Bellingham Calf Sale

Store Cattle

Hexham & Northern Marts held their Special Annual ‘Bellingham’ Prize Show and Sale of spring born suckled calves and offered an increased catalogue of 965 head.  Now widely regarded as the leading sale in The North of England in terms of both quality and quantity this specialist sale continues to attract purchasers from all over the UK, tempted by the consistent entry of the very best of suckler bred calves from the hills and upland valleys of Northumberland, County Durham, Cumbria and The Scottish Borders.

Prior to the sale the prize show was conducted and kindly sponsored jointly by Carrs-Billington Agriculture and Zoetis Animal Health and this year expertly judged by Mr Hywel Williams, Llandovery, Camarthenshire.

Without doubt the showmen and show-women vendors featured throughout the catalogue pulled out all the stops for this coveted championship and presented no fewer than forty-seven calves before the judge.  Traditionally a ‘paired back’ schedule every class therein was well-contested and the judge made his awards as follows;

Prize List:

Best Four Continental Cross Steer Calves

1st – Messrs B A & A M Storrow & Sons, Willimoteswick

2nd – Mr J R G Johnson, West Wharmley

Best Four Continental Cross Heifer Calves

1st – Messrs J R D & J A Short, Ouston

Best Single Limousin Cross Steer Calf

1st – Mr M Cousin, The Laws

2nd – Messrs A & C L Bell, Woodhall

Best Single Limousin Cross Heifer Calf

1st – Messrs A & C L Bell, Woodhall

2nd – W & P R Walton, Penpeugh

Best Single Other Continental Cross Steer Calf

1st – F T Walton, Flotterton

2ndMr J R G Johnson, West Wharmley

Best Single Other Continental Cross Heifer Calf

1st – F T Walton, Flotterton

2nd Mr J R G Johnson, West Wharmley

Best Native Breed Steer or Heifer

1st – F T Walton, Flotterton

Overall Champion Single Calf in Show – Mr M Cousin, The Laws

Reserve Champion Single Calf in Show – Messrs A & C L Bell, Woodhall

From a fantastic line-up of five individual class winners the judge gave each calf his due consideration and with a full ringside of spectators looking on he awarded the championship rosette and the Michael Walton Trophy to the fabulous Black ¾ bred Limmy steer from Michael & Alex Cousins, The Laws, Whitfield.  The champion sold at 12 noon and with a swift opener from the judge at ringside it travelled quickly to settle at £1560 selling to regular high-end buyers at this sale Messrs Moralee, Blackburn, County Durham.

Standing as a worthy reserve champion was the first prize Limmy cross heifer; this one also a three-quarter bred, jet black calf with exceptional shape and potential from Messrs Bell, Woodhall that overtook the champion to sell at £1600 to Messrs Lee, Agars Hill, Whitfield undoubtedly to ascend as a heifer replacement within their own renowned suckler.

With the tremendous show classes dispensed with the business proper began and very quickly warmed up to a trade that was at worst in-line with the earlier sales of yearling cattle this month and at best far dearer.

Having had several successes in the show ring beforehand the keen and capable team of stockmen and women on behalf of FT Walton, Flotterton truly rang the bell with their first ever consignment of cattle to this traditional sale and as it transpired actually topped the sale within the first five minutes. Their hotly fancied first prize Charolais cross heifer with bags of style, outlook and potential took off and flew to £1640 selling to the aforementioned Messrs Lee, one would expect to find the same destiny at the prize Limmy heifer. Messrs Walton enjoyed a roaring trade from pen number three on the catalogue to average £1453 for three calves sold.

Competing a trio of sale leaders and another fine female sold on the day was a super example and a typical offering from the noted herd of Eric Armstrong, Harlow Bower which scaled to £1580. The steely blue and white Limmy cross calf out of a Blue mother attracted much attention and eventually went home into Lincolnshire with noted showmen Trevor and Jonny Lyons, Lintre House, Bourne.

The majority of the leading prices were attained by heifer calves however one of the bullocks in the ascendancy was the pen leader from Messrs Stewart, Sunlawshill, Kelso that rocketed to £1520 and contributed to a pen average of £1219 for 19 outstanding bullocks brought over The Carter Bar for the first time to this sale by the aspiring Borders herdmasters.

As with most sales at this time of year highlights are too numerous to mention in their entirety however several producers enjoyed the buoyant trade on the day not least Jonathan Craggs, Glower-oer-him, Sedgefield who saw his well-bred Limmy bullocks peak at £1280 and heifers at £1240 to average £1171 for nine sold.

