THE 2021 rearing calf show season at Skipton Auction Mart began as the old one had ended for one farming family.

The 2020 Christmas show victor, Alan Middleton, who trades under the family partnership of JP&KE Hartley at Lane House Farm, Beamsley, again stood champion at the New Year opener, also adding the reserve championship for good measure. (Mon, Jan 4)

The Hartleys took top honours with the first prize British Blue-x bull calf and reserve with their red rosette-winning Blue-x heifer calf.

Both were tapped out by show judge and regular rearing calf purchaser, Robert Foster, of Wetherby, who later backed his judgment in the sale ring when claiming his chosen champion for the day’s top call of £435.

The reserve champion heifer headed its section prices when falling for £310 to John Brown, of Thirsk.

In addition, the Hartleys, who arrived with a trio of top-notch youngsters, saw the third, another Blue-x bull calf, also finish runner-up in its show class before selling for £405

All three calves were by Greystone Jupiter, bred locally by North Craven brothers Alan and Graham Coates, who run the renowned Greystone herd in Stainforth.

Jupiter is now standing as an AI dairy sire with Genus.

The Hartleys, who run a totally flying commercial dairy herd comprising some 100 head, clearly favour and do well with Greystone bloodlines.

Their Greystone Money, a 4,600gns Skipton purchase last year and now standing as the family’s main stock bull, was responsible for the Christmas champion.

The 72-strong turnout met a good trade.

Janet, James and Percy Bolland of Airton, caught the eye when selling a six-and-a-half-week-old Blue-x bull calf at £410, with the best of the Blue bulls making £400-plus, mediums £330-£400 and the younger end £240-£280.

Young Blue heifers were generally £200, mediums trading either side of £280, with frame for potential cow makers selling the best.

The first prize Limousin-x bull calf from G Pickersgill & Sons, of Hawksworth, topped the breed prices at £400, with the first prize Limousin-x heifer calf from the same home making £250.

The Pickersgills also chipped in with the red rosette-winning black and white bull calf, which made £145.

Threshfield’s Angus Dean won both other Continental show classes with Simmentals, his bull calf making £260 and heifer calf £265.

Of the natives, Aberdeen-Angus bull calves sold to £300 from JC&DJ Marshall & Sons, of West End, with Angus heifers topping at £220 from James Gooch, of Cononley. Another cracking run of Flekveih bull calves from Horton-in-Craven’s Chris Watson sold to £300.