Kitchings the kings at Skipton prime cattle show Dales beef farming brothers Charles and Richard Kitching virtually swept the board at Skipton Auction Mart’s March prime cattle show, standing both champion and reserve with a brace of British Blue-x bullocks, as well as consigning the first and third prize heifers. (Mon, March 1)

The Kitchings, of Grisedale Farm, Threshfield, multiple past champions and prize winners at their local mart, clinched their latest title with a 560kg bullock sold for 279.5p/kg, or £1,565, and the reserve championship with a 600kg entry that made 262.5p/kg, or £1,550. The brothers’ red rosette-winning British Blue-x heifer also sold well at 260.5p/kg, or £1,575, all three among eight acquisitions by weekly buyer Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers in Bradford.
The Kitchings’ third prize heifer, a 580kg Blue-x, secured top gross price of £1,627, or 280.5p/kg, when falling to returning Red Rose retail butcher Phil Gregory, of DA Gregory and Sons in Bacup, who also paid the day’s leading per kilo price of 281.5p, or £1,590, for the second prize heifer, a further Blue-x weighing 565kg from Jim and Christine Scrivin, of Elslack.
January and February prime cattle champions, North Craven father and son hill farmers, Francis and Andrew Smith, from Masongill, picked up another rosette when consigning the third prize bullock, a Limousin-x sold for £1,561, also among the Ralph Pearson purchases.
Weekly buyer James Robertshaw was again ringside to claim two for his own Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, plus a third for Skipton-based Keelham Farm Shop. Simon Barker, of the mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, also took home two.
Of 19 under 30-month clean cattle forward eight made 260p/kg or over and the varied selection of the remainder included three black and white heifers and a commercial offering which continued to sell well up to 238.5p/kg.
A small turnout of 13 cull cows contained only the odd entry carrying finish and with grazing customers strongly to the fore a very good trade produced an overall selling average of 116.42p/kg, or £790.74 per head.
The same morning’s sale of 27 rearing calves produced excellent trade for all classes, with HM Dugdale & Son, of Settle, the headline performers with a sale-topping £445 for a British Blue-x bull calf, also heading the black and white prices with a three-and-a-half-month-old weaned bull calf.
Medium rearing black and whites were £72-£100, strong four-week-old nice coloured goods £100-£140, with strong weaned stirks at 8-12 weeks making £220-£285. Other Blue-x bull calves were regularly away at £320-£385, with Blue-x heifers also good to sell, small/mediums at £265-£300, with a real good shaped young rearer from N&SA Fort, of Silsden, catching the eye at £370.
Limousin-x bulls made £270-£295 and Limousin heifer calves £240-£265. Aberdeen-Angus heifer calves were also good to sell, averaging £245.