The overall entry of 110 cattle included an excellent show of 46 in the eight show classes. As always at Colchester we were well supported by butchers and local wholesalers keen to purchase quality stock for the festive trade.

The judge, Mr John Coleman of Boxted, a longstanding supporter of Colchester Market, had a difficult assignment in making his decision for the class winner and the overall championship.

All classes had at least three cattle on show demonstrating the excellent support this show has.

After due deliberation and using his expert eye, the judge awarded the overall champion beast to regular vendors at Colchester, Messrs R & G R Freeman who went on to have a memorable day. The overall champion, being a home bred steer from the Freeman suckler herd at Bredfield, was awarded the Olivers Perpetual Trophy as well as the Eric Stanion Memorial Trophy for best home bred beast under 550kg, and best Limousin steer in the show. John Coleman backed his decision buying the champion after spirited bidding for his shop in Boxted at 420p/kg (£2,200.80).

The reserve overall championship award went to Pauline Byam of Swilland, another tremendous supporter of Colchester Market for a home bred Limousin steer which also won the Roy Brazier Memorial Trophy for best steer over 551kg and, again after strong bidding, was sold to Swanton Morley Butchers, Swanton Morley at 335p/kg (£1,946.35).

The Arthur Chalke Perpetual Trophy for best heifer over 551p/kg was also awarded to the Freeman family and purchased by the judge at 240p/kg (£1,682.40), this animal also being the best Limousin sired heifer in the show.

In the handyweight cattle classes the Broad Oak Farm Perpetual Trophy for best steer and heifer under 550kg was also awarded to the Freemans and again purchased by John Coleman at 268p/kg (£1,374.84). This beast also being awarded one of the Derek Abra Perpetual Trophies.

The Derek Abra Perpetual Trophy for the best butcher’s steer under 550kg was awarded to another tremendous supporter of Colchester Market and regular winners, W A Ketley & Sons of Fingringhoe, for a very smart steer purchased on behalf of Chas Bowers Butchers, Holland on Sea at 250p/kg (£1,212.50).

On to the pairs class, where a very high quality entry of matching cattle saw the Perpetual Cup awarded to W A Ketley & Sons, represented by Gerald, Andrew and William Ketley whose first prize pair were sold to Allman Fowler, Fowler Bros, Burnham both at 250p/kg (£1,387.50 and £1,382.50).
The Joe Papworth Memorial Trophy for best unhaltered beast in the show was awarded to W A Ketley & Sons, Fingringhoe for a very smart heifer purchased by Colin Byford of C J Byford & Son, Little Clacton at 265p/kg (£1,256.10). The Derek Abra Trophy for best unhaltered of the opposite sex was awarded to G R Bunning of Cranworth and purchased by Fowler Bros at 252p/kg (£1,481.76).

Show winners and purchasers showed tremendous support the to show, and our thanks go to all buyers who support the efforts the vendors put in to produce the cattle forward.

It was again good to see several independent butchers willing to support this event as well as quality wholesalers who support us every week.

Other prices of note include Tony Cracknell who purchased the Reserve Butchers Beast 550kg and under from Richard Criddle at 350p/kg (£1,711.50). Mr Cracknell also purchased the third prize pair of cattle from R Partridge & Son from Kersey, both at 272p/kg (£1,501.44 and £1,400.80). George Debman of Ipswich also buying one of the reserve best pairs from Messrs Ripper Farms, Toppesfield at 262p/kg (£1,249.74).

All show cattle including non-winners av 248.7p/kg, steers av 248.11p/kg and heifers 249.32p/kg.

Non-show cattle another strong trade at levels similar to last week but bulls difficult. D J Black, Gt Bentley, saw Limousin steers and heifers from 215.5 to 221.5p/kg. G D Black & Son, Sudbourne, saw well-bred steers and heifers to 222.5p/kg and to £1,473.62, £1,456.05 etc. Andrew Watt saw Limousin heifer to 215.5p/kg, A Heath & Sons to 213.5p/kg for BBX heifers, Messrs Ellis & Gottschalk Limousin heifer to 208.5p/kg, Jim Reay heifers to 210.5pkg.

For show week several O grade cattle forward, these more difficult than of late but still were competitive with Hereford X steers and heifers 187.5 from 154.5p/kg. Red Poll steers 129.5 to 139.5p/kg

A very good show of quality sheep saw 94 in the two show classes presented to the judge, George Debman of Ipswich, who weekly buys cattle and sheep for his shop in Cliff Lane, Ipswich.

The judge commented on the quality of sheep forward and had a difficult task in choosing the show champions. After lengthy deliberation he awarded the overall show champion award to defending champions, G J Goff Ltd, whose sheep are sold regularly at Colchester and were presented by Kevin Peasgood. The pair of lambs over 42kg being awarded the William Gray Challenge Cup, The George Debman Perpetual Trophy and the Wiston Trophy for best pair of lambs sired by a Texel ram. After good competition the judge backed his judgment by buying the lambs at £230 a head (442p/kg).
The best lightweight pair of lambs awarded to W A Ketley & Sons, Fingringhoe, also purchased by the Judge at £103 a head (251p/kg).

The quality of the show sheep helped maintain a good selling trade throughout the sale with many over 200p/kg and £90 to £103 a head.

Non-show sheep are selling well considering recent reports and we look forward to a rise in trade as the weeks go by.