Vendors enjoy field day at inaugural CCM Skipton Grass Day fixture
To coincide with the annual cattle turnout Skipton Auction Mart staged an inaugural ‘Grass Day’ show and sale of stirks, featuring seven pen-judged classes for both continental and native fives and singles, and held as part of the mart’s latest Saturday collective sale day.
Show judge Stephen Lofthouse, from Grewelthorpe, picked out two from a solid pen of 6/8- month-old suckler-bred stirks from Ian Moorhouse, who runs Fouldshaw Blondes in Dacre, Harrogate, as his first prize single continental bullock and heifer, both British Blue-crosses by Blonde bulls. They sold at £880 and £890 respectively, the 17-strong Foulshaw consignment making from £740-£900 for steers and £600-£890 for heifers.
Also picking up a brace of red rosettes in the pens of five native bullock and heifer show classes were W&M Bland, of Kirkby Malham, with 6/12-month-old Aberdeen-Angus, the steers selling to £690.
The first prize pen of five continental heifers, Blues from David Mitchell, of Wilsden, sold at £660 per head, with Frank Brown, of Halton Gill, winning the continental bullocks fives show class, again with Blues. His consignment of five to seven-month-olds made £600-£660.
The fixture, for stirks, weaned calves and young store cattle, attracted an entry of 214 head, with a good mixed turnout forward and buyers ringside for all qualities, producing trade on a par with the previous collective, though some buyers edged slightly on caution with grass still not bouncing as much as it could be. However, good hard grass cattle with frame sold very well.
Both Limousin bullocks and heifers were in high demand, especially the suckler-bred end, with trade topping at £1,120 from M Smith, of Halifax, who also headed the Blue steer prices at £825. These were a nice trade, stronger goods at 11/12 months making £695-£780, while Blue heifers were also solid, 5/6-month-old goods making £550-£600, the stronger end either side of £660 and good hard grass cattle £720-£790.
Aberdeen-Angus bullocks got away at £700-£870 for strong grazers, the same quality among the Angus heifers making £640-£670 at 10/12 months, medium heifers £460-£525 at 5/7 months and medium bullocks £540-£620.
While black and white stirks were scarce, a strong pen of six from Colin Winterburn, of Bolton Abbey, caught the eye at £730 each. Bulls were also a very strong trade. The second grass day sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 14.
A nice selection of breeding sheep was also forward, section prices peaking at £170 per outfit for North of England Mule ewes with single lambs, Texel ewes and singles next best at £142. A brace of Shetland ponies trotted off to a top of £100.