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English Winter Fair 2015
Champion was Lucyland Jellybean, born March 2014 sired by Fronfedw Arawn out of Hallfield Gypsy. Bred and exhibited by Lucy Corner from County Durham, Jellybean is Lucys first home bred heifer.
Reserve champion was Hallfield Julia born April 2014, sired Blackwater Ainsley out of Hallfield Stella exhibited by Lucy Corner and bred by James Weightman again from County Durham.
North East British Blonde Club - November 2015 Calf Show
Rounding off this years show season and reminding us that it will soon all start again with a new crop of stock was another excellent ‘calf’ show at Thirsk Auction Mart.
Blonde Classes covered 2014 & 2015 Bulls and Heifers as well as a pairs class, Judged by Mr John Ingle.
Kate McNeil took a host of spoils on the day, 2014 Heifer, 2015 Heifer, 2015 Bull and the Best Pair. Taking the 2014 Bull title was Melissa Donaldson who also went on to take the Champion Male Title.
Kate McNeil took the Female Champion and Overall Show Champion with her Great Yorkshire Show winning heifer Katem Jewel. Lucy Corner - Lucyland won the Reserve Overall Championwith Jellybean a 2014 Heifer sired by Fronfedw Arawn.
Kate said “It’s been an unbelievable year, showing only our home bred animals and winning every blonde heifer class entered with Jewel. Hopefully next season we can achieve similar with her brother LeKracker who got off to a winning start in his 2015 Bull class today. Jewel will join the rest of our girls in calf and retires from the show ring unbeaten. Looking forward to next year we’ve six young heifers to choose from, either to show with LeKracker or sell at the forthcoming sales”.
Thank you to all of you who supported the Blonde Draw
The Winners are as follows:-
£500 Jean Dalkin
£100 Robert Taylor
Hamper Kivells Auctioneers
£25 Voucher Alan Keith
£25 Voucher K Harvey
Congratulations and thank you again
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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