2017-05-03   facebooktwitterrss

Bank Holiday Bonanza at Skipton Auction Mart

The May bank holiday fixture at Skipton Auction Mart again proved one of the busiest of the entire year, with a total of 4,663 sheep penned for sale, along with 34 prime cattle, 30 rearing calves – and multiple show classes for primestock and breeding sheep. (May 1)

While Skipton’s prime sheep turnout was maintained, a bank holiday shortage elsewhere resulted in a stronger afternoon trade.

Neil Tattersall is pictured left with his May Spring lamb champions at Skipton, joined by judge Nick Dalby, of Hartwith.

Neil Tattersall is pictured left with his May Spring lamb champions at Skipton, joined by judge Nick Dalby, of Hartwith.
photo: Adrian Legge Photography

The monthly prize show saw Neil Tattersall, who trades as PA&NS Tattersall at Ellerton near York, repeat his 2016 success when returning 12 months on to land another eye-catching championship and reserve championship double with Texel-cross pairs.

Both pens fell to Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop, who earlier in the day also purchased the monthly prime cattle champion to land what was a notable bank holiday coup for the Red Rose retail butcher, which is based in Wyresdale Road on Lancaster Leisure Park.

Countrystyle paid a price-topping £150 per head for Mr Tattersall’s 39kg victors and 319.4p/kg, or £115 each, for the reserve champions, also taking home the second and third prize 45kg and 44kg Suffolk pens, both from Steeton’s Mark Evans, at £116 and £112 respectively.

Mr Tattersall sold a second pen of 40kg lambs for 302.5p/kg, or £121, to wholesale butchers, Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne, who also paid £109 each for the first prize 43kg Suffolk-cross pen from Robert Towers, of Farleton, Lancaster. Mr Towers also sold a Texel-cross pen at £118 per head, or 310.5p/kg, to another returning Red Rose retail butcher. Whitehead’s, in Edgworth,  

Spring lambs, 174 in total, with more first cross lambs out of Mule ewes among the entry, sold to an overall average of £95.55 per head, or 232.78p/kg, which was deemed a good result.

Also among the mix were 1,677 old season lambs, which traded to an overall average of £77.83 per head, or 176.22p/kg. Tim Robinson, of Longridge, presented the top price per head and per kilo Beltex pen at £105, or 228.3p/kg, these also selling to Hartshead Meats.

Hill-bred hoggs were a very good trade, with Newark’s Steve Dorey doing well with Mule pens, which peaked at £89.50 per head, while Tony Kiernan, also from Longridge, hit £91 with his Cheviots, with Dick Burley, of Wath, having the pick of the Swaledales with a top of £80 each.

A larger turnout of 311 cast sheep also sold well, with the top price lowland entries again making into three figures, Mules selling into the £80s and the best horned ewes from Steve Morris, of Dutton, to £79.50. Cull ewes averaged £60.09 and cast rams £69.25.

Breeding sheep easily sold

Also on the Skipton agenda was the great annual prize show of hoggs and lambs, and geld gimmer hoggs, when 2,501 breeding sheep were forward for sale. The latter, 819 in number, were first up and these attracted a very large company of buyers, with all classes selling very easily.

David Boothman, of Halton East, topped the section with a pen of Beltex-crosses selling for £160 each, with Ron Wartigg, of Thurgoland, close behind with ten sold for £158, while Jill Perrings, of Giggleswick, sold Texels at £150 each.

In the show classes, Donald Sunderland, of Bramham House Farm, Halton East, repeated his 2016 success with the first prize pen of ten Mule geld gimmer hoggs, which sold for £140 each, also selling others, among them the third prize pen, at £134 and £128. Mathew Middleton, from Gisburn, had a nice run of Mules and these, including the second prize winners, traded to £135.

The other best types on the day were around £125-£130, and commercial types £110-£120, while some nice Swaledale hoggs from Nick and Emma Parker, of Silsden, topped at £130.

John Stephenson, of Bordley, presented both the first and second prize pens of Texel geld hoggs, these selling at £135 and £122 respectively.

