AS with the prime lambs, there was also a Red Rose championship coup in Skipton Auction Mart’s July prime cattle show when the Critchley beef farming family, from Mercer Farm, Hutton, near Preston, retained the title they also won the previous month.

Their latest victor was the first prize heifer, a 570kg British Blue-cross acquired from Clitheroe breeder Gary Whalley, which became one of 16 purchases by leading weekly buyer, Pearsons Wholesale Butchers in Bradford, at 322.5p/kg or £1,838.

The Critchleys, who broke 300p/kg four times, also stood second and third in the steers show class, the former a 570kg Blue-cross heifer making £1,821, or 303.5p/kg, the latter a 550kg Charolais-cross sold at £1,680, or 305.5p/kg, both going to Pearsons.

York retail butcher Anthony Swales also judged the prime cattle show, which attracted a high quality entry, awarding the reserve championship to the first prize steer, a 540kg Limousin-cross from multiple past champions, North Craven father and son, Francis and Andrew Smith, of Lodge Farm, Masongill, then claiming it for 325.5p/kg, top by weight, or £1,758. It was one of three purchases for Knavesmire.

Of the 25 under 30-month clean cattle forward, heavies, while a good trade, were a shade easier on the week, with Hargreaves Farms, of Walton-le-Dale, Preston, making their regular journey across the border to take top gross at £2,075, or 298.5p/kg, with a 695kg Limousin-cross which was among the Pearson acquisitions. A strong Hargreaves consignment of four steers saw three make £2,000-plus, with a pen average of 694kg and £2,043.

Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching sold three Limousin-cross heifers to a top section gross of £1,954 and per kilo high of 302.5p. Overall, steers averaged 292p/kg and heifers 290p/kg, with Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton taking home a brace, plus one for mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers.

With 15 cull cows forward, more carrying finish, the relentless demand for manufacturing meat continued, the section again achieving another solid overall selling average of £1,153.77 per head, or 166.99p/kg.

Beef-bred Continentals are currently selling at 200p/kg and upwards, trade this week peaking at £1,681, or 207.5p/kg, for a Limousin-cross cow from the Nelson family in Bordley, while heavy natives are 175p/kg-plus, topping at £1,499, or 179.5p/kg, for an Aberdeen-Angus from G&MA Lawn in Skipton.

Heavy dairies are around £1,300, or 170p/kg, with an odd lean dairy nudging 150p/kg as feeders look to try to remain full. Trade this week peaked at £1,340 (167.5p/kg) and 174.5p/kg (£1,213) for black and whites from Bell Busk husband and wife, Brian and Judith Moorhouse, and BH Wilson & Sons, of Green Hammerton.