April 11, 2017 British Genetics Dominate the Irish Sale Trade

Buyers at this year’s Irish Charolais Cattle Society Premier show and sale in Elphin, on the 25 March were looking to purchase bulls with British linage giving high euro star indexes and good calving figures.

Leading the trade at €7,000 was the October 2015 born bull, Drumcullen Longshot. Exhibited by John Fleury from Killyon, Co. Offaly, this catchy bull is a son of the herd’s former stock bull, Vexour Granville. Imported from the UK from breeder Jan Boomaars, Woldingham, Surrey, in 2012 when he was just a year old, Granville has certainly left his mark on the Drumcullen herd, siring a number of high priced cattle in recent years. A second prize winner in the pre-sale show, Longshot sold with a five-star terminal index of €134 and a calving figure of 7.3% to Michael Phillips from County Sligo.

The pre-sale show was judged by Patsy Mc Cabe from the Blakestown herd in county Louth. He found his senior champion in the form of Sionhill Lazer exhibited by the Carey’s from Killucan, Co. Westmeath.  One of the ringside favourites from the moment he entered the ring, Lazer is a November 2015 born son of British bred Balthayock Hamish from David and Nick Walter, Balthayock, Perthshire. He went under the hammer with a five-star terminal index of €129 and a calving figure of just 6.4%. He was knocked down to James Johnston from Northern Ireland at €5,500.

The reserve senior male champion went to another British sired son this time out of Elgin Davinci bred by Roy Milne, Lhanbryde, Morayshire. Westmeath breeder Aidan Farrell was the exhibitor of Williamstown Lenny, a November 2015 born bull who stood top of the line in a strong second class of bulls, but failed to meet his reserve in the sales ring.

Taking home the junior champion of the show was the winner of the last class of bulls, Drummand Master. Just over 13 months old on sale day, this young bull was bred and exhibited by Michael Quigley from Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan.  A son of the UK sire JHC Campbell and Sons’ 18,000gns Thrunton Fairfax, Master exchanged hands at €4,800 to M and P Connolly from Roslea, Co. Fermanagh.

Getting back to the top sellers again, Michael Kavanagh from Brownshill, Co. Carlow was next in line with their first prize winner, Brownshill 14 Major. A pre-sale favourite having won the junior male champion at last year’s National Charolais Show, this January 2016 born son of the British 70,000gns Royal Welsh Show supreme champion Barnsford Ferny bred by Tom and Sheena Gatherer, won his class before selling for €5,800 to Thomas Whitehead, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny.

Hitting the €4,800 mark was Carrickbrack 96 Maximus exhibited by Noel Maxwell from Convoy, Co. Donegal. This January 2016 born son of the renowned easy calving UK sire Blelack Digger bred by Neil Massie, was one of the highest index bulls catalogued with a five-star terminal index of €153, a five star replacement index of €132 and a calving figure of just 6.5%. This bull’s pedigree is no stranger to success in the sales ring, with full brothers selling for numerous high prices in Ireland and Scotland. He was snapped up by County Mayo breeder Joe Mc Donnell from Louisburgh.

March 7, 2017 Future beef farmers = Charolais

6 March 2017

Future beef farmers = Charolais

Future beef farmers are using EBVs and focusing on easy calving Charolais bulls, according to one leading university’s students.

Charolais was the first choice of sire for almost 50% of Harper Adams University final year Foundation Degree students completing an assignment which required a detailed plan for a new suckler herd.

The Charolais bulls they selected had one thing in common, they were all within the breed’s top 20% for calving ease, according to Simon Marsh, Principal Lecturer and Beef Cattle Specialist.

The breed’s popularity has also surged in the last 12 months, he says. In 2016, 39.3% of students responding to a similar exercise chose Charolais.

“This year’s assignment confirmed that the beef farmers of the future are using EBVs and focusing on Charolais bulls with good calving ease,” says Mr Marsh.

HAU student choice of terminal sire 2017

Breed %
Charolais 48.8
Limousin 24.4
Angus 7.3
Simmental 4.9
British Blue 4.9
Hereford 4.9
Blonde 2.4
Others 2.4

Source: HAU


The Harper Adams (4,000 word) assignment briefed students they had just accepted a job as farm manager on a lowland farm and the owner has instructed him/her to establish a suckler herd. They had to write a detailed plan for the herd including choice of breed of cow and bull, calving season, replacement policy, management of reproduction, feeding, grazing management, rearing system of the weaned calves and health plan.

