JUST as they did at the New Year opener, North Craven father and son hill farmers, Francis and Andrew Smith, stood champion again at Skipton Auction Mart’s February prime cattle show.

What’s more, they also added the reserve championship for good measure. (Mon, Feb 1)

With ‘drop and go’ currently in place for all vendors, the Smiths, of Lodge Farm, Masongill, above Ingleton, were unable to be present in person.

It meant they were not there to witness their latest coup when they secured principal honours with a brace of Limousin-cross entries.

Tapped out by show judge Simon Barker, who runs the mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, the overall victor was a 555kg red bullock.

The reserve was a 550kg black heifer.

Both beasts figured among a total of ten purchases by regular weekly buyer, Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers.

They made, respectively, 262.5p/kg, or £1,457, this the top price steer, and 263.5p/kg, or £1,449.

Bradford-based Pearsons also accounted for both the highest priced animals.

Top price per kilo at 266.5p/kg, or £1,506, was a 565kg British Blue-cross heifer from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching.

They presented the leading gross price of £1,516, or 244.5p/kg, going to a 620kg Limousin-cross heifer from the Jowett family in Queensbury at £1,516, or 244.5p/kg.

There was a turnout of 20 under 30-month clean cattle from regular local consignees.

Among them were five from first-time vendors, GS&SI Bartlett, of Blackpool, included a number of 600kg entries.

Among these being presented was a nice entry of 530kg commercial heifers carrying finish which found a ready demand.

Weekly buyer James Robertshaw took up his usual place in the individual safe distancing ringside buyer booths.

He claimed an eight-strong haul of high quality retail cattle – six for his own Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton.

The other two made their way to Skipton-based Keelham Farm Shop.

Adjudicator Mr Barker himself took home three for his own catering and wholesale business.

Also penned for sale were 23 cull cows.

While a shortage of meat was supplemented by feeding interest at the ringside trade was similar on the week when producing an overall selling average of £729.96 per head, or 112.87p/kg.

There was a four-figure top of £1,040, or 140.5p/kg, for a black and white from M Ryder & Son, of Haverah Park, Harrogate.

Meanwhile, Eldwick’s Mick Etherington judged the monthly prime lambs show and both his principals came from the Continental-cross hoggs class, presented in pens of five.

The first prize and champion pen of 42kg Beltex lambs by home-bred Dutch Texels rams from Hayley Baines, of Horton Green Farm, Gisburn, sold for £140 per head to weekly wholesale buyers Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

The second prize and reserve champion 48kg Beltex pen from Taylor Bros in Rathmell did better at £158 each, the day’s joint top call.

They joined regular retail buyers Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, supplementing their same day’s retail cattle purchases.

D&A Livestock, of Haverah Park, consigned the first prize pen of 41kg Suffolk-cross hoggs, knocked down for £119 per head to Halifax wholesalers, the Medcalfs.

The second prize 56kg pen from the Hutchinson family in Faceby sold for £127.50 to ringside regular Andrew Atkinson, of Felliscliffe.

The Hutchinsons also stepped up with the first prize pen of ten 60kg North of England Mule hoggs.

They sold for £124 to Scotbeef, with regular Lincolnshire vendor Steve Dorey responsible for the second prize 45kg pen, which made £119 when joining Dan Towers in Hornby, Lancaster.

A standalone show class for pens of ten horned hoggs was won by 40kg Swaledales from John and Claire Wright in Airton.

They sold at £102.50, the 43kg runners-up from Matt Mason of Appletreewick, making £107.50. Both fell to Andrew Atkinson.