THE latest prices from Hexham and Northern Marts.

STORE Cattle

Hexham & Northern Marts held their annual, special ‘Bellingham’ prize show and sale of spring born suckled calves, and catalogued a superb entry of 981 calves from noted annual consignors from across Northumberland, County Durham and Cumbria.

The prize show was conducted prior to the sale and was kindly sponsored by Carrs-Billington Agriculture, Zoetis Animal Health and The British Limousin Cattle Society.

Presiding as master judge was regular purchaser at this sale, Mr Adam Steele, Steeley Farm, Satley, County Durham ,who was presented with no fewer than 38 fantastic calves; the majority Limousin cross, within five preliminary classes that many commented on as being one of the finest shows of calves to be seen at this centre.

After considerable deliberation, including a class of 13 Limmy cross heifers, the judge was faced with his class winners and in a repeat of the 2019 result, awarded both the Championship and The Michael Walton Perpetual Silver Challenge Cup, as well as the Reserve Champion rosette, to Eric Armstrong, Harlow Bower, Whitfield.

The Championship was won by a fantastic red Limousin cross bullock, bred from the same cow on Harlow Bower as the 2019 heifer champion, and standing as a worthy reserve was a stylish black heifer calf from a British Blue cross Friesian mother; the suckler cow breed of choice for Mr Armstrong, who figures highly with both his show calves and commercial offering at this sale every year.

The show was conducted following strict Covid-19 guidelines and the company would like to thank all involved for their efforts and participation during these unprecedented times.

The pair were brought forward to the sale ring at 12 noon and both were met with an air of anticipation; the champion going on to sell for £1,150, only to be trumped by the heifer reserve which with the option of being brought out as a cow, sold for £1,180, both calves being purchased by the judge who backed his decisions on both counts.

Prize Show

4 Continental x Steers

First Prize Willimoteswick

Single Limousin x Steer

First Prize Harlow Bower

Second Prize Willimoteswick

Single Limousin x Heifer

First Prize Harlow Bower

Second Prize Harwood Shield

Best Continental x Steer

First Prize Willimoteswick

Second Prize Morley Hill

Best Continental x Heifer

First Prize Morley Hill

Second Prize Morley Hill

Overall Champion Calf

Mr E Armstrong, Harlow Bower – Limousin Steer

Reserve Champion Calf

Mr E Armstrong, Harlow Bower – Limousin Heifer

With a larger entry on the year and considerable buyer interest in the run up to sale day, it had been noticeable that increased use of social media as a promotional tool, by both consignors and auctioneers alike, had a hugely positive effect as a means of highlighting the quality of cattle available at this sale, which in turn drew a good company to the ringside.

Run after run of exceptionally well-bred suckled calves were presented and found new homes both locally, within the region and further afield all over the UK.

The majority of consignors reported considerable lifts on last years trade; one delighted return vendor quoting a £222 increase on his 2019 average.

Throughout the entire day, the best bullocks and heifers of each offering regularly exceeded four figures with the sale peaking at £1,220 for a sublime Blue cross heifer from Messrs Lee, Morley Hill. The Whitfield-based family farming operation then followed with another at £1,200; both and several more being bought by high-end father and son finishers from Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Messrs Lee went on to average a noteworthy £1,013 for 22 steers and 20 heifers at six-eight months of age.

Outwith the show winners, steers on the day peaked at £1,140 for a cracking bullock from The Reed Brothers, Dyke Nook, Carrshield, for a super shapely Limmy at seven months with three more selling at £1,130; one from George Walton, Allensgreen, Bardon Mill, and a pair from the aforementioned Morley Hill.

Firmly cemented as the leading sale of spring born suckled calves in the region at this time of year, the sale saw no fewer than 114 lots exceed four figures; 13 of which surpassed £1,100 with three more hitting £1,200 or more.

In short, a fantastic trade was seen throughout and with highlights a-plenty and far too numerous to mention in their entirety, the sale average lifted a colossal £123 per head on the year.

Leading prices;

Cattle 10 months and under

Limousin x steers – £1150 Harlow Bower, £1140 Dyke Nook, £1130 Allensgreen & Morley Hill, £1120 Hole Farm & The Laws, £1100 Ealingham, Harlow Bower, Willimoteswick (x2), Dyke Nook & Cleughfoot, £1095 & £1085 The Laws, £1080 Ealingham, Beamwham, Hole Farm & The Laws, £1075 Cleughfoot (x2) & Crowhall, £1070 The Laws & Morley Hill (x2), £1065 Morley Hill, £1060 Willimoteswick, Woodhall, Low Carriteth & Allensgreen, £1055 Woodhall & Crowhall, £1050 Shilmoor (JC), Dene House, Harlow Bower, Willimoteswick, Woodhall (x3) & Hole Farm, £1035 The Laws, £1030 Harlow Bower, Crowhall & Penpeugh, £1025 Dyke Nook, £1020 Colwell Demesne, £1005 Cleughfoot, £1000 Linacres, Dyke Nook, Cleughfoot & Colwell Demesne, £990 Willimoteswick, Linacres, Beamwham, Hole Farm & Monk Farm, £975 Willimoteswick, £970 West Wharmley, £960 Haggate & Nilston Rigg, £950 Ealingham, Harlow Bower, Willimoteswick, Hole Farm & Stone Stile, £945 Stone Stile & Colwell Demesne, £940 Harlow Bower, Glower Oer Him, Cleughfoot (x2) & Stone Stile, £935 Nilston Rigg & Penpeugh, £930 Harlow Bower, Glower Oer Him, The Laws & Nilston Rigg, £925 Crowhall, £920 Crowhall, Penpeugh & Stone Stile, £910 Harlow Bower, Mains Rigg, Cleughfoot, Allensgreen & Crowhall, £905 Dene House & The Laws.

