EDWARD Fort, who runs the Silmoor pedigree herd at High Bracken Hall Farm on Silsden Moor, made the competition impenetrable when he won his first-ever Craven Dairy Auction championship at Skipton Auction Mart.

His entry was victorious at the opening November show and sale on Monday, November 11.

A regular winner of other rosettes over many years with dairy cattle at his local mart, Mr Fort secured his inaugural title with the first prize newly calven heifer, Silmoor Maurice Peach.

She is by a home-bred bull, the Butz-Butler Atwood Brady son, Silmoor Maurice, who is out of their Denmire Marie family.

Herself out of Silmoor Bellgar Peach 2, the 16 days calved 35-litre victor, shown by Mr Fort’s daughter, Georgie, who runs her own Bracken Hill dairy herd, sold for £2,180 top price.

She fell to ringside regular Brian Blezard, of Ribchester.

Bishop Thornton-based Peter Baul’s Ravensgate pedigree herd, which clinched its fifth Craven Dairy Auction championship of the year at the previous show, stood reserve champion with the second prize newly calven heifer.

She was Ravensgate Bookmark Ruby 58, by the Cogent sire, Caps Bookmark, out of Ravensgate Shottle Ruby 48.

Fifteen days calved and giving 30 litres, the overall runner-up joined Alan Middleton, of the Beamsley-based Hartley farming partnership, at £1,900.

Another good price was realised by Brian and Judith Moorhouse, who run the Aireburn herd at Hesper Farm, Bell Busk.

They presented the 15 days calved 30 litre heifer, Aireburn Trix Bevin, with eight generations of VG or Ex behind her and from a dam with a strong combination of good body fat, protein and low somatic cell count (SCC).

She sold for £1,920, again to Mr Blezard.

With seven milkers on offer to a good ringside of buyers, newly calven heifers averaged £1,850. Show judge was Dacre’s Rob Marshall, with National Milk Records again sponsoring. The next Craven Dairy Auction is the Christmas show and sale on Monday, December 2.

There was a good quality entry of 21 under 30-month prime cattle which met an improving trade at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly Monday sale.

The top price per kilo entry, a 555kg Limousin-x heifer from Threshfield’s Charles and Richard Kitching selling for 259.5p/kg, or £1,420 to George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers shop in Baxenden.

Top gross price of £1,476 was also the leading 254.5p per kilo steer, another Limousin-x from the Smith family in Westhouse, claimed by Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop & Restaurant in Lancaster.

Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton bought the next highest grossing animal, a 580kg home-bred British Blue steer from the Scriven family in Elslack for £1,447, or 249.5p/kg.

This was closely followed at £1,443, or 238.5p/kg, for the leading priced heifer, a further Limousin-x from the Kitching brothers, which fell to Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton.

Twelve of the 18 Continental cattle in the sale made £1,300 or above.

Fourteen cull cows saw meat in short supply, with the better end of the dairies making 90p/kg-plus, while plain cows attracted a very good trade from both feeders and factories.

The overall selling average was £519.53 per head, or 83.65p/kg.

It was also a busy sale for sheep breeders when almost 4,000 prime sheep were penned for sale, with 3,502 lambs producing another sharp trade when selling to an SQQ of 190.5/kg and an overall selling average of £83.35 per head, or 187.4p/kg, a rise of 1p on the week.

The smartest end were a great trade, three pens making over £3 per kilo and a long list of lots hitting 250p/kg-plus.

With buyers keen, many more lambs of this type are required on a weekly basis.

James Garth and Son, from Keasden, had one of the best runs of lambs, heading the per kilo prices at 317.9p with 39kg Beltex sold to Vivers Scotlamb, while Paul Simpson, of Bolton by Bowland, topped the per head prices at £125 with 42kg Beltex lambs claimed by Hartshead Meat Co.

A varied selection of lambs included a higher proportion of Mule, horned and hill-bred entries as producers respond to the stronger trade out in the live marts. Also sold were 457 cast sheep, cull ewes averaging £66.01 and cast rams £63.17.