New Gisburn calf record

A NEW Gisburn Auction Mart record price of £900 was set for calves at the venue’s Christmas Rearing Calf Show and Sale.

The previous record of £675 was set by Colin Whitelock, of Gargrave, in May this year, but was smashed by the exceptional six-week-old British Blue bull calf from Stephen Fawcett, of Barden, near Skipton. Having earlier picked up first prize in the British Blue Bull class and the overall champion calf award in the pre-sale show, the calf sold following a flurry of bids from a packed ringside to beef farmer Malcolm Campbell, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Presented to a very high standard, the calf was shown by Mr Fawcett’s daughter, Sammy, who commented: “We knew this calf was special, but we never expected him to achieve a record breaking price!”

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The pre-sale show was co-judged by North Yorkshire livestock agents Richard Umpleby and Robert Foster, who remarked: “The quality of British Blue calves forward was high, but this shapely calf was the clear winner – he certainly had thickness and shape.”

Next best in the bidding stakes was the first prize British Blue heifer, again belonging to Mr Fawcett and sired by the same homebred bull as the champion, this lot selling at £530.

Although unplaced in the show, Roger Vickery, of Billington, achieved £470 for his British Blue bull calf which sold to John Swann, of Little Ouseburn, York. He also bought the reserve champion and second prize British Blue bull from A.A. & E. Critchley & Son, of Hutton.

Last year’s Christmas show winner Trevor Hodgson, of Dent, was unable to repeat his success in the show ring, but his British Blue bull calf was snapped up at a very respectable £450 by Peter Lambert of Bedale Calf Supplies and Farmers, of Bedale, North Yorks. He also bought the first and second prize rosette winners in the other bull class, a pair of Charollais at £448 and £432 from Sawley-based dairy farmers G. & M.M. Dakin & Sons.

A total of 241 calves where forward, with 27 achieving £400 or more, and the pre-sale show was sponsored by Massey Bros (Feeds) and Genus Plc.

Averages were: Bull calves – British Blue £369; Charolais £380; Limousin £283; Simmental £392. Heifer calves – British Blue £339; Charolais £268; Limousin £272; Simmental £265.

Auctioneers were Richard Turner and Son.