Richard Johnson & Sons, West Wharmley brought forward another run of increasingly scarce Charolais cross calves from just along the A69 and as well as prize rosettes enjoyed a firm days trading to top at £1380 for steers and £1460 for heifers selling in the main to return purchasers that provided a noteworthy average of £1088 for 40 head sold representing and increase of over seventy pounds on the year.

Arthur & Richard Storrow, Willimoteswick bring their much-anticipated run of calves to this sale every year and each year they surpass the previous in terms of both quality and value.  Peaking at £1340 the Beltingham based brothers enjoyed one of the trades of the day and sold 28 super ‘Sure Calf’ registered Limmy calves; five more than in 2022 to average a whopping £1194 per head – a lift of £131 on the year.

Enjoying their relatively recent switch to the Aberdeen Angus bull Messrs Hall of The Raw, Elsdon brought another thumping run of black calves to Hexham from high out on the Otterburn Army Ranges.  They cemented their own reputation as producers of repute and that of Hexham Auction Mart as the leading centre in the the North of England at which to market native breed cattle. Peaking at £1200 for outstanding steers and selling no fewer than 51 calves in just 11 lots the father and son team of Dave & Stuart Hall enjoyed a lift of over £60 on the year to level at £965 for 22 steers and 29 heifers sold.

As always the auctioneers are indebted to all exhibitors at this special sale as they are to the purchasers, sponsors and judge, all of whom combine to make this day another that features as a highlight within the sale catalogue.

Leading prices;

Cattle 11 – 16 Months

Charolais x heifers – £1130 Paradise

Cattle 10 months and under

Limousin x steers – £1560 The Laws, £1520 Grahamslaw, £1400 Grahamslaw, Lee Hall & Harlow Bower, £1350 Hole Farm, £1340 Willimoteswick & Harlow Bower (x2), £1320 Grahamslaw & Lee Hall, £1310 St Oswalds, Hole Farm & Harlow Bower, £1300 Woodhall, £1290 Willimoteswick & Hole Farm, £1280 Glower-Oer-Him, Lee Hall, Edges Green & Harlow Bower, £1270 Grahamslaw, Dyke Nook & Willimoteswick, £1260 Woodhall, Glower-Oer-Him & Willimoteswick, £1240 East Loanend, Woodhall, Glower-Oer-Him, Stone Stile, Willimoteswick & Edges Green (x3), £1230 Harlow Bower, £1220 Glower-Oer-Him, Grahamslaw, Lee Hall (x2) & The Laws, £1210 East Loanend, Glower-Oer-Him, Grahamslaw, Willimoteswick (x2) & Edges Green, £1200 St Oswalds & Willimoteswick

British Blue x steers – £1350 Penpeugh, £1280 Peepy Farm, £1260 Edges Green & Morley Hill, £1230 Penpeugh, £1170 Morley Hill, £1140 Penpeugh, £1110 Woodhall, £1060 Edges Green, £1030 Woodhall, £990 Morley Hill

Charolais x steers – £1380 West Wharmley, £1360 Flotterton, £1320, £1300, £1280 (x2), £1200, £1160, £1060, £1050, £1030 & £1000 West Wharmley

Angus x steers – £1200 The Raw (x2), £1050 Featherwood & The Raw, £980 Featherwood, £970 The Raw, £950 Cottonshope

Saler x steers – £900 & £760 Mains Rigg

Limousin x heifers – £1600 Woodhall, £1580 & £1500 Harlow Bower, £1460 West Wharmley, £1420 Penpeugh, £1410 Harlow Bower, £1380 Lee Hall, £1360 & £1310 Harlow Bower, £1280 Hole Farm (x2), £1260 Morley Hill, £1240 Glower-Oer-Him, £1220 Morley Hill & Harlow Bower, £1210 Lee Hall, £1180 East Loanend, £1160 Hole Farm & Edges Green, £1150 East Loanend, West Wharmley & The Laws, £1140 Nilston Rigg, Morley Hill & Dene House (x2), £1120 Edges Green, £1110 Prospect Grange, £1100 St Oswalds, £1080 Rawfoot & East Loanend, £1060 Dyke Nook, Lee Hall & The Laws, £1050 Rawfoot & Woodhall

British Blue x heifers – £1440 & £1320 Morley Hill, £1130 Chirdon & Woodhall, £1120 & £1080 Chirdon, £1070 Morley Hill, £1050 Chirdon, £980 Chirdon & Morley Hill

Charolais x heifers – £1640 Flotterton, £1200 & £1010 (x2) & £920 West Wharmley

Angus x heifers – £1360 Flotterton, £935, £930 (x2) & £910 (x2) The Raw, £850 & £840 Cottonshope