RIBBLE Valley brothers William and Michael Oldfield, Demense Farm, Newsholme, clinched the supreme championship on debut in the lamb carcase competition again staged as part of Skipton Auction Mart’s 16th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales. (Sun, Nov 26)

The brothers claimed top honours with their 41-44kg Continental class winner, a home-bred Beltex-x with a live weight of 41kg, dead weight 23.9kg, killing out percentage 58.2% and AHDB grading of E2, also winner of a £50 voucher presented by the Northern Beltex Club.

It was first picked out by show judge, George Cropper, then snapped up by him for a heady £460 top price in sale, the third consecutive year the well-known Red Rose retail butcher had purchased the carcase victor for his Cropper Family Butchers & Deli in Blackburn Road, Accrington, which he runs with daughter, Clare Mellin, and team.

Mr Cropper also paid £310 second top call for his chosen reserve champion, another Beltex-x and first prize winner in the under 41kg class again from the previous year’s overall runners-up, brothers Clive and Trevor Robinson, Middle Brayshaw Farm, Tosside. It had LW34kg, DW20.7kg, KO60.8%, E2.

Calderdale husband and wife, Adrian and Kathryn Leach, Owlers Farm, Hebden Bridge, won the overweight class with a Beltex, LW46kg, DW23.7kg, KO51.5%, E2, sold for £190 to Isherwood Butchers, Silsden. From the same home, the 17.2kg runner-up in the under-41kg section, another Beltex, made £150.

The Mule class was won by Nick Brown, Claughton, Lancaster, with a carcase LW47, DW20.3kg, KO46.2%, O2+ going at £125 to retail butcher Phil Parkin, Parkin Family Butchers, Howden, Goole, who snapped up all three prize winners in this show class, adding the 20.7kg runners-up from Mr Brown’s wife, Charlotte, at £112, plus the third prize 22.5kg carcase from Joe and Nancy Throup, Draughton, at £120.

Mr Brown also stood runner-up in the 41-44kg section with a Texel LW42, DW24.5kg, KO58.3%, E2, awarded a £50 voucher by Northern Area Texel Sheep Breeders Club for the highest placed Texel-sired lamb carcase, making £180, the third in class, a 24.6kg Beltex from Bolton Abbey father and son, Chris and Tom Heseltine, away at £175, both joining Knavesmire Butchers, York.

Back with the overweights, Michael Daggett, Hartlington, was runner-up with a 27.8kg Texel, a further £190 purchase by Isherwood Butchers, run by father and son, David and Josh Isherwood, with I&M Bell, Carleton, placed third with a 24.5kg Suffolk, sold at £140 to mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, which again hosted and sponsored the carcase competition.

The Suffolk show class fell to D&A Livestock, Haverah Park, Harrogate with a carcase LW44kg, DW19.3kg, KO43.8%, RL purchased by John Summers Family Butchers, Clayton, Bradford. Whalley father and son, Richard and Mark Ireland, also sold two carcases to regular buyer SR Hallworth Butchers, Whalley.

A total of 26 carcases across the five show classes sold to an overall average £166.79, plenty of Beltex making £140-£190, while Mules could be purchased at £112-£135. As usual, all had first been delivered to the mart and weighed live, before slaughter at John Penny and Sons in Rawdon, who again donated the entry fees to charity.