FATHER and son dairy farmers, Paul and Phillip Dunn, who run the 120-head Newsley pedigree herd at New Lays Farm, Helmsley, bagged the reserve championship at the annual Craven Dairy Auction Christmas show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.

The Dunns were making their first-ever foray into the dairy arena at the North Yorkshire venue with their third calved non-pedigree from the milky Trusting family. By a Miresdale sire, the fortnight calved black cow was initially chosen as the first prize winner in its show class, before being awarded the reserve championship. Approaching 50kg per day, she made £1,800.

While still actively involved with the herd, Mr Dunn Snr, now 75, has handed over the reins to his son Phillip.

He is also a published author, with his book, Dunn and Dusted, chronicling the North Yorkshire farmer’s dairies and memories, published in 2004. While new to the Craven Dairy arena, Mr Dunn has previously sold both pedigree Suffolk sheep and British Saanen goats at Skipton.

An unprecedented fourth successive Craven Dairy Auction Christmas championship was bagged by husband and wife, Brian and Judith Moorhouse, who run the multi award-winning Aireburn pedigree Holstein herd at Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, west of Skipton.

The couple clinched yet another festive title with their first-prize heifer in milk, Aireburn Crackshot Lou, a two weeks-calved 30kg daughter of the Semex sire, Sandy Valley Crackshot, out of a VG88 Aireburn Zelgadis dam who has seven generations of VG or EX behind her.

The victor sold for £3,000 top call, also the highest price of the year for a black and white milker, when finding pastures new in Calderdale with the Ludendenfoot-based Hitchen family, joining their 200-strong herd at Crib Farm Dairies, from where her milk, along with others, will make its way on to customers’ doorsteps.

Of the 14 heifers forward, eight made £2,000 or more, with the 13 sold averaging £2,060, the overall average for the festive highlight coming in at £2,016.

The Christmas show had Cumbrian co-judges in John Harrison and Ernie Wilson, both from Penrith. Sponsors were the mart-based NFU Mutual, National Milk Records and Mulberry Farming Asset Finance. The last dairy sale of 2020 is on December 14.