A SPARKLING supreme championship and 8,400gns (£8,820) top price coup was achieved by North Craven’s Mark Nelson with a well-bred July, 2022, bull on his first-ever appearance at CCM Skipton’s annual Craven Limousin Day pedigree highlight last Wednesday.

 Mark, who runs the Bullandcave herd at the farm of the same name in Clapham, saw his home-bred Bullandcave Trooper first tapped out as winner of its intermediate show class, then intermediate male champion, before progressing to become first male, then overall supreme champion courtesy of Welsh show judge Llyr Hughes, Pabo herd, Anglesey.

Trooper is an embryo son of Hunters Hall Nutcracker, himself by the renowned Plumtree Fantastic, sold privately by Nottinghamshire’s Paul Cairns in 2011 for £40,000 to another well-known North Craven breeder Ian Handley, Gunnerfleet herd, Chapel-le-Dale. The 16,000gns Nutcracker himself has impressive credentials, having bred multiple show-winning calves and also responsible for leading performers in the beef classes at last year’s Agri Expo.

Trooper’s dam is the Gunnerfleet Hicks daughter, Hunters Hall Retha, a 12,000gns Red Ladies Day acquisition, with the adjudicator clearly impressed with his chosen supreme when describing the bull as “a proper Limousin with real shape and class to produce both commercial and fat cattle for the modern-day market.”

He will now have the opportunity to do just that in the Ribble Valley with new owner Thomas Robinson, of Catlow Farm, Slaidburn, who has made several past Craven Limousin Day purchases and farms with his parents, Tom and Ella, wife Lucy and daughters, Olivia, 14, and ten-year-old Freya.

The family runs a 120-strong commercial herd, on which Trooper will go to work in the hope of producing show-potential calves and solid commercial types suitable for the store market. “He is a long, solid bull and appealed to us on the strength of his good EBVs and easy calving potential,” explained Thomas.

The judge further praised what he deemed “an excellent commercial show of well-presented cattle,” turning to fixture regulars and multiple past prize winners James and Sarah Cooper, Tomschoice herd, Hill Top Farm, Dacre, for his overall reserve supreme champion, also an intermediate bull class winner, then intermediate and male reserve.

Their Tomschoice Trademark is a smart December, 2022, bull by the Kaprico Eravelle son, Tomschoice Lexicon, since sold to Norbreck Genetics for stud and now the number one bull in the Republic of Ireland for genetics and easy calving. From the Netherhall Jupiter cow, Tomschoice Nasturtium, Trademark found plenty of support ringside when also heading to the Ribble Valley and the Towler family, Grindleton, for second top call of 7,400gns.

The Coopers also consigned the third prize winner in the same show class, Tomschoice Tanqueray, another Kaprico Eravelle grandson and November, 2022, calf of Tomschoice Solace, bred with use on heifers in mind from Tomschoice Rayoflight, herself by Goldies Nicholas. Tanqueray was also appreciated by a spirited ringside, selling at 6,800gns to A Cussins & Sons, Kirbymoorside.

Cumbrian regulars and multiple past ticket winners, the Priestley family, again travelled down from Cracrop Farm, Kirkcambeck, with their usual quality offering and followed up on recent successes with another solid trade at Skipton.

Top of their consignment on price, again at 6,800gns, was a stylish July, 2022, third prize intermediate bull, Brontemoor Theo, a Goldies Northstar son bred from Lodge Hamlet and Burndale Cyclone bloodlines through the home-bred Brontemoor Paloma. Theo also headed to the Ribble Valley when catching the eye of R Gill and Sons, Sabden.

A second intermediate bull from the same home, the September, 2022, Brontemoor Theheatison, by Cowtham Justice and bred from the Millgate Invest daughter, Brontemoor Omylove, also dam of the 17,000gns Brontemoor Riffraff, made 5,100gns when joining fellow exhibitors, the Shaw family’s Pleashaw herd, Shelley, Huddersfield.

The Priestleys – Steven and Ruth and their children, Richard and Sarah – also did well with junior bulls, the best of which at 6,100gns was another third prize winner, Brontemoor Ute, a February, 2023, son of Shatton Pedro, going to Norfolk with JW Peacock, Wymondham, while making 3,600gns was the January, 2023, Brontemoor Utah, also by Shatton Pedro and knocked down to Craig Matkin, Belper, Derbyshire.

Charles Stanton, Whitewell herd, Cow Ark, Clitheroe, produced a second prize bull and reserve junior champion, Whitewell Ulysses. His January, 2023, Westpit Omaha son, from a flush from Procters Mfanita, with calving ease and growth in mind, sold locally to Joe and Nancy Throup, Draughton, at 3,800gns. Whitewell also sold a quartet of cows either with calves at foot or in-calf at 3,100gns, 2,800gns, 2,500gns and 2,300gns.

Flying the Red Rose flag when presenting the junior male champion were the aptly named Joe and Hannah Lancashire, Limehill herd, Clowbridge, Burnley, with Limehill Unionjack, a January. 2023, son of Smithy Pluto, bred from the Coredale Fabregas cow Limehill Leah. The bull claimed a creditable 3,500gns when returning to Lancashire with D Robinson, Heywood.

