A HUGELY anticipated dispersal sale at Skipton Auction Mart of pedigree Beef Shorthorn from the highly respected Dale herd owned by Chris Bellerby, Bridge House Farm, Weeton, near Harrogate, saw some handsome prices realised for some equally handsome native cattle on Wednesday (June 19).

A catalogue entry of 91 was always sure to lure serious bidders, equally keen to secure quality beasts.

Entries boasted solid breeding lines featuring both former home-bred sires and others from leading pedigree holdings - Stuart and Gail Currie’s Beautry herd, in Rathmell, Steve and Gilly Johnson’s Gilven herd, in Huby and Gerald Turton’s Upsall herd, Thirsk.

Also prominent were two other well-known sires: the Meonhill Fire Fox son, Derwentwood Jagger and Hallsford Spartan Warrior, himself by Chapelton Warrior.

Bidding on Wednesday in front of auctioneer Ted Ogden was swift from buyers willing to dig deep. An early seller and destined for a Craven home was Dale Rita, a Halford Spartan Warrior daughter, 2021, born with a Gilven Panther heifer calf, Dale Valencia, which together sold for 5,000gns (£5,264). The girls tapped out to Richard Milner, Stainforth.

Leading the day's prices at , to Messrs Aston, of Wetherby.

Beautry Shina Pandora - the dam of the young bull Dale Ted to be sold later - had this year's Gilven Panther daughter, Dale Virginia at foot and sold for 5,500gns (£5,775) to the same purchaser.

A brace of outfits made 4,000gns (£4,200), the first, Dale Phoebe, a 2nd calved 2020 Gilven Laurence cow with a Gilven Panther heifer calf, was purchased by New York Farms, of Silsden Moor, and then Ingleston Marguerite Rose, the 2nd calved Gilven Kerrowmoar sired cow which was mother of Dale Tyson, with another Panther calf. She went to Bishops Castle with Linley Farms. Nine other outfits made £3,000-£3,800.

Two young homebred stock bulls were keenly sought ringside. Dale Ted, a May '23 born Napoleon of Upsall son, out of Shuna Pandora, sold at 3,800gns (£3,990). Dale Tyson, also a yearling Napoleon of Upsal son, reached a knock-out price of 3,400gns (£3,570) when purchased by Messrs Evans of Llanwrst.

Yearling maiden heifers saw a pair of Gilven Panther daughters out of homebred cows each selling at 2,800gns £2,940). Both went to Linley Estate.

Following the pedigree animals the dispersal sale included a consignment of Beef Shorthorn crossbred cows with Limousin calves at foot which traded to £2,200 for 2nd calved cows with steer calves and £2,100 twice with heifer calves. The eight outfits averaged £1,950.

The dispersal cattle prices were: Cows and calves to 5,000gns av £3,260; cows RWB to 2,100gns; geld cows to 2,100gns; maiden heifers to 2,800gns av £2,324; bulls to 3,800gns av £3,260; BSH x cows with Lim calves to £2,200 av £1,950.

Established over 20 years ago, the Dale herd was a member of the Biobest Controlled Health Scheme, BVD Accredited and Vaccinated, IBR and Lepto vaccinated, Johnes level 1. All the sale cattle tested free of Neospora.

The selection of correct natural cattle on offer was joined in the ring by Bridge House Farm stockman, Dan Woolliscroft. Prior to the sale owner Chris Bellerby, whose ill health led to the sale, said he was 'pleased to present a young and genuine quiet herd of cattle, with an emphasis on well-bred, easy calving sires, forage-based, with no creep feeding of calves'. and was confident they would go on to do well for their new owners.

Dan who has been working with Chris for 22 years since starting as a keen 13-year-old, admitted Wednesday had been an emotional day.

He said: "It first hit me when the articulated lorry arrived at the farm on Tuesday morning. It took 20 years to build up a quality pedigree herd for them to go through the sale ring within an hour.

"It really is the end of an era, but we were really pleased with the outcome. We had put a few through the November Breed Society sale - at Skipton Auction Mart - and that got the name out."

Indeed, at the 2023 Autumn highlight, the aforementioned Jagger featured as the sire of the dam in the second top price 6,000gns (£6,300) cow and calf outfit, her calf being by Gilven Panther.

Dan will be staying at Bridge House Farm where they have a few bullocks he will be bringing on along with a handful of cows to calve next year. The farm’s pedigree dairy herd was sold in 2016.