Issued by Liz Snaith Agricultural Communications on 07974 678833



January 26, 2017 Farm Feature – Alan Meston, Chapelton

Alan Meston - webAlan Meston, Chapelton, Stonehaven

Spinning plates comes to mind when you visit at the finishing operation run by Alan Meston at Chapelton Farm, Stonehaven just south of Aberdeen where last year, he finished 2600 bullocks and 200 heifers including 1400 head of Charolais.

Despite the volumes that go through the farm, Alan has the figures at his fingertips, quoting the 2016 averages as 224 kg weight gain in 168 days, with an average of 70 days grazing (allowing 1kg gain/day on grass).  The aim is for cattle to gain 160kgs in 100 days on his finishing ration.

“Five to six years ago, it was all short term finishing  and I would have had 8-900 cattle on the farm at any one  time, kept for  around 100 days to put on 140kgs.” says Mr Meston.

“With the change in system and now keeping a mix of growing and finishing cattle, the most I have put through in a 12 month period is 2800, keeping around 1200-1400 on the farm at any one time.

I graze 700-800, mainly Charolais because I think they do best at grass. You can get Charolais finishing at 16-20 months – this is where the breed has the big advantage. You want weight for age, nothing will beat them.”

Mr Meston purchased the farm from his late father back in 2002 and has pushed numbers since then, at one stage  taking them from 500 up to 1400 over a two year period. A new steading with two sheds was built in 2009 and since then a further shed added and some have been extended. Two additional buildings are rented at a neighbouring farm.

Chapelton itself has 310 acres with a further 115 acres of rented seasonal grazing rented. A total of 260 acres of grass isare grazed and Alan realises the significant feeding value of grass, keeping it up to four years then reseeding.

“Buying growing cattle lets me spread my risk. It lets me better utilise the grass and make the best use of my intensive finishing.” he says.

Cattle are purchased from January to October with an average of 1200 on the farm at any one time, peaking at 1450. Alan purchases at Stirling, Thainstone, Huntly and on farm, particularly Charolais in larger batches. He also buys younger animals around 10-12 months,   to grow them on grass then finish inside in July-August.

cattle lineup - webHe rarely buys into November or December because of the  increased risk from disease, particularly  pneumonia which coupled with poor weather can have a great impact on performance.

He starts buying for grass in March, looking for leaner cattle and those which will give the highest feed conversion – and that will make money.

“I’m not buying the top cattle at the ringside, I’m buying the second part, good commercial cattle.

The Charolais has great potential – some  breeders take them too far, perhaps to get a bit  more  money for  them  but  it leaves  little for  the  finisher  to gain. It’s better to sell them in leaner condition.”

“You also have to look at what it costs the breeder to get them heavier, if they are too well fed, they don’t  do so well. They lose condition when they go to grass, they just melt.” he added

“I’m trying to be on top of the market and have a good idea of what happens and there is a cycle of around six months. I’m seeing gradual changes in the suckler market, seeing cattle being sold at lighter weights – the finisher needs to get their chance to do their bit.”

Cattle are regularly weighed on and off grass, on and off finishing rations and then prior to slaughter allowing Mr Meston to monitor growth alongside recording feed intakes.

Younger cattle up to a 15 month limit are put to grass, with the biggest animals on grass for six to eight weeks. They are rotated on the grass fields, with them moving closer to the finishing sheds as they get closer to weight.

All cattle are weighed on arrival and treated routinely for IBR, Blackleg, worms and fluke.

“The regime at Chapelton depends upon the age and size – it’s a very flexible system which works around the market.” he says Alan.

Cattle might only be on grass for a few weeks, moving to the starter ration for two weeks. Nutritional advice and inputs are provided by Harbro and David Mackenzie, Harbro is a regular visitor to Chapelton to advise on diet and performance.

Cattle will be grown at grass supplemented  with Energyze Cattle or inside on a silage/wholecrop/draff mix before moving on to the finishing ration, transitioning over a 14 day period.

With the reduced weight limits, Mr Meston doesn’t want them going over 700kg and incurring penalties so at 500kg, they go on to the finishing ration.

