North Yorkshire pig farmer Daniel Thackray, of Prospect House Pietrains, picked up another Christmas prime porkers supreme championship at Skipton Auction Mart with a trio of pure-bred gilts. (Mon, Dec 7)

Mr Thackray won the 2020 title with home-bred pigs by the same boar that was also responsible for his 2018 victors and last year’s reserve champions. In fact, they were among the last litter by the prolific Pietrain, a loyal servant which has now been replaced to introduce fresh bloodlines by a new Belgian boar just purchased from well-known Oxford breeder Emily South and among several of her imports. Pietrain is the village in Belgium from which the breed takes its name.

With ten breeding sows at home, Mr Thackray, who also runs a pedigree Beltex sheep flock at Prospect House Farm, Fewston, between Skipton and Harrogate, saw his prime pig victors, winners of the lightweight class and each weighing 85kg, sell for top call of 245p per kilo, or £208.25 each.

They fell to the show judge, Simon Barker, who runs wholesale and catering supply business Barkers Yorkshire Butchers at the fully EC-registered meat production unit at the mart. He acquired the supreme champions on behalf of one of his regular customers, award-winning Kendall’s Farm Butchers, who will prepare the prize-winning pork purposely for the festive trade at their two shops in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate.

Mr Barker claimed all three of his prize-winning pens, paying 175p/kg, or £161.58 per head, for the reserve champions, a trio of 92kg home-bred Landrace-cross from D&A Livestock, of Prospect Farm, Haverah Park, west of Harrogate, along with the third prize pen from the same home, 97kg Landrace-cross at 155p/kg, or £151.39.

Two of the reserve champion pen have been reserved for the Christmas trade at Mackenzies Farm Shop in Blubberhouses, while the others will go to other regular Barkers Yorkshire Butchers customers, who comprise regional retail butchers, farm shops and the hospitality sector. The business is becoming increasingly renowned for supplying top quality porkers, which all come from Yorkshire, also producing its own gammon, bacon and sausages in-house.

Mr Barker was also among the purchasers at the same day’s weekly prime cattle sale, which still saw plenty of plenty of heat in the trade for late Christmas purchases and stock to hang over into the New Year.

James Robertshaw, of Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, took up his usual place at the ringside, purchasing four cattle in total, including the day’s highest gross price and per kilo entries – the former a 605kg British Blue-cross heifer from Malham Moor’s Bill Cowperthwaite at £1,649, or 272.5p/kg, the latter a 585kg Limousin-cross steer from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching at 274.5p/kg, or £1,606.

Eleven of the 17 under 30-month entries made £1,499 with other buys secured by Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton and Bradford-based Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers.

A small entry of cull cows met a very good trade as factories start to look towards post-Christmas stock, averaging £821.12, or 123.79p/kg. A native-bred breed Beef Shorthorn from Tim Riley, of Midgley, Halifax, was back at pre-summer values when making £1,190, or 153.5p/kg.