CHAMPION PIGS BUTCHERS PRESS - SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2019

Hutchinsons Butchers festive buying spree at Skipton Christmas primestock highlights Hutchinsons Butchers in Ripley made multiple top-notch prize-winning acquisitions for its customers’ festive tables at Skipton Auction Mart’s 12th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales this month. The No 1 Main Street shop has just been taken over by Alison Kay, partner of local farmer, Dave Kirby, from long-time owner Peter Buck, who has now retired.




Alison is also an integral part of the farming operation. While the Kirby family has farmed across many generations in nearby Bishop Thornton, currently based at Thornton Grove Farm, where they rear store cattle, this is their first foray into the retail butchery sector.
“We wanted to hit the ground running. While we regularly buy rearing calves at Skipton Auction Mart, we were keen to source some of the best locally reared meat that money can buy for our customers at the mart’s keynote Christmas prime shows,” explained Alison.
Buying on behalf of the shop, Mr Kirby was first in action in the prime pigs sale ring, claiming several prize-winning pens, including both the champions and reserve champions. He paid £151 per head for the title-winning trio of pure Pietrain pigs from 19-year-old Louise Findlay, of Leyburn, and £147 each for the reserve champion Peitrain-cross gilts from 2018 title winner Daniel Thackray, of Fewston.
Mr Kirby then turned his attention to the prime lamb sale, where he paid a heady £320 for the first prize winner in the young handlers show class, a Beltex-cross shown by one of the day’s youngest exhibitors, three-year-old Thomas Thompson, of Foulridge.
He also went to £88 per head to claim the first prize trio of Dalesbred hill lambs from David Wilson, of JM Wilson & Sons in Beckwithshaw, who also stood third with another Dalesbred lamb in the same day’s standalone lamb carcase competition. This, too, fell to Hutchinsons for £88.
Next port of call was the prime cattle sale ring, where Mr Kirby paid £1,365 for the first prize Limousin-cross heifer from Clare Cropper and John Mellin, who farm locally in Long Preston.
Alison added: “Our customers are in for a real treat this Christmas and while we may have made some expensive purchases for top quality primestock they can rest assured that they will be sold in all the popular festive roasts and other prime cuts at our normal shop prices.”
The annual festive highlight was supported by multiple sponsors, with NFU Mutual in Skipton the mainline sponsor.