Anthony Kitson, of Kitson & Sons Butchers, embarked on a buying spree at Skipton Auction Mart’s 11th annual Christmas primestock shows and sales, purchasing the prime cattle supreme champion, the champion pigs and prize-winning prime lambs.
Mr Kitson, who has four shops in North Yorkshire and Durham, paid top price of £2,726 for the title-winning British Blue-cross heifer and female champion from local breeder John Stephenson, of, Bordley, near Skipton.
The 14-month-old victor had been shown to good effect all summer, winning at several local shows, as well as standing third in class at the Great Yorkshire.
Mr Kitson took home eight cattle in total, all prize winners. As well as the supreme champion, he also snapped up other Stephenson-bred cattle – a red rosette-winning Blue-cross heifer at £2,090, plus a brace a second prize Limousin-cross steers at £1,813 and £1,666.
Also forming part of the Kitson shopping list were another two first and second prize Limousin-cross heifers at £1,770 and £1,555. The former won a special prize for the best home-bred beast, with the later nominated the best beast purchased from CCM Skipton at Craven Champions Day in February this year.
In addition, Mr Kitson bought the runner-up in the young handlers show class, a Limousin-cross heifer at £1,792, along with another red rosette winner, the first prize native-bred Aberdeen-Angus heifer at £1,365.
He then turned his attention to the prime pigs show arena, paying £436.50 each for the champion trio of Pietrain-cross gilts from Daniel Thackray, of Fewston, Harrogate. The total outlay £1,039.50 was a new record high price for pigs at the Skipton Christmas highlight, also believed to be the most paid for prime porkers anywhere in the UK this year.
For good measure, Mr Kitson added two pens of prize-winning prime lambs, the first prize Suffolk-cross trio at £132 per head, along with a second prize untrimmed Continental pen at £155 each
All Kitson & Sons Skipton acquisitions will be prepared specially for the Christmas trade at its four north-east shops – the latest Five Houses Farm Shop and Kitchen in Crathorne, along with established retail butchers shops in Northallerton, Stockton-on-Tees, and Hutton Rudby.
Anthony Kitson also purchased the prime cattle supreme champions at both the English and Scottish Winter Fairs this month and was due to travel to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair two days after the CCM showcase in a bid to secure the supreme champion there.
It was a feat he achieved two years ago when securing all three victors at the UK’s three Winter Fair highlights, the first time an independent family-run retail butchers had pulled off such a coup.
For the first time this year, an untrimmed lowland lamb championship was staged, when the inaugural winners were Anthony and Emma Thompson, of Foulridge, with a pen of three 51kg Beltex-cross claimed for £160 by Nick Dalby, of Darley, on behalf of Kendalls Farm Butchers for its two shops in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate
The Wilson family, from Beckwithshaw, stepped up with the first and second prize Masham pens, the 49kg victors going on to be crowned reserve hill champions and selling for £100 joint top to a regular buyer at the festive fixture, Andrew Ashby, who has The Millstones & Mill 67 in Skipton Road, Kettlesing, where they will again be served in the carvery restaurant and bistro.
In the same day’s prime cattle show, Janet Sheard, from Almondbury, Huddersfield, had a third prize success in one of the Limousin heifer show classes with a 565kg entry sold for £1,610, or 285p/kg, to Hammond Butchers in Bainbridge.
Pictures by Adrian Legge Photography