IT was a Christmas cracker of an annual Christmas show and sale of Butchers Lambs and Prime Cattle at Hopes Auction Mart at Wigton.

A change of day to Sunday proved a success with an outstanding show of the best livestock throughout the pens.

In the prime lambs ring, judge Philip Parkin of Parkin Family Butchers, Howden placed his Champions, a pair of 35.5kg Beltex Lambs from R Hall & Son, Inglewood Edge, which sold for £195 (549pkg) to Messrs G Cropper, Baxenden.

Reserve champion went to young Cumbrian handlers April and Holly Skelton with their pair of expertly presented trimmed lambs weighing 43kg, which made £170 selling to Messrs G Cropper, Baxenden.

Top price was an outstanding 46kg Beltex shown by young handler Thomas Jefferson Dixon, which sold for £240 to local butcher RJ Harrison & Sons Ltd, for his Wigton shop.

In the prime cattle ring, sellers were praised for their high stocksmanship.

Cattle entries were enhanced by a fantastic show of commercials with these trading 10-25p in front of weekly trades – to a top of 250p for Bullocks from Newlands Farming, Hesket New Market (576kg) and Heifers to 288p for JJ Crichton, Loughrigg (658kg).

The 2020 show was judged by Blair Duffton, Aberdeenshire who deliberated and carefully selected his champion from a fantastic entry of haltered cattle.

The beast tapped out as champion of the 2020 show was a 742kg British Blue X Heifer from Ian Grainger, Kiln Close, Glasson, which realised 540pkg and was purchased by the judge, grossing to £4,006.

Reserve Champion also from Kiln Close, a 726kg Limousin Heifer realised 510p and grossed at £3,702.

The day's ‘stars’ however were two second prize winners, also from Ian Grainger, a British Blue and a Limousin.

First came the Limousin Heifer and weighing 714kg she had attracted plenty of pre-sale interest and after strong phone and ringside bidding she topped at 600p, grossing at £4,284.

This new centre record lasted about 12 minutes as the bar was raised to new heights with the 2nd prize Blue Heifer.

Powerful, stylish and weighing 738kg, bids from around the ring took bidding to 580p before two protagonists travelled to an amazing 740pkg to produce a gross of £5,461.