Over 1,600 sheep with lambs were also penned for sale and achieved total clearance, with trade generally similar to the previous year. Robert and Raymond Johnson, of Felliscliffe, were responsible for the price-topping £250 per outfit pen of Mules with lambs, also selling others at £220 and £200.

David and Jacqui Coates, of Coniston Cold, picked up the red rosette in the Mule hoggs with single lambs show class, these selling at £210 per outfit, while Linton’s Thomas Boothman won another first prize with his Texel hoggs with single lambs, topping the section at £220 per outfit twice, with another at £210.

The annual consignment of hoggs with lambs at foot from Rob Atkinson, of Beckhill Farms in Scorton, Richmond, were again readily sold to £220, £215, £210 and £200 on eight separate occasions, while Skipton’s John Stapleton also had some strong hoggs and lambs selling to £215, £210, £205 and £200 twice.

Generally, commercial outfits of Mule hoggs with lambs could be bought from £165 to £185 and commercial Continentals from £155 to £175.

Another large turnout of ewes with lambs found a large company of buyers and trade was generally a shade stronger on the week, peaking at £200 for a Texel ewe with single lamb from John Wood, of Trawden, who also achieved the same price for a second ewe with twin lambs.

Prime cattle trade hits new high

In the prime cattle show arena, the Critchley family from Mercer Farm, Hutton, near Preston, clinched a notable hat-trick when sending out the champion for the third successive month.

Their 500kg Limousin-cross heifer returned to Lancashire when joining Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster for £1,536, or 299.5p/kg, the day’s leading per head and by-weight prices. The Critchleys also sold a second Limousin-cross heifer at £1,498, or 269.5p/kg, again to Countrystyle, who bought five on the day.

Reserve champion for the second consecutive month was Baldersby Park’s Malcolm Metcalfe with a 555kg British Blue-cross heifer knocked down at £1,435, or 258.5p/kg, to show judge Martin Brown, of Leyburn, buying on behalf of a local butcher customer.

Mr Metcalfe was also responsible for the second prize Limousin-cross steer, which topped its section at £1,476, or 254.5p/kg, when joining Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton and Thornton, who also paid £1,448, or 245.5p/kg, for the first prize steer, a British Blue-cross from Carleton’s James Drake.

With ten customers at the ringside seeking quality retail cattle, trade for the 22 under 30-month entries was the strongest for some considerable time, with heifers selling to an overall average a shade over 238p/kg and steers averaging 226.43p/kg.

Other butcher buyers were Skipton-based Stanforths, DA Gregory & Sons in Bacup, and Ellisons in Cullingworth, all with three each, along with Farmer Copleys in Pontefract.

A small turnout of 12 cull cows, with lean dairies and non-assured native crosses predominating, traded on a par with the previous week when averaging £724.73 per head, or 118.32p/kg overall, said to represent a very good reflection of current strong demand.

Beef-bred entries traded to a top of £868 for an Aberdeen Angus-cross from D Jeffrey, of Sutton-in-Craven, and 138.5p/kg for a Limousin-cross from John and Mary Carr, of Askwith, while dairy entries sold to £786 and 124.5p/kg for black and whites from, respectively, R&E Butterfield, of Bentham, and Oakworth’s Andrew Lumb.

More rearing calves required

Rearing calves met with a flying trade and, with buyers out in force, more could easily have been sold. All 30 calves on offer sailed well past the mark, with Stephen Marshall, of West End, leading the way with a £420 Limousin-cross bull calf, plus a second at £400. Dacre’s John Marshall also sold two British Blue-cross bull calves at £400 each. Continental-cross youngsters averaged £385.62 per head.

Natives sold to a high of £345 for a Hereford bull calf from John Blackwell, at Gargrave, with John Marshall again chipping in with a Hereford heifer calf at £300. Native entries averaged £282.50.

Black and whites were also keenly sought, averaging £110.52, with a top of £180 for a Holstein Friesian heifer calf from RL Wright & Son in Airton. With seasonal buyers out in force, the mart says more calves are required.

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Related Links
link Red Rose Butchers Head to White Rose Mart
link Pedigree Cattle Set to Beef Up 2017 Spring Showcase
link Milkers Out In Force at Latest Craven Dairy Auction
link Large Entry of Ewes & Lambs at Skipton