle show Same frontrunners, though an about turn in principal honours was the order of play at Skipton Auction Mart’s May prime cattle show, when the previous month’s reserve champions, the North Craven Smith family, stepped up to clinch the title, with April victors, the Kitchings, from Threshfield, having to settle for overall runners-up slot. (Mon, May 3)


Father and son, Francis and Andrew Smith, of Masongill, won their latest championship with the first prize bullock, a 565kg British Blue-x acquired last October from Middleton-in-Teesdale’s John White. Tapped out by 17-year-old show judge David Breaks, from Slaidburn, it sold for both the top gross and by-weight price of £1,681, or 297.5p/kg, to Red Rose retail butcher Phil Gregory.

He again crossed to border to secure top-notch primestock for his DA Gregory & Sons Butchers in Bacup, claiming three in total and making it a clean sweep of the retail weights when adding a second steer from the Smiths, a 545kg Blue-x at 288.5p/kg, or £1,572, along with a prize-winning and leading price per kilo heifer, this a 550kg Blonde-x from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching at 282.5p/kg, or £1,554.

The Kitchings had another good day at their local auction mart when claiming a hat-trick of prize wins, including the reserve championship with their first prize heifer, a 585kg Blue-x bred by the Sandham family in Yeadon, which became one of ten acquisitions at 272.5p/kg, or £1,594, by Peter Pearson, purchasing on behalf of his family-run Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers in Bradford. 

Another buy was the leading gross price heifer, a 615kg British Blue at £1,676, or 272.5p/kg, which came from the Jowett family in Queensbury, plus two other third prize winners, a 535kg Charolais-x bullock from the Hutton-based Critchleys at 263.5p/kg, or £1,409, and a 530kg Limousin-x heifer from Simon Bennett, of  Silsden Moor, at 270.5p/kg, or £1,433.

There were 15 under 30-month clean cattle forward, all in again in demand by regular purchasers, with James Robertshaw snapping up a brace, one for his own Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, the other for Skipton-based Keelham Farm Shop.  The mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers was also among the buyers again. Continental heifers averaged 270.77p/kg and Continental steers 269.78p.

The entry of 14 cull cows benefitted from improved numbers carrying finish and a particularly fast bank holiday trade, producing an overall selling average of £949.38, or 135.37p/kg, and a top call of £1,369, or 182.5p/kg, for a Saler cow from Townhead Farm Products in Grassington, who also sold a 48-month-old Limousin stock bull at £1,827, or 176.5p/kg. Among the dairies, a good run of meated Friesians ranged in price from 133.5p/kg to 159.5p/kg, or £1,276 for BH Wilson & Sons in Green Hammerton.

The same morning’s weekly sale of 25 dairy-bred rearing calves produced exceptional across the board trade, with highs of £530 and £500 for British Blue-x bulls from, respectively, H&M Dugdale & Son in Settle and the Sowray brothers from Bishop Thornton