New & Updates
KateM Jewel takes the Blonde Crown
KateM Jewel exhibited by Kate McNeil from Doncaster steals the show at the Great Yorkshire lifting the Rebecca Seels trophy for female champion as well as the Perpetual challenge trophy for Blonde champion under the expert eye of judge Eric Mutch from Banff, Aberdeenshire. Jewel born January ’14 sired by Stubbswalden Geordieboy started her day by winning the maiden heifer class before taking the junior champion title amongst her other accolades.
Stubbswlden Invincibull bred and exhibited by Ken Jackson from Doncaster stood male champion and overall reserve champion, born April ’13 sired by Hallmark Boxter.
Donaldson Jupiter born February ’14 sired by Ark Diego exhibited by Melissa Donaldson from York took the red ribbons in the junior bull class, and then went onto become the reserve male champion.
Next into the ring came the females with Ken Jackson’s senior cow Stubbswalden Gigi born March 2011 sired by Stubbswalden Vangogh with calf at foot taking the honours.
Hallfield Hanoi born April ’12 sired by Blackwater Ainsley bred by P Weightman & son from Peterlee, Co.Durham was exhibited by Lucy Corner from Co.Durham. Hanoi won the junior cow class for cows born in 2012.
The senior heifer class in calf or with calf at foot born in 2013 was won by Ark Iona born January ’13 bred and exhibited by Everingham Blondes. Iona was bred by Alan Keith from Newcastle and was sired by Ark Diego.
The group of three was won by the Craven family with Lucy Corner winning the pairs class.
WORCESTER BLONDES HIT 4,000gns
Champion and top priced bull 4000gns Aaron Insengard
The British Blonde Cattle Society Annual Spring Show & Sale at Worcester recorded a spirited, if somewhat selective, trade and topped at a very creditable 4,000gns for the preceding Male and Overall Champion in the show “Aaron Insengard” a 2 year old bull by “Bridge Cracker Jack” out of a homebred cow “Aaron Ethanstar” by the French sire “Mir” from Nick Rogers, Powys based herd and eventually secured by A & B Bowden, Exeter, Devon.
Female Champion Cosdon Izabellah
Senior champion Cosdon Istanbul
Another two year old bull ”Samoht Ike” from Paul Thomas enjoyed a close following, having won first prize in his class he was knocked down at 3,850gns to RJ Barrett & Co, Bromyard, Herefordshire.
Regular and keen supporters of the Blonde breed and the Worcester sale, G. Collin Farms, Gore Cross, Wilts made their presence felt and purchased 3 bulls topping at 3,500gns for Dan Davies’ “Fronfedw Israel” First and Reserve Junior Male Champion and also “Fronfedw Hywell Dda” from the same vendor at 3,350gns. The third purchase was for the youngest bull in the sale “Doncombe Jodocus” a First prize winner out of the Reserve Continental Interbreed winner, Berkshire Show, “Doncombe Fascienne” from David Knight’s Bristol based herd at 3,150gns.
Females were in good demand selling to 1,920gns for “Egerton Gallica” with heifer calf from Jones & Garratt to D.W. Hicks, Coventry, Warks and Maiden Heifers to 1,420gns twice for “Nantygelli Julie” from S. Pegington and “Doncombe Joyful” from D Knight to A. Bailey, Lancaster and A Westcott, Roadwater, Somerset respectively.
Pauline Williams and Peter Holman
recieving the senior bull trophy from David Barker
Peter Holman and David Barker
Nick Rogers presented with champion trophy
17 Bulls av: £2,868.97
1 Cow & calf av: £2,016.00
8 Maiden Heifers av: £1,235.06
McCartneys LLP, Worcester
Tel: 01905 769770
Drive to Produce Quality Pays Dividends for Hallfield Blondes
James Weightman endeavours to add value to the bulls in his herd of British Blonde cattle.
“We try to produce an animal suited to our customers’ demands,” said James. It is clear to see that this approach is providing results on his County Durham farm with three of his bulls topping the British Blonde Society show and sale at Carlisle recently. Hallfield bulls are in demand, both from commercial and pedigree producers.
The British Blonde herd at Hallfield Farm is long-established, with James’ father, Peter, importing the first heifers from France in 1974. The farm itself has been in the family since the 1960s, with the majority of land being used to grow cereals and some permanent pasture set aside for the beef breeding enterprise. Cattle numbers have grown from the small herd originally established and for the last 10 years around 40 calves have been registered each year.
The target buyer for Hallfield Blondes’ stock is a commercial producer and any animals sold to fellow pedigree producers is regarded as an added bonus.
“I believe that providing assurance to customers that they are purchasing high quality stock, with minimal risk is crucial for successful bull selling,” said James. Herd health and a disease-free status is a key focus on the farm and the entire herd is part of SRUCs Premium Cattle Health Scheme. The herd has been performance recorded by Signet since 1994 and this offers even more assurance to customers.
Hallfield Iron Man sold at Carlisle for 5000 gns
The collection of valuable performance information year on year has meant that the cattle James perceives to be real performers have moved to the top of the EBV rankings. This allows his customers to see exactly what genetics they are buying. Some of James’s best prices have come from animals with good figures, for example Hallfield Ironman, who sold for 5,000 guineas at Carlisle this year, stands in the top 10 per cent of the breed in terms of muscle depth. EBVs also aid in-breeding decisions at Hallfield farm with Hallfield Uproar, a homebred female with phenomenal genetic merit – Maternal Value in the top 1% of the breed and Beef Value in the top 10%, being one of the cows retained that went on to produce 9 calves.
It is not just the very top end of the Hallfield herd that have benefited from performance recording; the entire herd‘s genetics are being assessed. Performance recording has allowed James to breed for visual traits and production traits that are difficult to assess by eye. The average calving ease value for the entire herd is now in the top 25 per cent for the breed, as is the muscle depth EBV. Growth traits for the entire herd are also above the breed average. This shows that balancing traits such as growth and muscle with performance recording does not have to compromise ease of calving. Although useful as a herd management tool, James believes that the future of performance recording lies in the hands of bull buyers, he said: “It is the greater demand and understanding of EBVs from the commercial buyers that is absolutely key to widespread use of the technology.”
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