Blues again to the fore at CCM Skipton young bull showcase British Blue-cross entries once more led the way when claiming both red rosettes for the second year running at Skipton Auction Mart’s Spring show and sale of young feeding bulls. Both were bred in the Yorkshire Dales by farmers who have tasted success at the annual highlight in past years. (Wed, March 14)

In the under 10-months show class, James Huck, who farms with his parents, John and Gill, at Church Farm, Hubberholme, took first prize with a home-bred nine-and-a-half-month-old bull by High Moss Ian, acquired as a reserve champion at Skipton in 2015 from his Keasden breeder Jack Wallbank.


Out of a Blonde-cross-Blue cow, the class victor made £1,200 when claimed by the show judge, York area farmer and retail butcher, Anthony Swales, who was once again the principal buyer at the annual highlight with six acquisitions in total and all but one of his chosen prize winners.


As in past years, all the cattle will be further improved on the family’s Haverland Farm in Melbourne, before returning to the food chain for the summer trade at their Knavesmire Butchers in Albermarle Road, York. They will start to appear from June onwards.


The Hucks also stepped up with the third prize winner in the same show class, which was bred by the same sire and fell for the day’s top call of £1,265, while Mr Wallbank, who farms at Higher Moss House, was himself responsible for the second prize under ten months young bull, another Blue-cross that sold away at £1,260.


Stephen Fawcett, who farms with his wife Tracey and daughter Samantha at Fold House, Drebley, won the 10-12 months show class with a ten-and-a-half-month-old bull, another home-bred by a New Close stock bull acquired three years ago from Staffordshire breeder Andrew Wilson. Out of a Blonde-cross cow, the red rosette winner sold for £1,230.


The Fawcetts were also responsible for the third prize in class, again by the same sire, who has produced some good calves for the family, this selling for £1,210.


The only rosette winner not to fall to Mr Swales was the runner-up in the 10-12 months show class from Calderdale brothers David and Stephen Hollings, of Spinks Hill Farm, Pecket Well, Hebden Bridge, who had won the same class the previous two years. This sold for £1,090.


The Top Tags-sponsored show formed part of Skipton’s fortnightly cattle sale of 519 head, when four-figure prices were the order of the day.


The 208 young feeding bulls attracted a full complement of buyers at the ringside, including some new faces, when trade improved to another level. Bulls under 12 months averaged £1,016 per head, with the top end of 2016-born bulls hitting £1,100.


Heading the Limousin-cross prices at £1,210 were W&A Lambert, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, while the top price pen of three Blue-cross bulls from Elslack’s Jim and Christine Scrivin each made £1,180. The overall Continental-cross selling average was £1,015,


In the store section, which attracted 275 bullocks and heifers, older cattle continued to force some solid averages, the best of them making £1,200 to £1,300 throughout. Beef-cross-dairy bullocks and heifers were also very good to sell, with some strong prices achieved. There were more faces at the ringside seeking smaller heifers and bullocks, with younger last Spring cattle seeing some healthy bidding from start to finish.


E&MA Burrow, of Slyne, Lancaster, reached £1,090 with an 18-month-old Blue-cross bullock, with section prices peaking at £1,280 for a Limousin-cross from T Craddock & Son, of Bolton-by-Bowland. Bullocks averaged £963 for Continental-cross, bettered at £982 for native entries.


Heifers looked just as good, with David and Charles Sayer, of Threshfield, hitting £1,000 twice with 16-month-old Blue-cross. There were joint section highs of £1,200 for entries from two Pateley Bridge vendors, a Limousin-cross from CT&EM Hammond, and a Blue-cross from E&AM Simpson. The top price pen of four Charolais-cross heifers from Andrew Fawcett, of Bishop Thornton, each sold away at £1,095.


Also penned for sale were 32 beef-bred feeding cows, which sold to an overall average of £929 per head, with a top call of £1,280 for a British Blue from Lincolnshire vendor Alan Twell, of Donnington. A handful of breeding cattle sold to £1,160, this for an Aberdeen-Angus cow with her Angus steer calf at foot from Rochdale’s D Neave.