Dispersal sale of Ribble Aberdeen Angus herd is now back on track

Henry Rowntree with some of his Ribble pedigree Aberdeen-Angus herd.
Henry Rowntree with some of his Ribble pedigree Aberdeen-Angus herd.

The renowned Ribble Aberdeen-Angus herd from Rowntree Farms will go under the hammer at Skipton Auction Mart on Saturday, September 22nd.

Rescheduled from last autumn, the fixture, being staged of behalf of Henry Rowntree, remains one of the biggest sales of Aberdeen Angus cattle ever staged in the UK, with around 400 head to be offered for sale, among them 169 mainly young Aberdeen-Angus cows with Spring-born calves at foot, 39 heifers run with the bull and 26 heifers free of the bull. A group of exceptional stock bulls are also included.

The sale will be conducted jointly by Craven Cattle Marts and Scotland’s leading pedigree livestock auctioneers, United Auctions, who host the famous annual Angus bull sale in Stirling each February.

Mr Rowntree, who farms at Windy Pike, Gisburn, is a well-known and respected Aberdeen Angus breeder, establishing his herd in 2002. A former dairy farmer, he is retiring to East Yorkshire to join his family.

He explained: “We have always performance recorded our cattle using Breedplan and most of the herd are rated in the top 10% of the breed. Importantly, the cattle have been farmed very commercially and housed in cubicles over the winter months. We have a very tight calving pattern, with 90% calving from mid-March to mid-May.

“Our target has always been productive and profitable cattle which are easily managed and there are three key areas we always focus on. Correct structure is essential for long lived cattle with strong loins meeting market requirements. All the cattle are structurally sound, with excellent legs and feet and neat udders. They also exhibit excellent growth rates, enabling heifers to calve at two years and steers to finish sooner.

“There is little doubt that calving with no complications increases output and enhances fertility. Medium sized cows with plenty of milk rear calves without creep feed at grass and, of course, docile cows make everything so much easier. Our quiet cattle are a joy to work with.

“Females have been sold from the farm each year, often as foundation stock for new herds, with breeders often selecting some proven mature cows, as well as heifers. The best bull calves have been selected and with many regular customers sales have continued to grow. The rest of the male calves have been steered and finished for Dovecote Park, with averages of 350 kgs deadweight, grading R4L at 20 months.

“We are members of the Biobest HiHealth scheme and understand how important it is for potential buyers to have confidence in our herd health. Many diseases are not easy to eliminate, but by being as transparent as we can we aim to provide as much information as possible and assure people of our integrity.”

Full details of the sale are at www.ribbleaberdeen-angus.co.uk where there is also a link to a herd video.

Mr Rowntree added: “The website shows the herd is TB4, BVD Accredited and Johnes Level 2, with all cattle vaccinated for BVD and Leptospirosis before breeding. Heifers free of the bull have not been vaccinated. We work closely with Kingsway Vets and decided to vaccinate the calves with Bovalto Respi 3 this year to help them settle in their new herds.”

An open day will be held at Windy Pike, BB7 4HZ, on Sunday, September 9th, at 2pm, giving everyone an opportunity to view the cattle in their normal environment.

The choice of CCM Skipton for the dispersal sale, which further establishes the mart as a principal venue for selling pedigree cattle, was twofold. Not only are the excellent facilities at Skipton on Mr Rowntree’s own doorstep, but its central location provides convenient access for both potential UK purchasers and export buyers seeking quality native cattle for expanding EU markets.

Online catalogues will be available shortly at the breed society website - www.aberdeen-angus.co.uk - with further details at www.ccmauctions.com All the cattle will be available for viewing at Skipton Auction Mart on the Friday, the day before the sale. Post-sale arrangements are also in place to transport cattle across the country.