Browns bag champion and reserve double at CCM Skipton Christmas lamb carcase showcase Both principals claimed by Cropper Family Butchers Renowned husband and wife Beltex sheep breeders, Martin and Val Brown, of Dovecote Barn, Leyburn, clinched an eye-catching supreme and reserve championship double in the standalone lamb carcase competition staged as part of Skipton Auction Mart’s high profile 14th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales.

The well-known couple took principal honours with a brace of near-pure Beltex ewe lamb carcases, both born live to a home-bred tup by Hallcrake Bucaneer from Selside’s Mark Jennings, out of home-bred ewes.

Standing supreme champion was the winner of the 41-44kg Continental show class, also awarded a special prize by the Northern Beltex Club, which had a live weight of 41kg, dead weight 24.8 kg, killing out percentage 60.4% and AHDB grading of E3L, while the reserve was the 35-40kg Continental first prize winner with a live weight of 38kg, dead weight 22.9kg, killing out percentage of 60.2%, also graded E3L.

Both frontrunners were snapped up by regular Christmas buyers Cropper Family Butchers & Deli in Blackburn Road, Accrington, run by father and daughter George and Clare Cropper, the victor at a new centre record lamb carcase price of £520, the reserve at £310.

Other class winners and buyers were:
Under 35kg Continental: Whalley father and son, Richard and Mark Ireland, Beltex carcase, LW32kg, DW 18.9kg, KO51%, E3L, £200 to regular local butcher buyer Stephen Hallworth, of SW Hallworth in Whalley.
41-50kg Horned: Dalesbred carcase from David Wilson, of JM Wilson & Sons, Beckwithshaw, also winner of a Dalesbred Association special prize, LW47kg, DW 19.5kg, KO41.4%, O3L, £106 to Halifax wholesale butchers J&E Medcalf & Sons. The Wilsons also won a special prize from Masham Sheepbreeders for the best carcase of the breed, LW50kg, DW24.1kg, KO48.2%, O3H, £98 again to Medcalfs.
41-50kg Native: John and Alison North, Giggleswick, with a Suffolk carcase LW42kg, DW19.7kg, KO46.9%. RL3, £115 to Knavesmire Butchers. York. The Norths also won a special prize from Northern Area Texel Sheepbreeders for a carcase with LW42kg, DW21.7kg, KO51%, U3L, £116 to K&J Green Butchers, Heskin and Standish.

A total of 24 carcases were on parade, selling to an overall average of £166 per carcase, a major improvement on the £110.41 average seen when the show was last held two years earlier.

All lambs had first been delivered to the mart and weighed live, before slaughter at John Penny and Sons in Rawdon, who donated the entry fees to three charities who were again the main beneficiaries at the festive highlight, returning to the Barkers Yorkshire Butchers-run meat processing plant at the mart, which again sponsored the competition classes, judged by former livestock buyer Michael Winchester, of Coniston Cold.

The popular fixture again offered a timely opportunity for regional butchers, hotels, restaurants and pubs to purchase award-winning carcases for display and sale in the run up to Christmas.