CHRISTMAS is coming and the first and biggest of the seasonal primestock shows and sales will take place at Skipton on Sunday November 25.
Craven Cattle Marts launched its Lingfield Christmas Sale five years ago, styled on the former Smithfield Christmas Fatstock Show, in London. Lingfield is the old address of the Skipton mart.
The idea is that independent butchers looking for buys to boast about meet the farmers with the best livestock and everyone has a bit of a party – and last year the event attracted a thousand people, and a lot of stock wearing rosettes from the summer shows.
The event also features the Great Northern Pork Pie Competition, a test of Yorkshire v. Lancashire recipes. Supreme champion in the past two years has been Janet Green of Farmhouse Fare in Skipton.
New this year are competition classes for prime lamb carcases and Scotch eggs… and one for Christmas cakes.
The day includes a lot of fund-raising – this year for the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope and Brooklands Community Special School in Skipton, which needs £20,000 for a new sensory room.
“This presents an ideal opportunity for butchers, hotels and restaurants, to purchase award-winning carcases for display and sale in the run up to Christmas,” said CCM’s general manager Jeremy Eaton.
Judging in the butchers’ primestock show classes will begin at 11 am. . There are 11 cattle breed classes, one for young handlers up to 25, and prizes for best male and female, best home-bred animal and an overall supreme champion. Last year’s supreme winner, a Blue-cross heifer from Clare Cropper and John Mellin of Long Preston, sold for £2,550, or £5.10 per kg, to Keelham Farm Shop in Thornton, Bradford.
A total of eight prize classes for popular sheep breeds feature in the prime lambs section, all for pens of three. A supreme champion pen will be chosen from the individual lowland and hill champions. The 2011 Beltex-cross title winners from the Garth family in Keasden sold for a mart record price of £690 per head to Dunbia Foods, Preston.
Find details of many other competitions and prizes for livestock and of course the Great Northern Pork Pie event visit www.ccmauctions.com and entry forms from the mart office.