ANOTHER busy bank holiday Monday at Skipton Auction Mart saw 46 prime cattle, 1,287 prime sheep, 213 breeding sheep, 41 rearing calves and five dairy cattle successfully go under the hammer.

In the prime cattle ring, Phil Gregory accounted for the highest gross and both the leading priced per kilo entries for his DA Gregory & Son Butchers in Bacup. Top gross at £1,453 (259.5p/kg) was a 560kg British Blue-cross heifer from the Hutton-based Critchley family, with Francis and Andrew Smith, from Masongill, heading both by-weight prices with a brace of Limousin – a 556kg steer at 254.5p/kg (£1,438) and a 520kg heifer at 260.5p/kg (£1,355).

In another high quality entry of 15 under 30-month clean cattle, steers averaged 232p/kg and heifers 246.18p/kg. James Robertshaw was again the leading buyer with five acquisitions, two for his own Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, the other three for Skipton-based Keelham Farm Shop. Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster also bought a trio.

As the previous Monday, 19 cull cows were forward as numbers dry up. Trade took yet another lift, producing an overall selling average of £849.28, or 122.06p/kg.

A nice trade for almost 900 Spring lambs produced an overall selling average of £106.23 per head, or 255p/kg. Two vendors claimed joint top per kilo price of 300p - Neil Tattersall, from Ellerton, with six 38kg Continentals at £114 per head, and Darwen’s David and Laura Coar with a pair of 42kg Continentals at £126. Both pens sold to wholesalers Hartshead Head Meat Co in Mossley.

Per head prices peaked at £127 on three occasions, two for pens from Mark Evans, of Steeton, one selling to Shipley butcher John Kearns, the other to Kendalls Farm Butchers in Harrogate and Pateley Bridge. The third £127 pen from John Mellin, of Black Lane Ends, again sold to Hartshead.

A much lighter post-Ramadan entry of 117 prime hoggs averaged £88.60 per head, or 190.6p/kg. The best were still in demand by local butchers, with a top of £124 from Addingham’s Jimmy Greenwood.

The 230 cast sheep included 211 cull ewes, which were much dearer than anticipated when averaging £72.30, with a top of 129.50 from Bolton’s J Taylor. More are required on a weekly basis. Cast rams averaged £89.90.

Breeding sheep reverted to their weekly Monday 11.30am sales slot and met a strong trade throughout, with multiple £200-plus per outfit sales Topping at £245 were Texel hoggs with twin lambs from Monty Burton, of Claughton.

The annual consignment of Swaledale ewes with Mule lambs at foot from the Bland family in Crowden, Derbyshire, averaged £169 per outfit, peaking at £200 for ewes with single gimmer lambs.

The handful of newly calven dairy heifers forward produced the best trade of the year to date when all making £2,000-plus. Oakworth’s Sally Wellock topped at £2,350 with her Harehills pedigree heifer claimed by SD Midgley, of Thorpe Bassett, Malton.

The four pedigrees averaged a solid £1,867, while a single commercial heifer from HJ&KL Blackwell in Gargrave made £2,100. The dairies were all readily sold to producers who continue to look for fresh milk and more are required for fortnightly sales.

Solid rearing calf trade produced a top call of £415 for a Limousin-cross bull from Ian Collins, of Dewsbury, with British Blue calves not far behind when topping at £410 twice for a bull from the Hartley family in Beamsley and a heifer from Eastby’s Andrew Ayrton. Blue bulls averaged £380 and heifers £332.