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Ivaniskey Denise crowned champion Blonde at the Royal Highland show.
Written by Caroline Jackson
Ivaniskey Denise bred and exhibited by I & R McElroy & son from Co. Down, Northern Ireland was crowned champion Blonde at the Royal Highland show in Edinburgh by judge and society chairman Pip Rogers from Presteigne.
Denise, born October ’08 sired by Doncombe Aga Khan who had her calf at foot sired by French bull Tino lifted the Brownhills trophy for the best exhibitor bred animal having lifted the Hayton trophy for winning her class of cow in calf with calf at foot.
Reserve champion was awarded to Whitefield Freya exhibited by Laird and son from Wemyss , Fife bred by Eric Mutch from Aberdeenshire. Born January ’10 sired by Whistley Dollar out of Whitefield Suzy, Freya was awarded the Easterton trophy for the reserve champion animal as well as lifting the Scottish club cup for the cow and calf class born between January ’10 and March ’12.
Laird and son continued with success lifting the Paragon ET trophy for the senior heifer class with Lochhead Isla born April ‘ 13 sired by Lochhead Dam Good Bull out of Gala Dustry.
Savage Brothers, having travelled from Co. Down, Northern Ireland were thrilled to take the junior championship with Shanvalley Iona born August ’13 sired by Seaview Barney out of Islandhill Dolly lifting the Neils trophy for junior champion Blonde as well as the Aberdeen and Northern Marts trophy for Intermediate heifer born on or between 1st April and 31st December 2013.
Overton Jess exhibited by Alan Walker from Auchinleck, Ayreshire sired by Doncombe Aga Khan out of Ivaniskey Vannessa born January ’14 and bred by R & S Kennedy from By Ayr lifted the North of Scotland Blonde club trophy for the heifer born between January and May ’14.
Andrew Stott won the first class of the day which was the junior female class born on or after 1st June ’14. Hilltop Jackie born June ’14 sired by Ark Diego out of homebred cow Hilltop Caprice went on to take the honours as reserve junior female and reserve junior Blonde champion of the show.
George Hamilton from Duns, Berwickshire enjoyed success with both his bulls; Ramrig Iceman born February ’13 sired by previous Highland champion Hallfield Destiny out of homebred cow Ramrig Dior lifted the Holloways trophy for senior bull and was awarded male champion overall.
Stablemate Ramrig Jumping Jack Flash lifted the Semex trophy for the Intermediate bull class. Having been born March ’14 he is half brother to Iceman having been sired by Hallfield Destiny, he also received the ribbons for best junior bull overall.
The pair’s class for animals born before 1st June 2013 was won by Savage brothers. Alan Walkers team received the ribbons and The Bank of Scotland Perpetual challenge trophy for the group of three.
Whistley takes championship at the Three Counties
Champion Whistley Hervorrage
Whistley Hervorrage took the Blonde crown at the Royal Three Counties show, Malvern where the Blondes hold their annual Premier show. Hervorrage sired by French bull Diego out of homebred cow Whistley Brilliant born February ‘12 was bred and exhibited by Stephen Potter who runs the Whistley herd in West Harptree near Bristol.
This strong impressive heifer picked up numerous accolades including the Meatgold trophy for the calved heifer, the Doncombe trophy for the exhibitor bred champion, the Les Lilly trophy for the female champion as well as the Farm Mark perpetual challenge trophy for champion Blonde animal.
Reserve champion Blackwater Heston born March ’12 had travelled from Maldon, Essex with breeder Ian Calderbank. Heston bon March ’12 out of homebred Blackwater Etilly sired by French bull Cyrano went on to lift the Lambert Fenchurch trophy and Farmers Weekly perpetual trophy for senior male and overall male champion.
Paul Thomas of the Samoht herd from Bekshire had an extremely successful day lifting numerous trophies for both his bull and females alike. He started with his French bull Idefix born August ’13 sired by Uvay out of Cerise who won the intermediate bull class collecting the Blackwater perpetual trophy.
Senior cow Doncombe Flora sired by Druk Thor born April ’10 followed her stable mate lifting the Avonparks trophy. Floras highlight of the show was being presented Reserve champion interbreed beef cow and calf at the show.
Intermediate heifer Samoht Ivy born October ’13 sired by Ulfila out of Doncombe Flora won the junior heifer class lifting the McElroy memorial trophy. Once again from Paul Thomas, came Samoht Jade born January ’14 sired by Doncombe First Eagle out of Samaoht Diamond, who lifted the Avonparks trophy for the junior heifer class before going on to be presented with the Rex Diffey trophy for junior champion.
Paul Thomas didn’t stop there, he then went on to lift the South Wales Blonde cup for the calf class with Somaht Lilly a Kilmoney Bruce calf born January ’15 as well as the Farmers Weekly perpetual trophy for the pairs class.
Junior cow Thornbury Golden girl exhibited by Derek Hicks from Meriden, Warwickshire sired by Meadow Doublet out of Bradnock Ursual born November ’11 lifted the junior cow trophy .
First time exhibitor at the Three Counties was Charles Mycock from Buxton, Derbyshire who was delighted to be awarded the Hillhead perpetual trophy for his senior heifer Egerton Index. Bred by Jones and Garrett from Ashford in Kent , Index was sired by Egerton Firebrand out of Egerton Extra born February 2013.
Junior Champion Samoht Jade
Reserve Champion Blackwater Heston
The junior bull class was won by Stephen Peggingtons junior bull Nantygelli Jordan born May ’14 sired by Aaron Baromir out of homebred Velda having travelled from Monmouthshire.
Judge Jimmy Frame from south Lanarkshire said he was very impressed with the quality of cattle forward.
The society would like to thank our sponsors Meadow Farm Vets and Gerald Shearing for supporting the Blonde premier show.
The atmosphere and support at the Three counties is second to non and we are looking forward to the National show taking place at Malvern next year on 10th June.
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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