Lighting strikes 4,600gns top price for Pendle herd at CCM Skipton Blue Wednesday highlight Littlebank Leo roars to championship success Striking top call of 4,600gns at Skipton Auction Mart’s 2018 pedigree beef season opener – the annual ‘Blue Wednesday’ show and sale– was Pendle Lightning, a two-year-old British Blue bull from Mark and Elaine Hartley’s Pendle herd, based at Pendle Valley Farm, Roughlee. (Wed, April 25)

Their second prize bull and reserve champion – it was the second year in succession the couple had finished overall runners-up – is by the Bijoutier Et De Roupage son, Jalon De Martinpre, known for his light birth weight calf traits.
He is the second calf of a Newton Blues Chico cow, the home-bred Pendle Heather, who is herself a natural calver with a long list of agricultural show successes to her name, among them the breed championship at Kilnsey.
The ready-to-roll Lightning found a new home with Don and Jan Leeming, and their son Matthew, of West House Farm, Ramsgill. He will be put to work as a replacement Blue bull on their commercial Limousin herd.
North Craven pedigree breeders do well at the annual highlight and taking second top price of 3,800gns this year were brothers Alan and Graham Coates, who trade as Messrs Coates and run the Greystone herd at Rainscar Farm, Stainforth.
Although not shown, their home-bred Greystone Carbon son, Greystone Lion, an August, 2016, bull with easy calving on both sides of the pedigree, created widespread interest at the ringside, before joining the Ryder family in Haverah Park, Harrogate.
The Maudsley family, who run the Littlebank pedigree herd in Rathmell, won the opening pedigree beef championship, courtesy of pre-sale show judge Ian Moorhouse, a commercial Blue breeder from Dacre.
Husband and wife Richard and Wendy Maudsley secured the title with their first prize July, 2016-born ready for work bull, Littlebank Leo, an embryo son of the celebrated Belgian sire, Empire D’Ochain, and the first calf of a Ballygrange Alex cow, Solway View Jelly Baby, acquired as a heifer. The couple’s 19-year-old son, Thomas, holds a half share in the dam.
The past-used Empire has performed with credit for the Maudsleys, having produced calves to 9,300gns. His latest rising star sold for 3,100gns to RA Busby & Son, of Marrick in Richmondshire. The Littlebank herd was first established in 2004 and now comprises 17 pure pedigree cows, who produce between 20 and 25 calves a year, all by embryo.
Standing third in the bulls show class were Jack and Rebecca Wallbank, of the High Moss herd in Keasden, with another ready to work two-year-old, High Moss Larry, also an embryo son of the first time used Empire D’Ochain, out of Meteorite De Bois Remont. He sold locally to Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock for 2,200gns.
Stewart Gill’s Hallfield herd in Dacre also caught the eye with a brace of home-bred August, 2016, bulls, both by the Bluegrass Cyclone son, Hallfield Jasper. First up was Hallfield Lenny, bred out of Hallfield Betty, which sold to Francis Caton, of Weston, for 3,000gns, followed by Hallfield Lennox, out of a Visconti De St Fontaine-sired cow, Hallfield Amber, which made 2,900gns when joining JS Garthwaite in Wakefield.
The annual highlight, which produced an overall selling average of £2,988 for 2016-born bulls, again offered plenty of depth in quality to suit pedigree, commercial, beef and dairy breeders.