The Lancashires, who took over from Hannah’s grandfather, Jack Ormerod, a decade ago, retaining the herd prefix, also sold their March, 2019, Smithy Pluto, the junior champion’s sire and third in the senior bull class, for 2,700gns. The purchaser was M Gore, Harden, Bingley.

Hitting 3,900gns was the first prize senior bull and senior male champion from John Clayton, Bentleybrook herd, Wyke, Bradford, with his June, 2019, Brockhurst Philip, acquired at 17-months-old from the Brockhurst reduction sale and who has since produced some solid pedigree and commercial progeny. With daughters retained in the herd the reason for sale, the bull joined IT Manning, Wrexham.

Susan Field, Cornfield herd, Burnley, made 3,600gns with a February, 2022, senior bull, Cornfield Tyson, by Wilodge Cerebrus, out of a Foxhillfarm dam, which travelled to Cumbria with PS Escolme, Kendal.

Back with the intermediate bulls, Garrowby Farms, Bugthorpe, York, who retained their 2023 crown at the previous day’s Northern Limousin Extravaganza, claimed 4,500gns with a second prize intermediate bull, Garrowby Tanacka, an October, 2022, son of Trueman Pharrell, bred from a Gunnerfleet Hicks-sired cow. Tanacka went to North Craven with Skipton regular Jeff Pickles, Chapel-le-Dale.

The Kirklees Shaws were themselves among the prizes when standing runner-up in an intermediate bull class with their April, 2022, Tomschoice Percy son, Pleashaw Ted, out of a home-bred dam by Hartlingtontop Joe. Ted goes to Upper Nidderdale with John Harker, Lofthouse.

All yearling bulls bar one sold, with two, both March, 2023, sons of Procters Major, hitting 2,500gns twice from the Oddacres pen of local Embsay breeders, John and Claire Mason, and daughter Annabel, who continues to serve as North East Limousin Breeders Club secretary.

One of them was a junior bull runner-up, Oddacres Upton, bred from the Gallois cow, Oddacres Marriot, which joined repeat local buyer John Lancaster, Bordley, followed by Oddacres Urmat out of the Saphir-bred cow, Oddacres Organza, which found another returning buyer in Brian Coates, Cowan Bridge.

Another first prize junior bull was consigned by Lincolnshire father and son, William and Michael Morton, Blackfriar herd, Norton Disney, Lincoln. Their May, 2023, Blackfriar Uri, by the Gunnerfleet Hicks son, Gunnerfleet Lion, and a maternal brother to last year’s reserve female champion, sold for 2,200gns to TH&K Wood, High Birstwith.

Top price among the ladies was 3,500gns for the first prize maiden heifer and female champion, Lowflan Totty, from Ian Wilson and Carol Wood, Mansriggs herd, Ulverston. The wide, stylish May, 2022, calf is by the Tallyrock Nick son, Lowflan Razor, sold for 9,000gns in 2022, bred from an Aultside Hulk daughter, Lowflan Olive, still going strong and now with a tremendous bull calf at foot. Totty joined CCM trainee auctioneer and surveyor, Ed Dews, who hails from Walton, Wakefield.

The runner-up in the same show class and female reserve from Carl Stephenson, Pikestone herd, Bishop Auckland, the July, 2022, Whinfellpark Lomo daughter, Pikestone Tori, made 2,350gns, the third prize winner from the Swales family’s Swales herd, Balk Thirsk, 1,850gns.

The same home was also responsible for the first prize cow in-calf outfit, the January, 2022, dam, Swale Truelibs, sired by the easy calving Middledale Numpty and due to Swale Tarron, which made 2,300gns, the family swelling their purse by a further 3,300gns with a junior bull, Swale Usher, a February, 2023, Numpty son, bred out of a Norman Jockey-sired dam and sold to George Fleetwood, Mirfield.

A cow and calf outfit from A&V Brown & Sons, Hollyberry herd, Foggathorpe, Selby, topped its section at 3,100gns. The dam is the January, 2021, Emslies Galileo daughter, Hollyberry Snow, from the Carmorn Voney female bloodline – Voney was an Interbreed champion at Balmoral two years running - also with lines to the 29,000gns Ampertaine Abracadabra. Snow fell with her December, 2023, heifer calf by the home-bred Hollyberry Stevie to RS Howard & Sons, Guide, Blackburn.

The annual showcase, again supported by The North East Limousin Breeders Club, with Skipton NFU once more the keynote sponsor, saw 53 head presented for sale, of which 45 successfully found new homes.

Top prices and averages – the majority up on the year - were: Senior Bulls to 3,900gns, av £3,570 (2023 £3,661), Intermediate Bulls to 8,400gns, av £5,088 (2023 £3,661), Junior Bulls to 6,100gns, av £3,150 (2023 £2,873), Maiden Heifers to 3,500gns, av £2,403 (2023 £1,630), Cows Incalf/with calves at foot to 3,100gns, av £2,940 (2023 £2,388).