A FINE British Blue-cross bull from Alan Middleton of JP & KE Hartley farm in Beamsley took the red rosette at Craven Cattle Mart’s Spring Calf Show on Monday. (March 16).

The 4.5 week old calf, by the sire Genus Gaberal out of a dam from his 100-plus strong herd, caught the eye of judge Tom Heseltine of Bolton Abbey.

Mr Middleton, a CCM regular and multiple past winner, was represented by his uncle Duncan Holme.

The bull topped the sale at £405 going to Tom Watson of Sawley.

The reserve went to a Blue-cross heifer from Shaun Sowray of A Sowray & Sons in Bishop Thornton, selling at £340.

A total of 129 calves were bought under the gavel, with the sale consisting of large runs of moderate farming calves and the best Blues carrying age being short of buyers’ requirements.

The sale attracted 15 active buyers ringside, with many looking to buy in bulk now ewes and lambs have left the sheds.

Blue bulls topped the prices once again, with Mr Middleton’s champion closely followed by a fine specimen at £400 put forward by Mike Longster of Fellbeck, Harrogate.

A total of 30 Blue bulls were put forward, with better types fetcheing upwards of £330, and mediums going for £260+, to an average of £263.

Those just a touch smaller were around the average prices, with only a couple dipping just under the £200 mark.

Blue heifers were in demand, with a total of 37 going to new homes. Mr Sowray’s top of £340 was followed by £280 from Mr Longster again, with the best fetching £240 to £280, at an average of £239.

A total of 14 Aberdeen Angus bull calves came to an overall sale average of £182, topping at £285. Black and White calves topped at £118 from Edward Fort of Silsden Moor, to an overall breed average of £62. Four Holstein Friesian calves sold over £100.

In the weekly round-up of auctions at Craven Cattle Mart

James Robertshaw was again in strong form at the weekly prime stock sale on Monday, securing supplies of high-quality beef for his own premises Robertshaws Farm Shop at Thornton, and for Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton.

His own purchases included the leading gross price, a 585kg Limousin-cross heifer from RT & J Critchley & Sons of Hutton for £1,407, or 240.5p/kg.

The top price by weight was 244.5p/kg (£1,406) paid by Keelham for a 575kg Limousin-cross heifer presented by brothers Charles and Richard Kitching of Threshfield.

Mr Robertshaw was the day’s leading buyer with seven to his own name, and four for Keelham in Skipton, ensuring supplies for the next few weeks.

In total, 22 clean cattle (under 30 months) and 23 cast cattle were put forward.

Bill Cowperthwaite, of Malham Moor, took the top price for a steer with his Limousin-cross fetching £1,376, closely followed by the Kitchings £1,372, RT & J Critchley & Sons £1,337 and F & B Smith £1,310.

Steers up to 560kg sold to 242.5p/kg at an average of 242.01p/kg, and those over 560kg sold to 236.5p/kg at an average of 210.86p/kg.

Critchley & Sons had the best price heifer with a Limousin-cross at £1,407, followed by the Kitchings with a Limousin-cross at £1,406.

The Kitchings also sold a Blonde-cross at £1,372.

Heifers sold to 244.5p/kg at an average of 217.26p/kg.

The cull cow trade saw buyers keen to secure cows to put on stock, with heavy dairies ranging from 115p/kg to 120p/kg, and steaking dairies at 112p/kg.

At the plain end, 88.5p was the starting price, with a young beef cow from RS & HA Davey fetching 147.5p/kg. The overall average for culls was 111.83p/kg, or £746.20.

The Prime Sheep Sale saw the busiest day of the season so far, with 4,184 lambs and 416 ewes, rams and goats penned for sale.

Lambs were a simply lovely trade, with a fine average of 268p for everything sold, and an overall average per head of £120.33 (268.3p/kg).

The sale comprised of 3,051 lowland bred lambs and 1,133 hill bred lambs.

Top price per head of £167.50 was achieved by Jim Baines, Gisburn for a Texel-cross.

It was followed by JJ & D Cowking, of Slaidburn, (£158), R France & Son, Scholes, (£157) and Jeff Burrow of Kirkby Malham (£156).

Cull ewes averaged £134.70, cast rams £123.56, and goats £85.84.