Four to the fore at CCM Skipton Christmas cattle showcase Four pen-judged classes were again in place as Christmas shows continued at Skipton Auction Mart with the annual festive store cattle fixture, when 345 feeding cattle were forward. (Wed, Dec 8)

First up were bulls, with first prize and top call in section of £1,590 falling to a 15-month-old pure-bred Limousin from the Oddacres holding in Embsay of the Mason family. Home-bred by an imported French sire, Nessy, the red rosette winner joined AS&SM Kemp, of Sherburn House in Co. Durham.

Other bulls over 12 months made £1,200-plus, while the inter-season entry also included several Autumn 2020 calves and the first appearance of 2021 Spring bulls, those under 10 months in forward condition selling from £950 to £1,135. The overall section average for 44 head was £983.

Trade was sharp for 37 beef feeding cows, more carrying flesh and averaging £971, with the first prize winner in the show class heading the selling prices at £1,440, this for a six-year-old pure British Blue and mother of three from Easingwold husband and wife, Ken and Hazel Gamble, who maintain a small herd of 15 pedigree Blues. The buyer was Skipton regular Andrew Atkinson, of Fellisclffe, Harrogate.

Store cattle found a solid trade throughout, with additional buyers ringside seeking both size and weight across all classes among the 265 head. Blue heifers in particular were keenly sought, the smartest by both breeding and retail customers.

Among them at £1,520 was the first prize winner, a home-bred yearling from Matthew Bamforth, of JG Bamforth & Sons, who run the White Rose pedigree herd in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. By the stock bull, Newclose Hero, now onto his seventh crop of calves, the class victor, tapped out by Rookwith Grange, Ripon, show judge Richard Spink, went to North Craven and the Handleys in Chapel-le-Dale. Continental-x heifers averaged £1,104, natives £1,027.

Picking up the final red rosette in the store bullock show class was Long Preston’s Ian Townson with a 14-month-old red Limousin selling at £1,650 to Knavesmire Butchers in York, while Calderdale father and son, David and Daniel Broadbent, of Midgley, produced the top price £1,450 Blue-x bullock.

Plenty of exceptional store cattle broke through the £1,300 barrier, good end Limousin feeders with weight and frame selling at £1,400-£1,560, this for a steer from Clitheroe brothers, Peter and Edward Fox, while top call of the day at £1,700 was a strong 20-month-old Limousin heifer from M Ryder & Sons in Haverah Park, Harrogate, again claimed by Andrew Atkinson.

Continental-x store bullocks averaged £1,178 and natives £1,019, with respective averages for store heifers £1,104 and £1,027. Show classes were sponsored by Jameson Animal Feeds.

The next fortnightly Wednesday store cattle fixture on December 22 is the mart’s final pre-Christmas sale day, complemented by the annual sale of dressed oven-ready poultry, ever-popular with both regional agricultural communities and members of the public seeking to source their Christmas dinners via the live bidding system. The final sale of the year for primestock is on Monday, December 27.