Keelham makes history at Skipton prime beef show opener

A West Yorkshire farm shop made history when buying the first-ever prime beef champion to pass through Skipton Auction Mart’s newly upgraded main cattle ring at the opening New Year show and sale.

Multi award-winning *Keelham Farm Shop* at Thornton, Bradford, paid the leading by-weight price of 223.5p/kg, or £1,095, for the title winner, a 490kg home-bred British Blue heifer from Nidderdale farmer Bernard Simpson, of Heathfield, Pateley Bridge.

Keelham, which again bought the supreme beef champion at Skipton’s final show last year, the high profile Christmas primestock fixture, secured a New Year double when also purchasing the reserve champion British Blue steer from Brian Lund, of Walshaw, Hebden Bridge, at £1,249.

The shop also made a third acquisition when buying a Limousin-cross heifer from the same exhibitor for £1,196. Its latest beef acquisitions will be fully matured for 21 days before being made available to customers.

Keelham Farm Shop is renowned for sourcing locally reared prime livestock in support of local farmers. It also purchased the champions and reserve champions in both the prime beef and lamb shows at Skipton’s two opening monthly fixtures last year.

CCM’s Craven Ring upgrade has involved the removal of the old ringside, rostrum and concrete floors, renewal of the drainage system, installation of the new ringside and rostrum position, removal and replacement of the old cattle scale, laying of new concrete floors and refurbishment of the heating system.

There is also a new tiered standing area to enhance ringside viewing for customers, plus extra standing room at the ringside, while side-by-side cattle gates allow stock to enter and exit the ring in a more central location.

CCM’s Ted Ogden, farmstock sales manager and auctioneer explained: *”The improvements were carried out with the safety and comfort of customers and livestock as priorities, also allowing cattle to be shown off to their best advantage.”*