Keelham doubles up again with Skipton prime shows principles Keelham Farm Shop embarked on yet another buying spree at Skipton Auction Mart’s February prime shows when acquiring both the champion and top gross price prime cattle, along with the champion and reserve champion pens of prime lambs.

The award-winning lambs will go on sale at Keelham’s two shops in Skipton and Thornton from this weekend, while the prime cattle principals will be purposely prepared for sale during National Butchers Week, which runs from March 14-20, when Keelham is planning some special promotions and activities at both shops.

Mr Robertshaw, who along with his sister Victoria owns and operates the two farm shops, said “We appreciate how important it is to source the best tasting meat we can for our customers, not only award winners at monthly shows, but every week. Our customers keep coming back because the meat we buy tastes great, is really affordable, and we can tell them about how it’s sourced from just up the road.

“We continue to develop and cement our relationship with both the mart and local farmers. They are very important to us.”

Back with the prime cattle, top price per kg was the second prize Continental heifer, a 515kg British Blue-cross from Roger Wood, of Cross Roads, which sold to another regular retail butcher buyer, D&A Gregory & Sons in Bacup,for 270.5p/kg, or £1,393.
Carleton’s James Drake presented the first prize and reserve champion 580kg Limousin-cross bullock, which was purchased at £1,430, or 246p/kg, by Mick Etherington, of Eldwick, on behalf of John Kearns Butchers in Shipley.

A standalone show for cull cows saw the first prize beef-bred entry, a British Blue from Richard Maudsley, of Rathmell, sell at £1,364, with the runner-up, a Blonde from Barden’s John Fawcett, taking top price in class of £1,399, or 166.5p/kg. Red rosette winner in the dairy-bred class was Martyn Jennings, of Cowling, with a black and white sold for a section high of £854.

A strong turnout of 67 cull cows sold to an overall average of £683.90 per head - an improvement on the previous week’s £626 - or 94.31p/kg, very similar on the week.

Skipton’s weekly turnout of 2,748 prime sheep comprised 2,535 old season lambs. Quality lambs met a very sharp trade, with no less than 43 separate pens exceeding £100 per head, while 250p/kg was topped on 31 separate occasions, with a further 86 pens selling from 200p to 249p/kg.

The day’s by-weight top of 302.7p/kg, or £112 per head, fell to a Beltex pen from mart regulars Martin and Val Brown, of Leyburn, bought by Worsley Wholesale Butchers in Dewsbury.

Paul Simpson also hit 300p/kg, or £114 per head, with another Beltex offering sold to Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, who also snapped up the third prize Continental-cross 39kg Beltex pen from Trawden’s Hayley Baines for the leading per head price of £116, or 295p/kg.

The overall average for every lamb sold was 189p/kg, or £79.21 per head, a significant increase on the previous Monday’s 171.24p/kg, or £71.89.

Back in the show classes, all three prize-winning Suffolk pens sold for £88 per head. The 43kg red rosette winners from Charles and Richard Kitching, of Threshfield, fell to the Millstones Restaurant and Mill 67 in Felliscliffe, Harrogate, and will feature on their menu.

The 58kg runners-up from John and Claire Wright, of Airton, joined Andrew Atkinson, also from Felliscliffe, while the 45kg third prize winners and class top price 207p/kg pen from Stephen Dorey, of Newark, were bought by Woodhead Bros Butchers in Colne.

Mr Atkinson also paid £69 per head for the first prize pen of ten 41kg Mule lambs from the Ryder family in Haverah Park, Harrogate, with the 47kg runners-up from Kevin Wilson, of Blubberhouses, selling for £78.50 each to Hellifield’s Paul Watson and the third prize 44kg pen, again from the Kitchings, for £75 per head to Welsh wholesale buyer St Merryn Foods.

Prime cattle show classes were judged by David Findlay, of Coverdale, and prime lambs by Winterburn’s James Dewhirst. Respective sponsors were Boland Driver Training and Wynnstay.

A total of 213 cast sheep were also sold. Cull ewes averaged £68.64 per head, up £5 on the previous week, with highs of £140.50 and £129.50 for Texel pens from John Mellin, of Hellifield. Cast rams averaged £45.71.

The same day’s weekly rearing calf sale attracted a 51-strong turnout, which met with a stronger trade than the previous Monday, as a number of new faces added impetus to the bidding. Continental-cross entries averaged £301.92 per head, native youngsters £236.67 and black and whites £69.71. A measure of the trade was that the average age of all calves sold was 38 days.

Richard Spence, of Sutton-in-Craven, topped with a strong Limousin bull calf at £450, with Continental heifer prices headed by Martyn Jennings, of Cowling, with a £360 British Blue-cross. The better end of the black and whites was hard fought over, as John Blackwell, of Gargrave, received the highest price of £165 for his Friesian entry.
Skipton’s weekly sale of produce, ten loads in total, saw hay mini hestons sell to £24 per bale, second crop mini hestons to £26.50, barley straw mini hestons to £16, round haylage to £14, and round wheat straw to £11.50 per bale.