New record price as rearing calf ‘kings’ strike again at Skipton

New record price as rearing calf ‘kings’ strike again at Skipton

Family member James Dixon with the Sowray brothers’ latest Skipton rearing calf champion

Pictured at Skipton’s summer rearing calf show are, from left, family member James Dixon with the Sowray brothers’ latest champion, Keith Colley, of sponsors BOCM Pauls, Alan Middleton and the reserve champion, and Duncan Holme.

First published in Countryfile Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

A MART record price of £700 was established at Skipton Auction Mart’s summer rearing calf show and sale, which produced tremendous trade not seen since spring.

The new all-time high fell to the show champion, the first prize British Blue-cross bull calf from the all-conquering Sowray family, of Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, who made it a clean sweep of championship successes in Skipton’s 2014 rearing calf show arena.

Brothers Peter, Paul and Shaun Sowray have now won all four of this year’s seasonal calf shows at the Craven venue and their latest title winner outshone their previous victor at the spring show, another Blue-cross bull calf, which made a then record price of £690.

Their 41-day-old August champion fell to Vickers and Richardson, of Scarborough, prolific buyers on the day.

The Sowrays were also responsible for the third prize British Blue-cross heifer calf, which became a £360 acquisition by another regular Skipton calf buyer, Derek Taylor, of Burton Leonard.

Show judge Paul Drinkall, of Gargrave, remained in the Blue bull calf pen for his reserve champion, the second prizewinner from local breeders JP and KE Hartley & Son, of Lane House Farm, Beamsley.

Shown by Alan Middleton and his uncle Duncan Holme, the runner-up, also proved popular at the ringside when selling for the day’s second highest price of £570, again to Vickers and Richardson.

The same vendors were also responsible for the top price black and white bull calf, a three-quarters Friesian sold for £140 to G and A Gaythorpe, of Wetherby.

Reigning Craven Cattle Marts’ Farmers of the Year, father and son Fred and Mark Houseman, who trade as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, had a field day, selling quality youngsters to a high of £530 for their first prize Continental male stirk, another British Blue-cross.

In fact, they made a clean sweep of the prizes in this class. The runner-up fell for £470 to be bettered at £480 by the third prize winner. All three joined Mr Taylor, as did their £440 their third prize British Blue-cross bull calf.

The Housemans also presented the first prize and top price British Blue-cross heifer stirk, sold for £400 to Vickers and Richardson, along with the second prize British Blue-cross heifer calf, knocked down at £375 to Wetherby’s Robert Foster.

For good measure, they also chipped in with the top price native bull and heifer calves, both Aberdeen Angus prizewinners, which sold at £275 and £230 to, respectively, Mr Foster again and Edwards Farm Butchers in Burnley.

Gargrave’s Colin Whitelock was again prominent with the first prize British Blue heifer calf, which made £380 on joining Mr Taylor, who also paid £440 for another Blue bull calf from the same exhibitor.

Alan and Sue Throup, of Silsden Moor, picked up three red rosettes with bull calves – a Limousin-cross sold for £290 and a Simmental-cross at £295, both acquired by Mr Foster, plus a black and white acquired for £120 by W Brass and Son, of Middlesbrough.

The top price £330 Limousin heifer calf shown by RL Wright, of Airton, also joined Mr Foster, while the Drake farming family from Thornton, Bradford, stepped forward with the first prize other native heifer calf, a Shorthorn sold for £205 to Liz Hogg in Burton Leonard.

A packed ringside produced fantastic trade and averages for all classes, with British Blue youngsters notable when producing leading bull and heifer calf averages of £428 and £334 per head respectively. The 94-strong turnout sold to an overall Continental-cross average of £389.80 and a native average of £188.70.

Black and whites were also good to sell, with a number of buyers on the hunt for strong calves, which averaged a robust £71.98 per head overall.

The show was again sponsored by BOCM Pauls, who will also support Skipton’s next seasonal rearing calf highlight, the autumn show and sale scheduled for Monday, October 20, with weekly Monday calf sales ongoing.

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