Charolais x steers – £1075 West Wharmley, £1060 & £1040 Ridley Farm, £1020 The Raw, £1000 West Wharmley, £970 The Raw, £920 West Wharmley, £915 The Raw, £910 West Wharmley, £870 West Wharmley & Ridley Farm, £860 West Wharmley, The Raw & Ridley Farm, £850 The Raw (x2)

British Blue x steers – £1080 Willimoteswick & Morley Hill (x4), £1070 & £1060 Morley Hill, £1050 (x2) & £1045 Woodhall, £1040 Willimoteswick, £1020 Woodhall.

Angus x steers – £990 Yatesfield, £950 The Raw, £910 Yatesfield, £880 The Raw.

Limousin x heifers - £1200 Colwell Demesne, £1180 Harlow Bower, £1120 The Laws, £1070 Woodhall & Cleughfoot, £1060 & £1050 Harlow Bower, £1040 Harwood Shield, £1030 Monk Farm, £1020 Woodhall, £1005 Hole Farm & The Laws, £1000 Nilston Rigg (x2), £990 Morley Hill, £985 Glower Oer Him & Nilston Rigg, £970 Harlow Bower & Crowhall, £965 Glower Oer Him, £960 Ealingham, Harlow Bower, Beamwham & Colwell Demesne, £955 Morley Hill, £950 Glower Oer Him, Morley Hill & Nilston Rigg, £945 Glower Oer Him & Cleughfoot, £940 Willimoteswick, Dyke Nook, Morley Hill & Penpeugh, £935 Willimoteswick, Paradise & Mains Rigg, £930 Dene House & Penpeugh, £925 Ealingham & The Laws, £915 Morley Hill & Crowhall (x2), £910 Beamwham, £905 Linacres, The Laws & Stone Stile, £900 Willimoteswick, Paradise, Allensgreen & Woodhall (x2)895 Ealingham, £890 Glower Oer Him, Cleughfoot, Nilston Rigg & Stone Stile, £870 Burnbank, Nilston Rigg & Colwell Demesne, £865 Crowhall & Featherwood, £860 Paradise, Ouston & Colwell Demesne, £855 Ouston, £850 Burnbank & Woodhall.

Charolais x heifers – £935 The Raw, £905 West Wharmley, £900 Ridley Farm, £880 West Wharmley, £870 The Raw.

British Blue x heifers – £1220, £1200 & £1155 Morley Hill, £1050, £990 & £970 Woodhall, £960, £930 (x2) & £860 Morley Hill.

Store Cattle

Hexham & Northern Marts held their special, annual ‘Tow Law’ prize show and sale of store cattle and suckled calves; the last such show of the season and offered a sound catalogued entry of 490 head from consignors across County Durham, Northumberland & North Yorkshire.

The prize show was held prior to the sale and kindly sponsored by Yorkshire Bank and Zoetis Animal health, and expertly judged by renowned cattle finisher and regular purchaser at Hexham; Mr Les Bainbridge Seamer, Stokesley. A small but select show of both store cattle and suckled calves were put before the judge and Mr Bainbridge worked swiftly to arrive at his Champions of both sections.

Taking the H H Mews Memorial Cup and the store championship was a super red Limousin cross heifer from a British Blue cross mother from Messrs Short, Ouston, Whitfield, whilst the Colin Mitchelson Memorial Plate and The Perpetual Trophy for the Champion suckled calf was presented to Andy Thompson, East Unthank, Haltwhistle. His first prize British Blue steer looked every inch the champion when stood alongside a strong line up of preliminary class winners and gave the judge; traditionally a heifer finisher, the nicest of dilemma’s as he awarded the championship to the outstanding black and white steer that was a tremendous example of everything a Blue sired calf should be – superior double muscling, a fantastic top line with great locomotion and an outlook to match.

The Reserve Champion suckled calf award went to a sleek black Limmy cross steer from consummate showman and near neighbour to The Thompsons; John Smith-Jackson, High Town, Melkridge, and whilst the black bullock was just pipped by the Champion, it did itself have the slight edge over the only heifer in the line-up, also a black Limmy from Messrs Watson, Baal Hill, Wolsingham, Weardale.

The company would like to thank all those involved with the show, and indeed all shows this season, which have been held under difficult circumstances but always in accordance with strict Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Store Steer/Heifer

First Prize Ouston

Second Prize Featherwood

Third Prize Ouston

Overall Champion Store Beast

M/s JRD & JA Short, Ouston

Limousin Steer

First Prize High Town

Second Prize Lands Farm

Third Prize West Biggens

Limousin Heifer

First Prize Baal Hill

Second Prize East Unthank

Third Prize West Biggens

Other Continental x Steer

First Prize East Unthank

Overall Champion Suckled Calf

M/s WD & B Thompson, East Unthank

Reserve Champion Suckled Calf

M/s JW Smith-Jackson, High Town

With the formalities of the show taken care of, the sale proper began with a good entry of older, forward sorts, which sold to a top of £1,420 for a shapely red heifer from Messrs Cuthbert, Wingates South, with great cover and length. The Morpeth-based family sold nine well-bred and sought after heifers on the day, which returned a well-deserved £1,210 throughout.

Stronger Limousin steers sold well to a top of £1,365 from Messrs Wilkinson, Ridley Stokoe, Falstone, and the North Tyne producers sold eight steers on the day to average £1,181, whilst Graeme Clarkson, Elrington, in the South Tyne valley, peaked at £1,355 for twelve, which averaged a newsworthy £1,270 throughout.

Charolais cross steers peaked at £1,340 twice from Ian Thornton, Hay-a-Park, and the regular consignor from Knaresborough enjoyed a level trade.