Coar business activity pays dividends at Skipton prime lambs show Red Rose husband and wife sheep farmers, David and Laura Coar, of Yew Tree Farm, Darwen, stood both champion and reserve with the two five-strong pens of home-bred show lambs they entered at Skipton Auction Mart’s June prize show and sale


It’s the time of year when the Coars regularly send out champion Spring lambs at the North Yorkshire venue and they were on the mark again with Continental consignments from their third draw of the season, with around 200 more still at home.

Taking the title were 44kg Beltex-x lambs by a Cheshire-based Paul Slater tup, the victors selling for £180 per head, or 409p/kg, to Knavesmire Butchers in York, while the 43kg reserve champion Texel-x pen, by a ram bred locally in Barnoldswick by Scott and Laura Robinson, made £160 each, or 376p/kg, when claimed for regular wholesale purchaser Vivers Scotlamb in Annan by their buyer John Gibson, who also judged the show classes.

The third prize 44kg Continental pen from Tom Hill and Ruby Wright, of Doncaster, sold for £170 to another regular wholesale buyer, Hartshead Meats in Mossley, Greater Manchester.

A standalone Suffolk-x show class was won by Steve Morris, of Dutton, Preston, his 40kg charges making £136 per head to Ashfold Quality Meats in Rochdale. The second prize 43kg pen from John and James Mellin, of Black Lane Ends, sold for £145 to Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, the 48kg third prize winners from A&EM Ashby, of Farnley, Otley, knocked down at £159 each to Skipton-based Swaledale Foods.

The 2,261 prime lambs forward comprised an increased entry of almost 1,500 Spring lambs, as more vendors get into their first draws. Medium to heavy lambs were short of requirements and very good to sell, with the sale peaking at £202 per head, or £4.39 per kilo, for 46kg Texels from JA Gibson & Son, of Church Fenton, Tadcaster, selling to Brayton Farm Shop, near Selby, which also paid the top per kilo price of £4.54, or £190 each, for 42kg Continentals again from the Hill & Wright farming partnership.

Well-fleshed, premium quality heavies and mediums were keenly contested, with 51 further pens making £160-183, while quality 40/44kg handyweights tended to make £140/£155 and lighterweight smart sorts £130/£140, with odd pens such as one from D&A Livestock in Haverah Park, Harrogate, making £170, or 435p/kg, with 39kg Continentals, these again selling to Knavesmire Butchers. The same combination also traded 38kg lambs at £164 per head.

The Daggetts, of Burnsal, achieved £159, or 429p/kg, with 37kg Continentals and Toothill Bros, of Doncaster, made 423.1p/kg, or £165, with a 39kg pen. In total, ten pens made over 400p/kg, the overall Spring lamb selling average coming in at £135.72 per head, or 332.5p/kg. The 232 prime hoggs in the mix averaged £104.88 per head, or 233.5p/kg.  

The next grade of premium lambs traded at 350-400p/kg, while a well-fleshed commercial lamb weighing 40kg-plus was able to command 330-345p/kg.

Kitchings the kings again at Skipton monthly prime cattle showcase
Brothers Charles and Richard Kitching, of Grisedale Farm, Threshfield, notched up a hat-trick of monthly prime cattle championship wins for the year at Skipton Auction Mart’s June show and sale this week. (Mon, June 7)

The beef farming brothers claimed their latest title with the first prize heifer, a black 570kg British Blue/Limousin-x bred in North Craven by Sheila Mason’s Keasden Head herd and bought out of Skipton, before retuning as prime champion and taking the leading price per kilo of 284.5p, grossing at £1,621, when selling to Red Rose retail butcher Phil Gregory.

Mr Gregory, again crossing the border to source more top-notch beef cattle for his DA Gregory & Sons Butchers in Bacup, also claimed two further prize winners. They were  the first prize steer, a 570kg Limousin-x from Silsden Moor’s Simon Bennett at 282.5p/kg, gross £1,610, and the second prize heifer, a Limousin-x from North Craven father and son, Francis and Andrew Smith, of Masongill, at 282.5p/kg, or £1,553. 

The Smiths, who have themselves consigned three prime cattle champions and two reserve champions at Skipton in 2021, were also responsible for the second prize steer, another 565kg Limousin-x, which made 269.5p/kg, or £1,522, when becoming one of four purchases by Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers in Bradford.

The Kitchings, who also have a trio of reserve championship wins to their name this year, also took the day’s top gross price of £1,654.68, or 273.5p/kg, with a 605kg Limousin-x again claimed by Pearsons, whose weekly haul also included two handier weight Kitching heifers, one a third prize winner, both 281.5p/kg, or £1,576 and £1,548. 

Accounting for the last of the rosettes was the third prize bullock, a 615kg Blue-x from Jim and Christine Scrivin in Elslack, which grossed £1,632, or 265.5p/kg, when becoming one of a trio of buys by Simon Barker for his mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers. Regular purchaser Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton also took home a single entry.

The 30 prime cattle on parade – the show classes were judged by Halifax wholesaler Gerald Medcalf – again produced solid averages for under 30-month clean cattle, heifers averaging 274.6p/kg, or £1,511, and steers, or £1,583,

Cast and feeding cows were an excellent trade, a smart four-year-old British Blue from the Jowett family in Queensbury catching the eye at £1,695, or 221.5p/kg, while a heavy 1,030kg Aberdeen-Angus cow from Matthew and Claire Ellison in Embsay grossed £1,632, or £158.5p/kg.

Dairy cows were sharper all round, prices hitting 148.5p/kg for a young Shorthorn cross from C Stanton, of Clitheroe, and 150.5p/kg for a six-year-old handy weight British Friesian from Sutton-in-Craven’s Richard Spence. Leading gross prices for dairies were £1,088 from H Downs & Son in Bingley and £1,033 from GP&S Fleetwood, of Mirfield.

A single mature 1,075kg black and white stock bull from Jeremy Taylor in Broughton made £1,392, or 129.5p/kg, with the cull section producing and overall selling average of 147.7p/kg, or £1,032.90.

Forward for the same morning’s weekly sale were 38 rearing calves, with trade again buoyant, the best Blue-x bulls continuing to sell well from £420 to a top of £475 for one from RL Wright, of Airton. The more commercial medium goods were £320-£380 and the smaller end £250-£300. Medium Blue-x heifer calves traded to £320 from Town Head Farm in Grassington, mediums selling away at £280-£300 and the smaller end £240-£270.Limousin heifers made to £280.

Of the natives, Aberdeen-Angus bull calves topped at £340 for one from James Gooch in Cononley, Town Head Farm again stepping up with the £170 top price Angus heifer calf. Hereford bulls sold up to £270 for mediums. Black and whites peaked at £135 for a youngster from regular Eastby vendor Andrew Ayrton.

Just two fresh pedigree heifers were forward for the fortnightly Craven Dairy Auction. First up from Sally Wellock’s Harehills herd in Oakworth was one calved on May 24 and giving 27kg, which bagged a selling price of £1,650, while the second, a 19 days calved 34kg heifer from Peter Baul’s Ravensgate herd in Bishop Thornton did better at £1,800.  A special online dairy bull sale was taking place yesterday and today, with a catalogue posted under online timed auctions at