THE Red Rose Critchley beef farming family picked up its first prime cattle championship of the year at the second monthly show at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday.

The multiple past champions, who now bring cattle to the North Yorkshire mart virtually on a weekly basis, the majority bought in and further fattened at their Mercer Farm in Hutton, near Preston, clinched another title with the first prize 590kg Limousin-cross heifer, sold for £1,460, or 247.5p/kg, to Darley’s Nick Dalby, buying on behalf of principal weekly buyer Keelham Farm Shop, who claimed seven entries in total, five for its Skipton shop and a brace for Thornton.

Another strong Critchley pen was also responsible for two further prize winners, which both hit the day’s leading per kilo price of 262.5p. First up was the second prize bullock, a 530kg British Blue-cross that was also among the Keelham buys at £1,391, followed by the third prize heifer, a further Limousin-cross weighing 550kg, which fell to regular buyer, Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop and Restaurant in Lancaster.

Countrystyle’s Alan Beecroft went home with three cattle, also including the first prize steer and reserve champion, a 555kg Limousin-cross from the Kitching family in Threshfield, at £1,418, or 255.5p/kg. It was bought out of Skipton last November and further improved on the farm.