PRIMESTOCK PRESS - MONDAY 9TH MAY 2022

Father and son victors at CCM Skipton May prime shows May prime show day at Skipton Auction Mart, on Monday, produced dual father and son championships successes, Nidderdale’s Joe and Trevor Stoney standing prime lamb victors and North Craven’s Francis and Andrew Smith lifting the prime cattle crown.


While no strangers to success in the Skipton show arena, the Stoneys, who farm in Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, were winning their first-ever prime lamb title with their first prize Continentals, a pair of 50kg Texel-x among some 50 early season lambs. The duo topped the show prices when selling at £184 each to Knavesmire Butchers, York.
The Stoneys, who are lambing later than usual this year to take advantage of Spring grass, were also responsible for an outstanding same way bred single 42kg lamb that sold outside the show for the day’s leading price of £208, or 495p/kg, again to Knavesmire. Completing an excellent day, the family also sold a further lamb at £202, this time to another regular buyer, Felliscliffe’s Andrew Atkinson.
Flying the Red Rose flag were Tony and Kay Kiernan, of St Michaels, who finished second and third in the Continental pairs show class with a brace of 44kg lambs away at £168 and £180 each to West Scottish Lamb, who also paid £161 and £167 per head for the first and second prize Down-x pairs, February-born 51kg and 49kg Suffolk-x lambs consigned by local breeder, Steeton’s Mark Evans. Show judge was Eldwick’s Mick Etherington.
Turning to the prime cattle, the Masongill-based Smiths picked up another champion’s rosette with their first prize bullock, a 545kg British Blue-x bred by the Walker family in Dunsop Bridge and bought out of Skipton earlier this year. Picked out on its return by show judge, Anthony Swales, of Knavesmire Butchers, the victor sold for 333.5p/kg top price per kilo, or £1,818, to Bradford-based Pearson Wholesale Butchers, which was again the volume purchaser when accounting for no less than 16 of the 19 under 30-month clean cattle.
In fact, Pearsons made it a clean sweep of the leading prices when snapping up a trio of £2,000-plus entries from Hargreaves Farms in Walton-le-Dale, a 695kg Blue-x cross steer at £2,047 (294.5p/kg) and a brace of 695kg Limousin-x steers at £2,012 (289.5p/kg), plus the top gross heifer, a 605kg Limousin-x from the Critchley family in Hutton at £1,933 (319.5p/kg)
Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching won all three tickets in the heifer show class, their Skipton-bought red rosette winner, a 590kg Limousin-x also standing reserve champion and doing best of the trio on price when selling for £1,861, or 315.5p/kg, again to Pearsons.
A high quality show day entry saw the bulk of the handyweight retail cattle hit 300p/kg and above, the best heavy Continental cattle 295p/kg and the remainder 285p/kg or thereabouts. The mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers also took home two cattle.
Solid cull cow trade produced an increased entry of 32 head, with £1,200-plus regularly seen for heavy cows and a top of £1,466 for a black and white from Cowling dairy farmer Martyn Jennings. Lean dairies were a very good trade at 135-140p/kg, while coloured dairies continue to sell well, the best a Fleckvieh at 186.5p/kg, or £1,399, from Norman and Sally Fort, of Silsden. The overall section average was a robust 152.83p/kg, or £1,009.65.
Back with the sheep, the total turnout of 2,823 head was deemed strong for the time of year, the 294 Spring lambs among them virtually trebling in number on the week, with handyweights notably good to sell, the section producing an overall selling average of £143 per head, or 340.2p/kg (SQQ: 351p).
Old season hogg numbers are tightening, with handyweights among the turnout of 1,937 head in good demand, nice heavies also good to sell, commercial overweights a little harder work, producing an overall average of £122.89 per head, or 253.8p/kg (SQQ 266p). Best lambs in the 46-52kg range sold in the £140s and £150s to a top of £162 from Andrew Atkinson, per kilo prices peaking at 345p for Texels from Tony and Kay Kiernan.
Cast ewes and rams were the trade of the day, with buyers keen for numbers and competing strongly for the 592 entry. The best Continental and Suffolk heavy ewes made £170-£200, with just a couple of pens topside of £200, the 573 ewes of all breeds averaging £117, while 18 cast rams averaged £129.
The 238 breeding sheep sold to a good trade, North of England Mule Ewes correct with twins generally £220-£250, peaking at £260 from Richard Caton, of Stainforth, while Mathew Dibb, of Dob Park, Otley, sold Texel ewes with twins to £300. Singles were good to sell, £145-£180 seen for older outfits and £200-£230 for younger ewes with singles, peaking at £270 for a nice Texel outfit from C Fewster, of Linton.