The finishing ration includes barley, biscuit meal, draff, potle ale syrup, dark grains and potatoes and is supplemented with Harbro Grampian Finisher mineral with Yea-Sacc and Rumitech.

Alan says the Rumitech helps with weight gain, “It helps keep them leaner and in the better grades.”

Such is the volume of feed consumed that two loads of washed potatoes are used every week. Cattle always have fresh feed in front of them every day with any remaining feed from the previous day removed.

“We let the troughs go empty for an hour every day, it keeps the edge on their appetite and, it maximises intakes and weight gain

Charolais bullocks spent an average 168 days on farm. “I buy to get as much weight on as possible in as short a time.”

“You need to grow them to a certain level, and you need the frame on them to finish. They cost a bit more to buy but you will get them to the better end of the prices more quickly.”

All of the kill from Chapelton achieves R or U grades – over the year, 50-60% were  U grades with 10p premium on a –U and 20p on a +U which was achieved by 5%.

Cattle are kept in straw-bedded pens of 90-100 head drawn over a three week period with 40 away for slaughter every week but in November, they dispatched had 120 per week for three weeks, nearly all Charolais at 16-20 months for the Christmas market.

“The weight limit at McIntosh Donald is  capped at 420kgs for bullocks, with severe penalties for  cattle over the limit   so I keep them within specification

Charolais bullocks averaged 385kg for the year with heifers coming in at 345 kg average, I have very few which are overweight.”

Following in the footsteps of his father also a finisher, Mr Meston bought his first cattle at the age of 13 at Thainstone’s forerunners, Kittybrewster and Belmont marts in Aberdeen. He is helped at home by wife Lesley who looks after the accounts, son Stewart, aged 19 along with a part-time man who works two days a week.

Stewart is now learning the ropes. He has been buying cattle for the last 15 months, some for his father and some for himself.

cattle lineup 2 - webThere’s an air of calm at Chapelton, cattle are quiet and contented. It’s an efficient operation too, where the 1200-1400 head of cattle can be fed in two hours, leaving plenty time for cattle to be sorted.

“If they are poorer performers, I am pretty ruthless so they’ll go for kill: we are looking at them being on the finishing ration for 100 days but when they have been on it for 120 days, it is time for them to go.

Now  that I am adding more growing cattle  and buying them  younger, I’m producing more  kgs  of beef on farm and, keeping the  weight gain up for  a longer period. Over the last four years, the average annual weight gain has increased 0.05kg/day year on year from 1.2 up to 1.4kg/day.

Mr Meston points out that “You can get a 20p premium with native breeds (Aberdeen Angus) but, you can get the same premium with good continental grades.

We are docked 5p/kg for 4H fat cover. Charolais definitely gives the weight, getting up close to maximum weight at the 4L stage which is what the slaughterhouse wants.

In essence, the Charolais gives the weight we want with the conformation that we want in the shortest time.”

November 14, 2016 Stars of the Future Show 2016

Charolais – Judge – Mr John Campbell           


Falleninch Lottie

Falleninch Lottie

RESERVE FEMALE Falleninch Lucy

Falleninch Lucy

Falleninch Lucy


Carwood Leo

Carwood Leo

RESERVE MALE Teiglum Legend

Teiglum Legend

Teiglum Legend

SENIOR CHAMPION Falleninch Lottie



Hallbankgate Marmony

Hallbankgate Marmony

RESERVE FEMALE Formakin Mimosa                               


RESERVE MALE Ricnick Monsoon    

Ricnick Monsoon

Ricnick Monsoon


JUNIOR CHAMPION Lourie Marvellous

Lourie Marvellous

Lourie Marvellous

RESERVE JUNIOR  Hallbankate Marmony

YOUNG HANDLERS  1st Adam Macallan 2nd John Wight

PAIRS     A Hornall    Charolais A Hornall  Charolais


CLASS 52 – BULLS BORN 4th JULY TO 22nd AUGUST 2015                        

1st C Wight  Carwood Leo        born 05/08/15     Sire: Ugie Goldcup Dam: Carwood Dot

2nd C Wight  Carwood Lachlan Born 04/07/15     Sire: Ugie Goldcup Dam: Carwood Holly

3rd C Stuart  Lettoch Logan       Born 16/08/15     Sire: Killadeas Owane Dam: Ugie Giselda

