A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy owned the supreme champion heifer shown by his mother at Skipton Auction Mart’s Christmas prime cattle show and saleon Sunday.

James Moorhouse, accompanied by mum Hayley Baines, of Lower Middop Farm, Gisburn, first won the young handlers show class with a 600kg Blonde-cross heifer, before seeing it progress to first become champion female, then overall supreme champion at the fixture.

James was born and bred into farming, and has been attending the auction mart with his mother since being a babe in arms – he was one of the participants in the annual young handlers’ prime lambs show at Skipton in July – also taking a keen interest at home in both cattle and sheep. His father, Thomas Moorhouse, runs Moorhouse Agricultural Contractors in Gisburn, The supreme champion, and recipient of the Alf Lister Trophy, was bred in North Craven by Austwick mother and son, Janet and James Huck, and acquired by the Baines family at Skipton earlier this year.

It then went on to command top price by far when knocked down for a new record high Christmas show price of £4,857, or £8.10 per kilo, to D&S White Butchers in Marple, Stockport.

As well as the overall show victor, White’s Butchers also claimed two other rosette winners – the third prize British Blue-cross heifer, again from Hayley Baines at £2,483, along with the runner-up in the same show class, another Blue-cross heifer from Clare Cropper and John Mellin, of Mill House Farm, Long Preston, at £1,796.

The reserve supreme championship fell for the third year in succession to local breeder John Stephenson, of Bordley Green Farm, Bordley, with his first prize and reserve champion female British Blue-cross heifer, a 575kg home-bred by a bull acquired six years ago and used with great success on the herd, producing some first-rate show cattle.

The overall runner-up, shown successfully all summer, sold for £2,699 to Anthony Kitson, owner of Kitson & Sons Butchers, which has three shops in Northallerton, Stockton-on-Tees and Hutton Rudby.

Mr Stephenson was also responsible for the champion steer, the first prize 595kg Charolais-cross, which had also done well on the summer show circuit, including winning the breed championship at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. Another home-bred out of a Blue cow, the male champion sold for £1,871 to Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster.

For good measure, Mr Stephenson’s son, John, also finished third in the young handlers show class with a home-bred Charolais-cross heifer sold for £1,714 to Hamlets Butchers in Church Street, Garstang. The Stephenson family prize winners also picked up two special awards for the best home-bred animal and the best beast from a regular CCM vendor.

The 2015 Christmas prime cattle supreme champions, Clare Cropper and John Mellin, were again to the fore with multiple prize winners, including three firsts, one with a 500kg Limousin-cross steer also awarded the reserve male championship.

Also prominent among the prizes with three firsts and two runners-up rosettes were the Critchley family, from Mercer Farm, Hutton, near Preston. Father Richard and his sons Robert, John and Thomas won two of the Limousin-cross show classes, one with a 460kg heifer sold for £1,377 to Edwards Farm Butchers in Burnley, the second with a 570kg steer that made £1,564 which also joined D Gregory & Sons in Bacup.

Their third red rosette success came with a 435kg British Blue-cross heifer that also won a new trophy presented for the first time in memory of well-known and long established Saltaire family butcher Dick Binns, who passed away earlier this year after a long illness. It was presented jointly by his widow Barbara sister Kathleen Gemmell and the couple’s son Paul Binns, who took over the Bingley Road shop 18 months ago and now trades as Binns Quality Meats. Fittingly, Mr Binns, who also acted as Christmas prime cattle co-judge, then claimed his father’s inaugural trophy winner for £1,824.

The Critchley family also presented the second prize 500kg Charolais-cross heifer, sold for £1,347 to Ellisons Butchers in Cullingworth, along with another second prize 530kg Limousin-cross steer, which again joined Gregory & Sons Butchers for £1,534.

Also doing well with second and third prize Limousin-cross steers were Stephen and Nicola Jowett, of Lower West Scholes Farm, Queensbury, Their 575kg runner-up sold for £1,520, again to Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop, with the 580kg third making £1,551to Lincolnshire meat wholesalers K Littleworth & Sons, of Horncastle.

Janet Sheard, of Almondbury, Huddersfield, who also acts as a fieldsperson in West and South Yorkshire for Craven Cattle Marts, presented the third prize 610kg Charolais-cross heifer, which made £1,509 when joining Bishop Auckland farmers I&RA Watson.

Picking up the final red rosette with a 600kg British Blue-cross steer was Freddie Shorrock, of Cliviger, Burnley. This became a third acquisition by Gregory & Sons Butchers at £1,737.

Local breeders Geoff and Margaret Lawn, of Skipton, were runners-up in the native show class with a 570kg Aberdeen Angus heifer which also found a Red Rose buyer in George Cropper Jnr, who took over Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden in April this year.

The fixture again included four show classes for pen-judged un-haltered steers and heifers to further cater for the many commercial beef producers who support Skipton’s weekly prime cattle sale, but are not able to halter train animals.

This section, too, produced another coup for the Baines family when Hayley’s brother Paul – he too is based at Little Middop Farm, Gisburn - clinched both the championship and reserve championship with a brace of home-breds, the former with a 665 British Blue-cross heifer also claimed by Kitson & Sons Butchers at £1,925, the latter with a 685kg Limousin-cross steer that became another K Littleworth & Sons buy at £1,772.

A special prize for the highest priced per kilo beast purchased from CCM Skipton fell to Simon Bennett, of Silsden Moor, with his second prize un-haltered Limousin-cross heifer, sold for 281.5p/kg, again to Ellisons Butchers.

The Scriven family, from Elslack, also picked up a first prize win with a Blue-cross steer sold at £1,498 to Hamlets Butchers, with the red rosette in the native steer or heifer show class awarded to an Aberdeen-Angus from Hurries Farm in Otterburn, selling for £1,354 to Isherwoods Butchers in Silsden.

The 52 prime cattle on parade sold to an overall average of £1,708.96 per head. The other prime cattle co-judge was Steven Priestley, of Kirkambeck, Cumbria, There were multiple sponsors, the main one Skipton NFU.