Reigning Craven Cattle Marts’ Farmers of the Year, father and son Fred and Mark Houseman bagged their first Craven Dairy Auction title of 2014 at the early February show on Monday.

The Housemans, who trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, near Burton Leonard, clinched victory with the first prize newly calven heifer.

The home-bred 16 days-calved heifer came to market giving 34 litres and sold for the top price of £2,280 to local buyer John Howard, of Heslaker, Carleton.

A first-ever reserve championship at Skipton fell to the second prize newly calven heifer from commercial breeder DR Robinson, of Low Birks Farm, Eldroth.

Shown by his son Gary Robinson, who also works as a salesman for Guy Machinery at Skipton Auction Mart, the runner-up – 14 days calved and giving 30 litres – also joined John Howard for £2,050.

Despite a small turnout of 12 newly calven cattle, there was again significant demand at the ringside, with buyers going up to and around the £2,000 mark and pedigree heifers averaging £2,080.

Craven Dairy Auction regular Robert Crisp, of Calton, landed another red rosette with his first prize newly calven cow, which sold for a class-topping £1,750 to J and A Goulding, of Castley, Otley.

A solid showing of 16 in-calf heifers met with a good trade, averaging £1,640 overall, with the first and third prizes in the show class falling to DA Milner & Son, of Malton. Their charges sold for £1,820 and £1,700, respectively, to Wick Williams, of Nantwich, and Gargrave’s David Shuttleworth.

However, it was the second prize in-calf heifer from J and J Whitaker, of Laneshawbridge, that headed the class prices at £1,910 when becoming a further David Shuttleworth acquisition.

The same vendors were also responsible for the top price newly calven commercial heifer, a £2,080 purchase by A and G Midgley, of Luddendenfoot.

This month’s main BOCM Pauls-sponsored dairy show is on Monday, February 24, with more than 30 entries already received across all classes and more anticipated.

Church Farm Enterprises also sent out the two top price £380 and £365 British Blue-cross bull calves at Skipton’s weekly Monday rearing calf sale.

They both sold to Tony Binns, of Clint, Harrogate, a familiar face at the calf ringside.

Native breeds proved popular, with an overall selling average of £230.33 per head, up £30 on the week. HF Stapleton, of Addingham, sent out the top price Aberdeen Angus bull and heifer calves at £240 and £215 respectively, achieving two further class highs with a British Blue-cross heifer calf at £340 and a black and white bull calf at £160.

A Charolais-cross heifer calf from Stuart Verity, of Bashall Eaves, also sold well at £345. The 45-strong entry also produced averages of £295.75 for Continental-cross and £75.38 for black and whites.