DEFENDING champions from the previous year successfully retained their titlesS at CCM Skipton’s Christmas rearing calf show and sale, the Bishop Thornton Sowray Brothers again clinching supreme championship honours, Beamsley husband and wife, Alan and Emily Middleton, standing reserve champions.

Auctioneer Kyle Hawksworth reported at “cracking run of calves forward,” with British Blue-x bulls selling to a top of £510 for the 1st prize winner and show champion from the Sowrays - brothers Peter, Paul and Shaun, along with nephew Stephen and Shaun’s stepson, James, of Bowes Green Farm.The Sowrays also took 2nd prize for a Blue-x heifer, sold for £415.

The 2nd prize Blue-x bull and reserve champion from the Middletons topped its section at £485, the third prize winner from Paul, Janet and James Bolland, Airton, £475. All Blue bulls sold at £330 upwards, the best end at £470-plus, other smart calves at £400-£455 and medium rearing calves £360-£410.

Blue-x heifers sold nicely too, 3rd prize in show going to the Angus Dean and family, Threshfield, selling at £350, with other prices upwards of £330, the best offerings at £400-£420. Other smart calves reached £400-£455 and medium rearing calves got away at £360-£410. Charolais heifer calves also sold exceptionally well at £390-£405.

The Bollands also won the native bull class with an Aberdeen-Angus making £360, further standing runners-up in the native heifer class with a another Angus sold for £260.

Calton father and daughter, Robert and Ellie Crisp, walked away with a handful of rosettes, snatching 1st and 2nd places in both the native heifer stirk and native male stirk classes, topping the price for Aberdeen-Angus bulls at £370. Angus heifers averaged £220, topping at £260 for RE Ayrton & Son, Eastby, for the 1st place in the native heifer show class. Black & white bulls met a strong trade, with a top price of £182 from J Caygill & Partners, Rylstone. Strong, weaned calves sold at £130-£182, whilst younger rearing calves sold either side of £100.

The better end of calves aged 8-10 weeks sold at £350-£390, whilst the younger, sweet calves also sold well at £320-£340, leaving just a few younger models selling at £250-£300. The festive highlight, judged by Tony Binns, Clint, Harrogate, attracted a robust entry of 78 head.

The same day, cull ewes and cast cattle came together for their annual Christmas shows, the former judged by Lister Brown, Halifax, who paid £309.50 top price for his champion five-strong Beltex pen consigned by J&M Blakey, Bolton-by-Bowland. Reserve champions were Lucas & Nairey, Blackburn, with five Texel selling at £251.50, the same home also taking 1st prize in the ‘pair of lowland ewes’ class with Charollais topping at £209.50.

Mules peaked at £104.50 for the 1st prize winners from Mick Collinson, SM&S Collinson, Clayton-le-Dale, the Hubberholme Hucks selling their Swaledale winners at £86.50.

In the cull cow show, defending champion Jack Berry, who trades as JH Throup, Silsden Moor, won again with his 1st prize native, an 850kg Aberdeen-Angus cross cow sold to John Thompson, Gargrave at 179.50p/kg, £1,526 gross. Dairy culls sold to a high of £1,282.71,149.50p/kg, for the 1st prize winner from P Crabtree & Son, Clifton, Otley.