4th R & C Rettie    Retties Lorenzo    Born 22/08/15     Sire: Aberdona Ignite Dam: Retties Gypsy


CLASS 53 – BULLS BORN 20th SEPTEMBER TO 26TH DECEMBER 2015                                      

1st Clark Farms  Teiglum Legend    Born 20/09/15     Sire: Ugie Goldnuget Dam: Teiglum Angelina

2nd J Cant Panmure Logan    Born 07/10/15     Sire: Thrunton Firecracker  Dam: Panmure Fifi

3rd A Houston Gretnahouse Longbow Born 20/09/15 Sire: Wesley Equinox Dam: Gretnahouse Hugesse

4th J Cant  Panmure Leota     Born 07/11/15     Sire: Thrunton Firecracker  Dam: Panmure Hilda



1st A Hornall         Falleninch Lottie  Born 29/07/15     Sire: Dereskit Fernando Dam: Falleninch Etuile            

2nd M Lyle            Loganbar Lisa        Born 01/07/15     Sire: Wesley Fixture Dam: Loganbar Gaiety

3rd M Lyle             Loganbar Loulou  Born 21/08/15     Sire: Loganbar Impair Dam: Loganbar Champagne



1st A Hornall  Falleninch Lucy Born 23/12/15  Sire: Falleninch Imperator Dam: Falleninch Diva          

2nd A Hornall  Fallenich Lori  Born 15/12/15   Sire: Falleninch Imperator Dam: Falleninch Empress  

3rd J Irvine & Son Inverlochy Lulu    Born 29/10/15  Sire: Blelack Giggsey Dam: Inverlochy Flutter



1st R Aitken Lourie Marvellous Born 09/02/16   Sire: Lowerffrydd Benhurr   Dam: Lourie Ideal                               

2nd R McCornick Ricnick Monsoon Born 05/01/16     Sire: Goldstar Echo  Dam: Ashby Bella

3rd A Hornall Falleninch Murray Born 10/01/16   Sire: Dereskit Fernando  Dam: Falleninch Fenetia

4th I Bell  Hallbankgate MarvellousMarvin Born 20/01/16 Sire: Westcarse Friar Dam: Hallbankgate Isabel


CLASS 57 – BULLS BORN 5th MARCH TO 23rd MAY 2016                                          

1st J & M McMillan Dunesk Magic    Born 05/03/16     Sire: Balthayock Hamish Dam: Dunesk Glory

Dunesk Magic

Dunesk Magic

2nd C & E McCombie Auchincrieve Maximus  Born 26/03/16     Sire: Olrig Highwayman Dam: Blelack Thelma

3rd A A & Wright Lagavaich Monty  Born 04/04/16     Sire: Thrunton Gabriel Dam: Hindstones Gypsy

4th I Irvine & Son Ballindalloch Major Born 23/05/16  Sire: Blelack Giggsey Dam: Ballindalloch Enamour



1st I Bell Hallbankgate Marmony  Born 03/01/16     Sire: Edenhurst Hero Dam: Border Havana                   

2nd J Irvine & Son Ballindalloch Madonna Born 02/01/16     Sire: Blelack Giggsey Dam: Ballindalloch Cherie

3rd I Bell Hallbankgate Micicle  Born 22/01/16     Sire: Westcarse Friar Dam: Hallbankgate Icicle


CLASS 59 – HEIFERS BORN 11th MARCH TO 23rd MAY 2016                                     

1st McMurrich  Formakin Mimosa Born 01/04/16  Sire: Lochend Apache Dam: Formakin Finch

2nd McMurrich Formakin Mermaid Born 04/04/16  Sire: Hercule Dam: Formakin Hoop

3rd C & E McCombie Auchincrieve Millie Born 26/03/16 Sire: Olrig Highwayman  Dam: Elrick Fay

4th C & E McCombie Auchincrieve Matilda Born 11/03/16 Sire: Olrig Highwayman Dam: Auchincrieve Anna



November 11, 2016 Increased Demand for Charolais in Welshpool

More Charolais bulls were sold for a higher average price in Welshpool on Thursday 10th November than at the corresponding sale in the previous year. At the end of the day’s trading 36 bulls were sold to average £3856, an increase of £419 per head with 10 more sold.

