BAGS of festive spirit were in evidence at Skipton Auction Mart’s annual Christmas Craven Dairy Auction, with nearly 50 head traded and a full clearance.

Four quality heifers sailed over the £2,000 barrier, having competed against each other in the heifer in milk show class, with the champion, a three-weeks calved 34kg commercial heifer sired by Swissbec Bremen, coming from Andrew Walker and family at Laycock, Keighley.

Show judge Kevin Midgley, of Thorpe Bassett, Malton, stood behind his decision and bought the victor for the day’s top price of £2,580, while another heifer from the same home, also three-weeks calved and by a Moorhouse Aireburn bull, made second top of £2,380, heading to Richard Sutcliffe in Queensbury.

A brace from regular vendor Miles Stapleton, of Huby, Leeds, the reserve champion among them, was also keenly sought, both heading home to Beamsley with regular dairy buyers, the Hartley farming partnership, and including the early November calved Lindonmoor Bromley Evertrue at £2,320.

Jack and Alan Wilson, from Green Hammerton, York, continued their ongoing dispersal and trade for their in-calf heifers was up on previous weeks, topping at £1,680 for an MVP daughter due late December, having being crowned in-calf champion in the pre-sale show.

Ian Hall, trading as J Dibb at Old Northcote Farm, Kilnsey, began the dispersal of his robot-trained herd, with 32 forward and many more fresh cows and heifers to be sold in coming sales. Opening trade was led by the first prize cow in milk, a second calver fresh just over a week and she made £1,750 when also falling to Richard Sutcliffe.

A packed ringside included some new purchasers, with demand high for fresh milky sorts. The final Craven Dairy Auction sale of the year is on Monday, December 13.