AN increased entry of 459 feeding cattle, up 80 on the fortnight, at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest midweek fixture produced good trade across all classes on Wednesday.

An annual show class for beef feeding cows saw prices peak at £2,000, top call of the day, for the red rosette winner, a British Blue-x from Ken and Hazel Gamble in Easingwold, with the first prize native, a Beef Shorthorn from Malhamdale’s Geoff Wilson knocked down for £1,470.

The 42 feeding cows met a very good enquiry, especially for fleshed types, with prices strong.

Limousins topped at £1,820 from brothers Robert and Rick Holroyd, of Wadsworth, followed by a brace at £1,780 and £1,740 from Alan and Trevor Blades, of Hawes. The overall selling average was a rock-solid £1,295, with just seven among the entry sold in three figures.

Trade for 305 store bullocks and heifers was also strong, notably for the former, with a heaving ringside of buyers looking for young bullocks to feed and graze. All bullocks under 12 months averaged £1,053, top of £1,580 going to an 11-month-old Limousin from Ronnie and June Dowie of Cleatop, Settle, while those at 12 months peaked at £1,500 for another Limousin from the Walker family in Appletreewick.

Continental bullocks at 10 to 12 months suitable for grazing were generally £1,000-£1,100, while a keen enquiry for young Angus bullocks saw Martin Tyson, of Skyreholme, sell two pens of four at 11 months for £1,050 and £1,040.

Bullocks aged 12 to 17 months averaged £1,059 with several runs of dairy-bred Blues within this bracket topping at £1,300 for a Limousiin-x-Blue from Geoff and Margaret Booth in Lothersdale.

Older bullocks at 18 months and over were generally dairy crosses, leading at £1,480 for a pair of strong Blues from the Housemans in Dacre, with a section average of £1,251.

Of the store heifers, those under 12 months averaged just shy of £1,000, while a tremendous run of ten and 11-month-old Limousin/Blue crosses from KA&HL Fawcett & Son in Barden saw six hit four figures to a top of £1,580.

Jeff Pickles, of Chapel-le-Dale, sold the pick of the 12 to 17-month-old heifers at £1,510, this age group averaging £1,109, while strong heifers at 18 months-plus averaged £1,172, the top end away at £1,300-£1,540, this for a Limousin-x from Brian Mellin, of Bracewell.

Trade for 111 young feeding bulls was very good, those 12 months and over averaging £1,273, with under 10-month-olds levelling at £1,168.

Well-drawn batches sold particularly well, driven by the need to fill pens. The shapey end of bulls under 12 months were £1,300-£1,680, heavier types over 12 months £1,400-£1,600.

The next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, April 27, is given over to Continental-x cattle only and also signals the start of Skipton’s annual pedigree beef season and its traditional ‘Blue Wednesday’ opener, the annual pedigree British Blue show and sale, with the 16-strong entry comprising 13 bulls and a trio of females from well-know breeders.

A catalogue is available at Judging is a 11am, ahead of the noon sale.