AT long last, local breeder, John Stephenson, Bordley Green, finally got his hands on the championship prime cattle trophy after three consecutive years as reserve overall at Skipton Auction Mart's annual Christmas show and sale.

Going one step better for him this time was the first prize British Blue-cross heifer, a 14-month-old entry by Tattan Harlequin – a bull bought in North Wales that bred the family's three previous reserve winners here. Champion at Gargrave and third at the Great Yorkshire, this 580kg entry later topped the sale at £2726, or £4.70 per kg selling to Anthony Kitson, of Kitson and Sons Butchers, which has four retail shops in North Yorkshire and Durham.

Mr Kitson bought eight prize winning cattle to include a 550kg British Blue red rosette winner from the Stephensons at £2090, or £3.80 per kg

Clare Cropper and John Mellin, who farm in Long Preston, again came up with the goods winning both the male and female reserve championships, with the latter, Apache, progressing to take the reserve supreme.

This was another British Blue-cross, which stood second in her class to the champion after standing champion at Malham, the Royal Lancashire and Bury Shows. She weighed in at 590kg and went on to sell for £2124, or 360p per kg, to D and A Gregory Butchers in Bacup.

The Cropper and Mellin male reserve champion was a Welsh-bred 585kg Blue-cross bullock that made £1872, or 320p to co-judge Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop and Restaurant in Lancaster.

Another red rosette came the way of Clare Cropper in the young handlers show class with a 640kg Limousin-cross heifer that had claimed six championships this summer, including one at the Royal Lancs Show, plus a class win at the Great Yorkshire. It sold for £2240, or 350p/kg, to JC and J White, of Middleton-in-Teesdale.

Leading the un-haltered section, was a spring-bought 540kg British Blue cross heifer from the Critchley's beef farming enterprise from Hutton, Preston, which made £2160 or £4 per kg to K and J Green Butchers.

The 57 under 30-month show cattle averaged £1541.49, or 280.2p/kg.

Leading the mart's Christmas show and sale of prime lambs was a trio of 41kg Beltex cross lambs from Ian Lancaster, Coldcotes, Clitheroe.

The lambs, all by a Withy Trees-bred ram, have already made their mark, with one standing reserve champion at the English Winter Fair in Staffordshire with another from the same pen finishing third in the pairs. They later sold for £500 per head to George Cropper jnr buying his Sandersons Butchers Shop in Baxenden, which he took over around two-and-a-half years ago.

The reserve title fell to the 2015 champions, Martin and Val Brown, Dovecote Barn, Leyburn. Their 41kg Beltex-trio finished second in their class to the champion winners having also clinched the pairs championship at Countryside Live, along with a Great Yorkshire championship. Home-bred and among the first crop of lambs by Hallcrake Bucaneer, they were also bought by Mr Cropper at £200 per head.

The overall selling average of the 234 butchers lambs penned was £99.93 per head, or 225.3p/kg.