THE Sowray dairy farming brothers bagged yet another Skipton rearing calf championship at the mart’s Easter Monday show and sale.
Shaun, Peter and Paul Sowray, whose Holstein Friesian herd is based at Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, secured the latest in a long line of title wins with their first prize seven-week-old British Blue-cross bull calf, which, like their victor at the previous show in February, was by the Norbreck Genetics’ dairy bull, Brennand General, bred in Dunsop Bridge by the Walker family, who are also familiar faces at Skipton.
The champion went on to secure top price in the sale ring when knocked down for £500 to Andrew Houseman of Darley.
The Sowrays landed another first prize rosette in the Limousin heifer show class with a youngster by a Stephen Priestley-bred Brontemoor stock bull they had purchased at Skipton’s premier breed highlight a couple of years ago. The calf topped its section at £375 when joining CW Sutcliffe in Bolton-by-Bowland. The seven Sowray calves consigned for sale averaged exactly £400 per head.
Show judge Richard Umpleby, of Killinghall, assisted by his 11-year-old son Matthew, remained in the Blue bull calf show class for his overall reserve champion, the second prize winner from father and son, Fred and Mark Houseman, who trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard. This, too, sold to Andrew Houseman for £450.
The Housemans also landed a clean sweep of the prizes in the Blue-cross heifer show class, with the victor becoming another £450 sale when joining brothers Malcolm and Stephen Abbott in Dacre. The nine-strong Houseman offering sold to an overall average of £411 per head.
Blues again led the way on price, with 11 of the 23 bulls on offer making over £400 and selling to an overall average of £394 per head, while ten Blue heifers topped £350, achieving a section average of £339. The overall Continental-cross selling average was £347.80 per head.
Native entries also met with a swift trade, peaking at £330 for an Aberdeen Angus bull calf from Andrew Ayrton, of Eastby, while a Hereford heifer calf from John Marshall, of Dacre, hit £250 with an Angus heifer calf from the Hartleys in Bolton Abbey also making £230. The section average was £280 per head.
Black and whites were also strong in the sale ring, with young three to six-week-old calves selling nicely past £100 and peaking at £130 for two from Alan Throup, of Silsden Moor, and Cononley’s James Gooch. Four to five-month-old black and white stirks from Chris Drake, of Thornton, were in ready demand when selling to £260 and averaging £233. The overall black and white average was £84.07.
Farmers are again reminded that the calf rearing workshop led by the AHDB takes place this coming Monday, April 24, in the mart’s Exhibition Hall from 10am to 3.30pm. Also on the same day’s agenda is the Yorkshire Holstein Club dairy show and sale.