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Bovine bounty at CCM Skipton pedigree cattle triple header

Highsky herd stands supreme champion and 6,500gns sky high top at Beef Shorthorn highlight

A pedigree cattle Autumn triple header, native shows and sales for the Beef Shorthorn and Aberdeen-Angus Societies, plus a standalone British Blue sale, attracted an 83-strong bovine bounty at CCM Skipton Auction Mart on Wednesday 8th November.

The 14th annual Beef Shorthorn fixture produced the largest turnout of 51 head and an exceptional show of females, with the youngest entry and final lot of the day securing the supreme championship and 6,500gns top call for Millie Birch, who runs the Highsky herd in Weston, Staffordshire.

Her 14-month-old maiden, HighSky Erin’s Elizabeth, became the first home-bred heifer to be sold from the small West Midlands herd, established just three years ago and making its debut at the North Yorkshire venue.

First winning her show class for 2022 heifers born May onwards, Erin’s Elizabeth was then tapped out as female and overall champion by Castle Douglas show judge James Rea, stockman at Chapelton Beef Shorthorns, who described his victor as “very feminine, oozing style and with great potential.” The title winner sold to Mary Cormack, of Rougemont Pedigree Livestock, Stoke Prior, Hereford.

Second top call of 6,000gns fell to a much admired cow and calf outfit from local exhibitor Chris Bellerby, Dale herd, Weeton, Harrogate. The dam, Dale Petula, a first calved March, 2020, red heifer by Derwentwood Jagger, is bred from the Hallsford Spartan Warrior-sired Dale Rhona, a family bought locally from the Paisley family in Middleton, with the grandam a former Skipton champion. Petula, sold with her Given Panther March-born red calf and also carrying a positive PD to the same sire, went to Langham, Rutland with A&C Farms.

The 2021 Skipton supreme champions, Tom and David Bradley Farmer, Meonside herd, Parkgate, Dumfries, were again among the leading performers when seeing their solid consignment top at 4,600gns for the third prize April, 2022, heifer, Meonside Catriona Rosebud Sky, one of the first AI daughters of Crooked Post Tobias and bred from the Canadian import, Coldrichie Catriona, also responsible for the junior female champion at the 2022 Great Yorkshire Show. The high quality April 2022 dark roan heifer was also claimed by Rougemount.

The same home also presented the runner-up to the supreme champion, awarded reserve female champion. The May, 2022, Meonside Desiree Shuri is a light roan daughter and one of the first to be sold by Podehole Piper, a £10,000 private purchase two years ago from Charles and Sally Horrell, Thorney, Peterborough. Out of Coldrochie Desiree, who also bred the 2021 Skipton supreme champion, and deemed “a very smart heifer who will make a powerful cow” by the judge, Shuri joined the Holgate family, Rathmell, for 3,700gns one of several purchases. Meonside sold further maiden heifers at 2,800gns and 2,500gns.

From a run of draft heifers, the Thompson family partnership’s Grinkle herd, Sneaton, Whitby, saw the best of the in-calf heifer trade, with a particular favourite, Grinkle SA Clipper, the pick on price at 3,400gns. The April, 2021, roan daughter of the home-bred Grinkle Secret Agent, out of the Gilven Gregor-sired Endeavour Libby, was sold four months in-calf to Restoration of Upsall, from Gerald Turton’s herd near Thirsk, going to Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, with DR&RL Bowen.

The first prize winner in the show class for older heifers born up to the end of February, 2022, also came from the same east coast home and from one of the best breeding families in the herd. Grinkle Rebel Kyla, by the home-bred Glenisla Zetor son, Grinkle Rebel, out of the Castlemount Ross daughter, Grinkle Ross Kyla, was sold in-calf to Glenisla Excalibur, making 3,150gns when also joining the Holgates.

Other Grinkle in-calf heifers made 2,800gns and 2,750gns, while a further in-calf entry also catching the eye at 3,100gns came from another Thompson, this time Andrew, Pikelowe herd, Higher Wheelton, Chorley. His Pikelowe Gold Queen S253, an April, 2022, daughter of the home-bred Broughton Park Thunder son, Pikelowe Masterplan, out of another Gold Queen dam sired by Westmoor Gospel, was sold 12 weeks in calf to Mayfield Rendezvous, becoming a further Holgate acquisition.

Back in show, Upsall, Britain’s oldest Beef Shorthorn herd, itself stood first and second in the April, 2022, heifer class. Claiming the red rosette was the yearling heifer, Secret Maid X1698 Of Upsall, by the now four-year-old Nelson Of Upsall, out of a Firefox Of Upsall daughter, making 3,600gns when also falling to A&C Farms. The runner-up, Jilt X1694 Of Upsall, by the renowned Mandalong of Upsall, also responsible for last year’s 7,300gns top price junior heifer at Skipton, sold for 2,000gns to the Benacre Company, Suffolk, who took home 16 lots in total.

Beef Shorthorn trade was described as solid, interspersed with occasional highlights and plenty of interest from ringside, online and phone bidders. Maiden heifers sold to 6,500gns (av £2,647), in-calf heifers to 3,400gns (av £2,420) and cow and calf outfits to 6,000gns (av £3,955). Show classes were again co-sponsored by Morrisons and I’Ansons Feeds.