THE Christmas show season at Skipton mart started with a 100 per cent clearance of 134 dairy-bred youngsters in the seasonal rearing calf highlight.

British Blue-cross calves dominated in the show arena and on price, with the first prize Blue-cross bullock from Alan Middleton, who trades under the family partnership of JP&KE Hartley at Beamsley, made overall champion by show judge Graham Stainthorp, of West Tanfield, Ripon.

He then paid the top price of £450 for his champion, which was by the Genus sire, Hero, out of a home-bred Holstein Friesian cow. Mr Stainthorpe bought five calves in total, including paying £410 for his reserve champion, the second prize Blue-cross bullock from Joss Lancaster of Horton-in-Craven.

The sale attracted 21 active buyers from the North-East, Humberside, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire.

A total of 41 Blue-cross bull calves sold to an overall average of £323.54 per head, while Blue heifers averaged £242 each.

The two Limousin show classes were both won by JC & DJ Marshall & Sons, of West End, who also had the first prize black and white bull calf, which headed the section prices at £135. The overall average was £60.76 per head.

Limousin bull calves sold to a top of £365 for an entry from Town Head Farm Products in Grassington. Heifers peaked at £335. The overall Continental-cross average was £286.

Native bulls and heifers averaged £174 overall. Four Aberdeen-Angus bulls sold to joint highs of £290, with heifers peaking at £270.