Siddal Limousin herd sweeps board at Skipton multi-breed beef showcase Paul Fletcher, who runs the Siddal pedigree Limousin herd at the farm of the same name in Birch, Heywood, between Bury and Rochdale, won both show classes with his bulls at the Ling Fields Beef Cattle Fair, the annual multi-breeds show and sale of beef breeding cattle at Skipton Auction Mart. (Wed, May 25)

He then saw his two frontrunners, both sired by Siddal Drew, a home-bred bull with figures in the top 10 per cent of the breed that helped Mr Fletcher win the title of most improved herd of Limousin cattle in England in 2013, progress to become both champion and reserve champion at the final show of the mart’s highly successful 2016 pedigree beef season.

While the victor, Siddal Jerry, returned home, the reserve champion, the two-year-old Siddal Jerry, who is out of Siddal Dazmin – she has also produced two bulls that sold well at Skipton – went on to make the day’s top price of 2,200gns (£2,310) to Wharfedale’s William and Mark Keighley, of Manderlea Farm, Leathley, Otley.

Reducing his Walshaw herd of Parthenais cattle, Calderdale’s Brian Lund, of Walshaw Farm, near Hebden Bridge, was well represented with five entries – three bulls and a brace of females, all by the same sire, Willow Creek Frankie, a product of Peter Wesley’s Grimsby-based herd.

All found new homes. The third prize junior bull, the 11-month-old Walshaw Leo, was the leading performer in this section when selling at 1,700gns to JT&N Monkhouse, of Tow Law, Bishop Auckland, while Mr Lund’s two maiden heifers were strongly contested, with his 2015-born Walshaw Lady making 1,900gns on joining J Bradley & Son, of Maryport in Cumbria.

Mr Lund sold his two other bulls at 1,520gns and 1,400gns, with his remaining female making 1,500gns. A further June, 2014-born Parthenais bull from Miles and Gill Bentham’s Black Dyke pedigree herd in Thornton, Bradford, was runner-up in the senior bull show class and made 1,100gns.

Jayne Pick, who runs the Scarthingwell Simmental pedigree herd near Tadcaster and was top price achiever at last year’s Skipton fixture, returned with a two-year-old heifer, Scarthingwell Florence, by Heywood Esquire and in-calf to the Genus AI Simmental bull, Beeches Nashville, which also sold for 1,100gns to HL Boulton, of Rickerscourt in Staffordshire.

The second prize junior bull came from the Toftgate pedigree Limousin herd of Chris and Caroline Prince, based at Bewerley, Pateley Bridge. Their 13-month-old Toftgate Louis, a Middleton Grouse son, sold for 1,550gns to JL Umpleby, of Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon.

The pick of the Charolais entries was a 13-month-old junior bull from David Pawson, of the Blackburn-based Yellowhill herd. His Shankfoot Governor son, Yellowhill Latitude, made 1,450gns on joining local buyer David Plews, of Kettlewell.

John and Claire Mason, of the Oddcares Limousin herd in Embsay, sold two 2015 bulls by their well-proven French-bred sire, Gallois, at 1,300gns and 1,200gns. The respective buyers were Andrew Fisher, of Pateley Bridge, and S Postlethwaite, of Old Hutton, Kendal.

The show formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale of 862 head in total, among them 122 young feeding bulls, 480 bullocks and heifers, and 57 breeding cattle, when all classes met with a sharp trade.

Bulls were again dearer than the last sale, with strong sorts receiving a particularly good following. They sold to an overall Continental-cross average of £955 per head, with a native average of £614. The top performer at £1,205 was a Limousin-cross from Willie Naylor, of Cononley, while the top price pen of three Limousin-cross from James Towler, of Grindleton, each made £1,090.
In the store section, there were several new faces at the ringside and, like the bulls, any strong short-keep cattle were keenly sought. Yearling bullocks continued their recent good run of form, with the best end selling into four figures and to a high of £1,190 for a Limousin-cross from Threshfield’s Charles and Richard Kitching.

David Pawson chipped in with the top price pen of three Aberdeen Angus-cross bullocks, which each made £1,110. The overall Continental-cross average was £914 and the native average £869.

With more yearling heifers on parade, the top end achieved a nice trade, though younger plainer sorts sold similarly to the previous sale. Store heifers averaged £849 for Continental-cross and £704 for natives. Here again, a Limousin-cross, this time from Procters Farm in Slaidburn, was top price achiever at £1,240, while the top price pen of five Charolais-cross heifers from RD Elliott, of Tadcaster, each made £1,030.

Beef breeding cattle numbers also showed an increase and the eye-catcher was a Limousin-cross heifer with Limousin bull calf at foot from the Stockdale family in Burnsall, which headed the section at £2,260. The buyer was JN Swinbank, of Neasham, Darlington. Potential vendors should note that the next two breeding cattle sales at Skipton will include some annual consignments.

Grazing cows sold to £1,050 twice for a Simmental and a British Blue, both from South Yorkshire vendor, R Holroyd, of Wadsworth.