THE dispersal sale of Michael Abrahams' Newfield pedigree Beef Shorthorn herd at Skipton mart saw a top price of 5,200gns.

It featured some of the oldest and top bloodlines in the UK and brought down the curtain on more than half a century of keeping cattle for Mr Abrahams, of Mickley, near Ripon, who had taken the ‘reluctant’ decision to sell his highly-rated herd in the light of long-term herdsman, 78-year-old Ray Sanderson seeking to reduce his workload on the estate.

The sale of the remaining 35-strong herd, an elite member of the SRUC Premium Cattle Health Scheme, saw the top price paid for Newfield Ecstasy Foxglove, a seven-year-old Holmeere Fraser cow bred from the favourite Foxglove family at Newfield.

Sold with her February-born white heifer calf, Newfield Magic Foxglove, at foot, by the Newfield stock bull, Sleightholme Star Thistle, and also scanned in-calf again to the same sire, the mother of five calves to date remained in North Yorkshire when joining father and son, Graham and Sam Hunt, who run the Sowerby Parks pedigree herd in Thirsk.

The herd was established in 2015, with Mr Hunt developing a keen interest in Beef Shorthorns from his inspirational father, Sam, who worked for Harrisons of Gainford Hall, back in the day one of the most famous names in the Shorthorn world.

The May, 2013, roan, Newfield Goddess Foxglove, a Connor of Upsall daughter, was sold with her third calf at foot, the Sleightholme Star Thistle-sired February-born Newfield Melody Foxglove. The outfit made 3,800gns when joining the Sleightholmedale Partnership in Fadmoor, Kirkbymoorside.

The top maiden heifer was Newfield Liza Foxglove, a January 2017- born roan Sleightholme Star Thistle daughter, out of Newfield Greta Foxglove, who joined Malcolm Wood, of Birkenshaw, Bradford, for 1,800gns.

The prolific Sleightholme Star Thistle, now five-years-old, sold for 1,350gns to J Richardson & Son, of Peterborough.

Chief prices and averages: Beef Shorthorn heifers with calves to 5,200gns, av £2,201.50. Beef Shorthorn heifers to 1,800gns, av £1522.50.