ALAN Middleton, who trades under the family partnership of JP&KE Hartley at Lane House Farm, Beamsley, stood champion with a month-old British Blue-cross heifer at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest rearing calf show and sale.

Also victorious at the spring fixture, the family returned to land the autumn highlight with a home-bred by the Genus sire, Hero, out of a Friesian-cross-Holstein cow. Shown by Duncan Holme, the title winner sold for second top price of £390 to Dacre dairy farming brothers Malcolm and Stephen Abbott.

Show judge Tony Binns, of Clint, Harrogate, nominated the first prize Blue-cross bull calf as his overall reserve champion. Consigned by Mike Longster, of Fellbeck, himself a regular buyer of Skipton rearing calves, the youngster commanded a sale high of £415 when finding a new home in Calderdale with J Smithers, of Barkisland.

Of the 61 head forward, top end Continental calves were well sold, with the section achieving an overall average of £307.42 per head, while black and white calves were also the subject of some keen bidding, averaging £91.20 and producing joint highs of £160 for bulls from both John and James Dugdale, of Stackhouse, and Eastby’s Andrew Ayrton.

Native calves again met a good trade, with Aberdeen-Angus bulls averaging £268.75, topping at £290 for another Hartley family entry, a price equalled by an Angus heifer from the same home. The overall native average was £203.

At Skipton’s Monday prime cattle sale, the highest gross priced animal was a 665kg Charolais- cross heifer from the Jowett family in Wilsden at £1,493 (224.5p/kg). The top price steer, a 585kg British Blue-cross from the Smith family in Westhouse, Ingleton.

Among the 21 under 30-month entries, heifers averaged 568kg by weight and selling at an overall average of 207.91p/kg, while corresponding figures for steers were 603kg and 218.79p/kg.

Trade was sharp for 39 cull cows, with fed meat at a premium and a large entry of paddock grazed cows equally good. The overall selling average was 90.33p/kg, or £586.81.

Another solid Monday turnout of 3,200 prime sheep saw the top end of the fed and well fleshed 2,835 Spring lambs sell above expectations and while a commercial lamb was a similar trade, the overall selling average was up 3p/kg on the week at169p/kg, or £75.04 per head.

Skipton’s latest fortnightly Wednesday cattle fixture featured the first of two Autumn shows and sales for native-sired store cattle, with a solid entry of almost 200 head and some notably strong runs going through the ring.

Jeremy Daggett, of the Hartlington Beef Shorthorn herd, again won this show class and saw his charges sell to a high of £960 for a brace of bullocks, with second prize winners, W&M Hebron, of Clayton, Bradford, doing better with two further bullocks at £1,025.