REGULAR vendors and buyers were again in evidence in the weekly prime cattle ring at Skipton Auction Mart, on Monday, January 29, when trade for the 20 under 30-month clean cattle on offer was described as ‘steadier.’

Yet again, it was award-winning Keelham Farm Shop who arrived with the biggest shopping basket, securing seven cattle for its Skipton and Thornton shops, among them the top price per head and by-weight entries, once more consigned by the prolific Critchley family, from Hutton, Preston. The former, a 620kg Limousin-cross steer, made £1,448, or 233.5p/kg, the latter, a 530kg British Blue-cross heifer, achieving 249.5p/kg, or £1,425. The leading steer p/kg was a 550kg Limousin- cross from Bill Cowperthwaite, of Malham Moor, which sold to another regular retail butcher buyer, Hamlets in Garstang, for 246.5p, or £1,356.

Cull cow buyers were also prominent at the ringside and while the 38 entries featured 80 per cent dairies there were a few more beef-crosses about, with trade continuing its recent gradual improvement. Empty, meated dairies were comfortably 113-117p/kg throughout, with the lean end also well supported from 80-90p/kg.

An improved selection of beef cows included one heavy native, a 920kg Belted Galloway from Tom Boothman, of Linton, which made £1,007, with the section headed at £1,116, or 139.5p/kg, by a fed Limousin cow from Simon Bennett, of Silsden Moor. The overall cull cow selling average was £751.19 per head, or 110.41p//kg, while three mature bulls averaged £856.24, or 106.15p/kg, with a high of £1,157, or 117.5p/kg, for a Limousin from T Wild and R Ellis, of Nesfield, Ilkley. Also at £1,024 was a Friesian bull from Keith and David Downs in Bingley.