New Year trade at CCM Skipton kicks off on a high note Skipton Auction Mart began the New Year in fine style with a total of 4,377 head of livestock penned for sale and successfully sold at the first big Monday sale day of 2020. The solid turnout comprised 67 prime cattle, 4,199 prime sheep and 111 rearing calves. (Jan 6)

It was also the year’s opening prime shows, with the return to trading after the holiday break attracting a large show of clean cattle and pen after pen of high quality entries.
Top grossing cattle were at the heavier end, with Edward and John Parkinson, of Dunsop Bridge, leading the way with a home-bred 600kg British Blue-cross heifer, which made the leading gross price of £1,515, or 252.5p/kg, when falling to Jeff Burrow, of Kirkby Malham.
Following close behind at £1,471, or top price per kilo of 260.5p, was a 565kg Limousin-cross heifer which stood runner-up in its show class and overall reserve champion from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching. It was claimed by regular Red Rose retail buyer George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden.
Weekly buyer James Robertshaw began the New Year as he ended the old when once more becoming the principal purchaser at Skipton, claiming 17 of the 42 under 30-month clean entries, 11 for his own Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton, the other six for Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton.
Another regular buyer Alan Beecroft, of Countrsytyle Meats Farm Shop & Restaurant in Lancaster, judged the New Year opener, nominating his first prize heifer, a home-bred 635kg Limousin-cross from Silsden Moor’s Simon Bennett as champion. It made £1,457, or 229.5p/kg, when figuring among the Robertshaws acquisitions.
The first prize bullock, a 610kg Limousin-cross from Hargreaves Farms in Walton-le-Dale, headed its section gross prices at £1,406, or 230.5p/kg, when also joining Robertshaws Farm Shop, with the second prize winner, a 565kg Limousin-cross once more from the Kitchings at Grisedale Farm, knocked down at £1,353, or 239.5p/kg, again to Mr Burrows.
North Craven father and son, Francis and Andrew Smith, of Lodge Farm, Masongill, stood third in both show classes with a brace of Limousin-cross entries, their 550kg bullock topping the section by weight prices at 250.5p/kg, or £1,378, the 555kg heifer doing better per kilo at 256.5p, or £1,423. They, too, formed part of Robertshaws’ extensive shopping basket.
Other wholesale and retail butcher buyers were Skipton-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, with four, a trio for Ellisons in Cullingworth, two for Countrystyle Meats and one for Kendalls Farm Butchers, of Pateley Bridge and Harrogate.
Cast cow trade opened up at the same level as pre-Christmas, with the 24 head forward comprising more cattle carrying finish, which were 105p/kg and upwards, while a handful of lean cows also produced a very good trade.
They sold to an overall average of £655.36 per head, or 98.59p/kg, a dairy-bred Fleckvieh from Chris Watson, of Horton-in-Craven, catching the eye at £974, or 122.5p/kg. The day’s top price of £998 fell to an Aberdeen-Angus bull from Bingley’s Keith Downs, another Angus bull from the same home making £898, with respective per kilo averages of 111.5p and109.5p. A third black and white bull from Allan and Sue Throup in Silsden made £964, or 115.5p/kg.

Champion New Year lambs top per head prices
The honour of becoming the first prime lamb champion of the New Year fell to Kirkby Malham’s Jeff Burrow with a pen of five 41kg Texel-cross shown by Hayley Baines and picked out by judge Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe, his choice later confirmed when they went on to sell for top call of £130 per head, or 317.1p/kg, to regular buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.
The second prize 47kg Beltex-cross pen from Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, sold for £115 to another regular wholesale buyer Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, Greater Manchester, while the third prize 45kg pen from Gargrave’s Brian and Lisa Hall became another Vivers purchase at £117.
Airton’s John and Claire Wright stood both first and second in the Suffolk-cross show class with 51kg and 48kg pens both claimed by Andrew Atkinson at £101.50 and £95.50 respectively.
The red rosette-winning 47kg North of England Mules from M Ryder & Son, of Haverah Park, Harrogate, made £92.50, again to Vivers, the second prize winners from the Wilson family in Blubberhouses claimed by Darley’s Nick Dalby at £87.
The remaining show class for horned lambs was won by Jimmy Greenwood, of Addingham, with 43kg Lonks sold for £83 to Joe Bosworth, who buys for A&D Meats in Rossendale. Runner-up was Cheshire vendor Bob Stubbs with 37kg Scottish Blackface sold for £73 each.
Prime lamb trade at the 2020 opener set off with a real bang, the 3,868 hoggs selling to an overall average of 220.2p/kg (SQQ 226.6p). or £95.44 per head.
Handyweight lambs of all breeds were a very strong trade throughout, with commercial lowland lambs weighing 37-42kg regularly selling away at 225-240p/kg, the smart end taking another step up when making 250-320p/kg. The Grindleton-based Towlers took top price per kilo at 320.5p, or £125 per head, with 39kg Beltex-cross consigned by James Towler. They were again purchased by Vivers.
Bolton-by-Bowland’s Paul Simpson produced a tremendous run of lambs, with five pens at 300p/kg or more, selling to a per head high of £123, with two further pens at £119 and his 94-strong run averaging a highly respectable 290.33p/kg.
The Towlers also had six pens of Continentals forward to average 271.2p/kg, while other sample prices saw DN&D Capstick, from Bolton-by-Bowland, consign 29 lambs to average 262p/kg, with further runs from the Great Harwood Eddlestons and the Ludendenfoot-based Hitchens averaging 272p/kg and 263p/kg. In total, 85 pens of lambs sold for in excess of 250p/kg.
In the lump, smart lambs were regularly £100 to £120, with Beltex-crosses averaging £111 per head, while heavier types were also good to sell, the 46-52kg bracket, which included a lot of the Mules, averaging 206p/kg and £101 per head, while the 52kg and above range averaged 196p/kg, or £107.77 per head.
Hill-bred lambs took a nice lift, the best Mules selling either side of 200p per kilo and the best horned lambs at 190-205p/kg. Cheviots averaged 222p’kg, with Lonks and Gritstones both topping £2 per kilo.
Also penned for sale were 331 cast sheep, which sold to a solid overall average of £93.91 - £92.66 for cull ewes and just over £116 for cast rams. The former were a notably sharp trade, good Continentals and Suffolks selling in the £120s, £130s and £140s, topping at £147.50 for Texels from JGE Heseltine & Son, of Bolton Abbey.
Nice sorts made £100-£115, while better Mules were mainly in the £90s, with the best sorts over £100 to a top of £107.50 from the Hewitts in Giggleswick. Hill-bred and horned ewes sold to £87.50, the better end generally making in the £70s or late £60s.