TRADE at Skipton Auction Mart’s opening September Craven Dairy Auction was led by the first and second prize heifers in milk, the championship again falling to Mark Smith, Winterburn, with his late August-calved heifer by Denovo Prince already yielding over 32kg and heading to Geoff Liddle, Huby, at £2,400. (Mon, Sept 11)

The same purchaser also paid £2,100 for the second prize heifer and reserve champion from the National Premier Pedigree herd of Brian and Judith Moorhouse at Bell Busk. Their Aireburn Pharo Stephanie was also a 30kg-plus heifer fresh since August 30.

Third prize went to an immature black heifer from Ian Hall, who trades at J Dibb in Kilnsey as part of their ongoing dispersal and was one of a pair going home to Tong, Bradford, with regular buyers, Mark and Karen Goodall.

Champion at the September prime cattle show was Willie Timm, who trades as TWH Assets, Goole, with his first prize 674kg Limousin-x heifer. Successfully shown during the summer months it sold for 248.5p/kg, £2,349, to north-east retail butchers, Kitson & Sons, whose flagship outlet is Five Houses Farm Shop & Deli in Crathorne.

Reserve champion was the red rosette-winning steer from multiple past champions, North Craven father and son, Francis and Andrew Smith, Masongill, which made 334.5p/kg, £1,762, to Robert Pearson, again buying on behalf of Bradford-based Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers. Among his other acquisitions was the day’s best gross of £2,330, 317.5p/kg, for an exceptional pure-bred British Blue bull and first prize winner from Paul Baines, Middop.

Top gross prices among the steers fell to Hargreaves Farms, Walton-le-Dale, with their 685kg Charolais-x, which realised £2,168, 316.5p/kg, the best heavy steer price per kilo a Limousin from the same home at 319.5p/kg.

With an exceptional quality turnout and firm trade, 11of the 18 under 30-month clean cattle grossed £2,000 or more, with heavy steers slightly less on the fortnight, but retail weights very strong.

ENDS Pic caption: Happy faces all round from the latest Craven Dairy Auction principals, from left, Helen Whittaker of sponsors Massey Feeds, reserve champion Brian Moorhouse, victor Mark Smith and judge John Harry Hitchen, Luddendenfoot.