No 1 proves number one for Cropper & Mellin at Skipton Christmas showcase
As Keelham Farm Shop snaps up supreme and reserve prime cattle champions
A lot number of No 1 fully lived up to its billing when going on to be chosen as number one on landing supreme championship honours for Clare Cropper and John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston, at Skipton Auction Mart’s high profile Christmas prime cattle show and sale. (Sun, Nov 29)
The couple, who are regular prize winners and past reserve supreme champions at the annual festive highlight, secured their first-ever supreme championship success with an 18-month-old British Blue-cross heifer, winner of the over 526kg show class.
Acquired from Penrith breeder Richard Carruthers in May, their title winner, also female champion, had enjoyed unprecedented success on the regional show circuit this summer, landing no less than five champion’s rosettes.
Show judge Mick Etherington, of Eldwick, described his chosen supreme champion as “a perfect butcher’s beast, with meat in all the right places.”
The 640kg victor commanded top price in show when selling for £3,648, or £5.70p/kg, to James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm Shop, who also bought the 2013 and 2014 Skipton Christmas supreme champions, paying almost £500 more than last year for the 2015 title winner in his ongoing quest to source the very best.
Keelham also swooped to buy the reserve supreme champion from another well-known local British Blue breeder, Bordley Green’s John Stephenson, with his first prize 620kg Blue-cross steer, also male champion, as well as the best home-bred beast and best animal from a regular CCM vendor.
By the Stephenson bull, Black Magic, the runner-up had also performed with great distinction on this year’s local show circuit, winning six overall championships, along with several reserve championship successes. Mr Robertshaw went to £2,449, or 395p/kg, to secure the reserve supreme.
Keelham made a total of ten acquisitions on the day. Their other prize winners were the third prize over 526kg British Blue heifer from S&NV Jowett, of Queensbury, at £2,076, or 355p/kg, the third prize under-525kg British Blue heifer from Gavin Boocock, of Fridaythorpe, at £1,313, or 255p/kg, and the second and third prize any other breed steers from Malcolm Metcalfe, of Baldersby, and Steve Okane, of Huby, at £1,663, or 275p/kg, and £1,668, or 240p/kg.
Keelham Farm Shop purchased every single prime cattle victor at monthly shows held at Skipton last year and throughout 2015 has continued as the mart’s most prolific buyer of prime cattle, not only title winners and other prize winners at monthly shows, but also on a weekly basis.
Keelham also regularly buys Skipton prime lambs, again champions and multiple prize winners among them, as it continues to source top-notch primestock from regional farmers to meet ever-increasing customer demand at its new farm shop in Gargrave Road, Skipton, and its established outlet at Thornton on the outskirts of Bradford.
Cropper and Mellin also stepped up with the second prize over-525kg steer, again a Blue-cross, which weighed in at 645kg and made £1,664, or 255p/kg, when becoming another Christmas prime beef butcher buy by Anthony Kitson, also a leading purchaser this year.
His top price acquisition at £2,152, or £410p/kg, was the first prize under-525kg British Blue heifer and reserve female champion from Trawden’s Hayley Baines, by a Cromwell sire and acquired earlier this year.
Another Kitson buy at £1,990, or 330p/kg, was the second prize winner in the young handlers’ competition class, also winner of a special prize for the best animal purchased from CCM Skipton.
It came from Jonathan and Jeanette Shorrock, of Hall House Farm, Cliviger, Burnley, and was shown by their 11-year-old son Freddie. The pure-bred British Blue heifer was acquired on Craven Champions Day in February from Sheila Mason’s Keasden herd in Clapham.
Sheila herself stepped up with the third prize under-525kg British Blue heifer, which also fell at 1,794, or 370p/kg, to Kitsons, who completed their buying spree with a further prize-winning acquisition at £2,025, or 300p/kg, for the second prize over-526kg British Blue heifer, a 675kg entry from Steve Okane. All will go on sale for the Christmas trade at Kitsons’ three shops in Stockton-on-Tees, Hutton Rudby and Northallerton.
John Stephenson picked up another red rosette with his first prize any other breed bullock and reserve male champion, a home-bred Blonde D’Acquitaine called ‘Smudge.’ Weighing in at 620kg, it fell for £1,984, or 320p/kg, to Red Rose butcher Philip Gregory, who runs DA Gregory & Sons Butchers in Bacup.
Mr Gregory also paid £1,576, or 265p/kg, for the third prize over-526kg British Blue steer from Chris Crowther, of Oldham, following up with the reserve champion in a new standalone show for unhaltered cattle, staged to cater for the increasing number of commercial beef producers who support the mart’s weekly sale of prime cattle and who are not able to halter train animals.
It came from Simon Bennett, of Delph Farm, Silsden Moor, and was a British Blue-cross bullock by his ex-stock bull Brookfield Commander. Mr Gregory, who judged the unhaltered classes, went to £1,542, or 255p/kg, for his chosen reserve.
He awarded the championship to a home-bred three-quarters British Blue heifer from Brian Lund, of Walshaw Farm, Walshaw, Hebden Bridge. The last calf born to his former stock bull Dean House Danloy returned home.
Back in the haltered section, Pendle husband and wife Mark and Elaine Hartley, of Roughlee, won another show class for heifers with a 590kg Limousin-cross British Blue entry shown by their son Thomas. Bred by the Gray family in Langbar, it too was acquired at the February store cattle highlight and made £2,183, or 370p/kg, when joining Weatherheads Butchers, which has shops in Pateley Bridge and Grassington.
The Jowett family also stepped up with two further third prize winners in the any other breed heifer and young handlers’ show classes. The latter sold for £1,625, or 260p/kg, to Thompson Wholesale Meats in Witton-le-Wear.