Sowrays back on top at Skipton rearing calf showcase The Sowray farming family from Bishop Thornton claimed another rearing calf title, also adding the reserve championship, at Skipton Auction Mart’s autumn show and sale. (Mon, Oct 23) Brothers Shaun, Peter and Paul Sowray, who run their Holstein Friesian dairy herd at Bowes Green Farm, and have secured multiple Skipton championships, again dominated the show classes, seeing their first prize British Blue-cross heifer calf, a daughter of the Genus sire, Brookfield Dev, go on to be crowned overall victor, then fall for a sale day high of £410 to Malcolm and Stephen Abbott, of Ings Farm, Dacre, Harrogate.

The two brothers, commercial dairymen, are regular buyers of quality rearing calves at Skipton, which they run on to 20-months-old or so before resale. They are currently milking around 100 cows.

Local judge John Schindler, from Thorpe, also nominated the Sowrays’ first prize Limousin-cross bull calf, by the family’s own stock bull, as his reserve champion, then claimed it at the ringside for £350. For good measure, the Sowrays also had two second prize winners in the Blue-cross bull and heifer calf show classes. The former, by another Genus sire, Tan Hill Warrior, made £390.

Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, stepped up with the first prize Blue-cross bull calf, which hit £370, also selling another at £390, though it was an entry from Fred Houseman, of Church Farm Enterprises in Burton Leonard, that led the way in this class at £395.

Top price in the Limousin bull calf class of £400 fell to a smart youngster from Hayton & Stocks in Bolton Abbey, who also headed the Limousin heifer calf prices at £380.

The latest calf show attracted a good turnout of both vendors and buyers, the latter having plenty of choice among the entry of 124, which again met a strong trade. While the best end proved a touch easier, straight middle of the road calves were extremely popular.

As usual, Continental-cross bull calves remained the best supported, with strong runs from regular supporters seeing healthy trade.  The overall Continental average was £323 per head.

Native bull calves remained strong, producing a solid bull calf average of £274 and an overall section average of £186.52. Top call of £330 twice fell to Aberdeen-Angus calves from Alan Middleton, who trades in Beamsley with his family as JP&KE Hartley, and Edward and Johnny Griffiths, of Penistone.

Black and white calves also traded to a strong average of £86.49, topping at £220 and £200 for bulls from Stephen Marshall, of Summerbridge.



Robert Crisp bags Craven Dairy Auction one-two, as trade improves

Yorkshire Dales dairy farmer Robert Crisp bagged a championship and reserve championship double at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest Craven Dairy Auction show and sale. (Mon, Oct 23)

The multiple past champion, who runs his commercial dairy herd at Nelson Farm, Calton, was on song yet again when his first and second prize newly calven Friesian heifers were awarded principal honours by show judge Brian Moorhouse, who runs the Aireburn pedigree dairy herd in Bell Busk.

Both frontrunners were by a well-bred son of the celebrated Genus dairy sire, PIcston Shottle and both headed the prices when joining regular buyers on a day of much improved trade.

The ten days calved 24kg victor sold for £2,050 to Alf and Andrew Townsend, of Southfield, Burnley, with the overall runner-up, 15 days calved and giving 26kg, falling for £2,020 to Mark Goodall in Tong, Bradford.

Mr Crisp, who sells all his newly calven heifers at Skipton, brought along six for the latest fixture, which all sold well to average a solid £1,825 per head overall.

Keith Downs, who runs the Milnerfield pedigree Holstein Friesian herd with his son David in Bingley, stepped up with a strong run of five newly calven heifers, among them the third prize winner, which made £1,980 when joining Ken and Lynne Throup at Woofa Bank on Silsden Moor.

Three sweet heifers from Red Rose vendors KT Wood & Son, of Holcombe, Bury, sold to a high of £1,750, again to Mark Goodall.

The first prize newly calven 30kg cow from Ian Parkinson, of Barden, also sold well at £1,880 when joining Richard Sutcliffe in Queensbury.

The 19 dairy cattle on parade saw pedigree heifers average £1,920 and their commercial counterparts £1,688.