ROBIN Jennings, Stainbank herd, South Stainley, Ripon, stepped up on his reserve championship success a fortnight earlier when taking the title at February’s opening Craven Dairy Auction at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday.

He bagged top honours with his strong white 27kg very fresh heifer, which made £2,050 and headed to Bishop Thornton with the Sowray dairy farming brothers, though trade topped at £2,300 for the reserve champion, a fresh second calver and one of three cows consigned by the Bolland family, Airton, as part of their ongoing herd dispersal. She joined the Felliscliffe Metcalfes.

While trade for fresh heifers at the top echelons was back a little at the latest renewal it was generally solid throughout, producing an overall selling average of £1,881 for eight forward, while cows averaged £1,833.

In fact, half the heifers on parade made £2,000 and over, with the second prize winner from Mark Smith, Winterburn, already giving over 35kg, making £2,000 to Brian Blezard, Ribchester, while another entry from the same home, plus a very promising uddered heifer from Sammie Sugden, Laycock, Keighley, made £2,100 and £2,000 respectively.

CCM’s latest Wednesday midweek sheep sale saw 1,253 store hoggs, a larger entry than normally seen so far through the season and turned out due to the strength of the store market, meet an improved trade on the fortnight when levelling at £101.39 per head.

White-faced Texel-x hoggs from IMA&RJ Smith, Clitheroe, topped at £140, best framed breed types making £120-£140, plenty of large 30-60 head mid-keep pens £105-£115, smaller sorts £95-£105 and long-keep goods £80-£90.

A pen of 69 Suffolk-x-Mule hoggs from JB Bancroft, West Marton, hit £129, a further 68 in one hit from the same home following at £126. The largest Suffolk-x hoggs made 120-£126, all mid-keep hoggs away at £97-plus, with a breed average of £120.95.

Mule wethers traded to £124 from John Smith, Carleton, plenty of half meat grass Mules making £105-£114, longer keep goods £83- £98, with a breed average of £100.61. Dalesbred hoggs topped at £95 from K Lister & Sons, Kettlewell, Swaledale at £86.50 from JA Appleton, Kettlewell, lots of mid-keep horned hoggs £65-£75 and long-keep hoggs £35-£55.

Other individual breed averages and top prices included: Beltex £120.50, Texel £100.07, Charollais £106.98 (£124 E&S Baines), Cheviot £105.80 (£116 AT Rogerson), Swaledale £60, Dalesbred £63.09 .

The mart says that with buyers still needing sheep for an abundance of root and green crops in feeding areas, further helped by a fat trade maintaining and rising in value, more lambs are required for the next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, February 21.

The 30 breeding sheep were consigned as part of a dispersal by H Thompson, Keighley, the ewes being mainly Herdwick-x-Texel, plus a handful of other crosses. Top price was £88 for flock aged ewes, with a sale average of £78.62.