Auctioneer Glandon Lewis commented that “Commercial producers underpinned the sale and were willing to pay between 4,000 and 6,000gns for the bull of their choice. This is a reflection of the commercial trade for Charolais bred cattle which are in demand by beef finishers who can exploit their efficient growth to meet the current market specification”.

Graiggoch Legend

Graiggoch Legend the top price at 6,500gns

Gerwyn Jones, Llanrwst, Conwy commanded the top prices of the day and the bidding peaked at 6,500gns for his March 2015-born bull Graiggoch Legend ET. TN Lightfoot, Callington, Cornwall was the purchaser of this class winner sired by the 70,000gns Royal Welsh supreme champion Barnsford Ferny and out of Northumberland-bred dam Thrunton Starband going back to the 25,000gns Perth supreme champion Mowbraypark Orlando.

Supreme champion Graiggoch LAd

Supreme champion Graiggoch Lad

Mr Jones was on winning form when he also secured the supreme championship with another of the same breeding, the 19 month old Graiggoch Lad ET who was snapped up by Ann Orr-Ewing, Swindon, Wiltshire for 6,000gns.

Montgomery Larry

Montgomery Larry

Minutes before Montgomery Larry, an April 2015-born lad was purchased for 5,500gns. A son of the 9,000gns Balmyle Harlequin, he was purchased by J Jones and Co, Bala, Gwynedd from breeder and exhibitor Roberts & Jones, Welshpool, Powys.

Montgomery Lafant

Montgomery Lafant

The same vendor had another in the money, Montgomery Lafant a Harlequin son whose dam Montgomery Hanna is sired by the 30,000gns Perth supreme champion Dingle Hofmeister. The February 2015-born Lafant who stood third in his class in the show caught the eye of TH Davies and Son who paid 4,500gns to take him home to Oswestry, Shropshire.

Chesham Laird

Chesham Laird

Next along at 5,400gns from Ben Harman, Chesham, Buckinghamshire was Chesham Laird an 18 month old son of the 18,000gns Thrunton Fairfax with a dam going back to homebred parents from this long established Charolais herd, he was knocked down to HE Havard, Brecon, Powys

Silver Louisanna

Silver Louisanna

Ben’s father Dan was also among the breeders securing the top prices. TE Jones, Pwllhelli, Gwynedd was the purchaser who paid 4,200gns for Silver Louisiana another 18 month old sired by Fairfax and winner of his class in the morning’s show.

Hendy Lothario

Hendy Lothario

The next highest price and commanding a 5,000gns bid from WRL Price and Co, Wells, Powys was Hendy Lothario, a May 2015-born son of the popular AI sire Blelack Digger from breeders JAW Rees, Llanidloes, Powys.

Maerdy Lusanne

Maerdy Lusanne

Three bulls sold for 4,800gns and the first was Maerdy Lusanne from Flintshire breeder and Vet Esmor Evans. The French-bred Maerdy Gouverneur is the sire of this 19 month old who goes home to work in Pontyberem, Dyfed for J and M Howells.

Sackville Lancelot

Sackville Lancelot

Matching the 4,800gns price tag was a class winner from Brian and Peter Heath, Hartfield, East Sussex, who have recently been recognised by AHDB Beef & Lamb as the Most Improved Herd of Charolais cattle in England for 2016. Sackville Lancelot, a May 2015-born son of Thrunton Fairfax and home-bred Sackville Delilah who goes back to the Irish-born Kincullen Ted ET caught the eye of Mr Jones, Brecon, Powys.

4,800gns was also the price paid for the blue ticket winner Brynffanigl Lee, a 16 month old son of Blelack Digger and the 17,000gns Alsnow Almighty-sired Brynffanigl Ella. Lee was consigned by RT and DM Roberts, Abergele, Clwyd and purchased by R Jones & Son, Brecon, Powys.

Tynddol Leonardo

Tynddol Leonardo

Just behind on 4,600gns was an entry from G Jones and Son, Bala, Gwynedd who was placed second in his class. Tynddol Leonardo a March 2015-born bull whose breeding includes the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie and the Shropshire-bred Doonally New daughter Trefonnen Gigi will travel on to Gwynedd with the Jones Brothers.

Reserve supreme champion Waldencourt Legacy

Reserve supreme champion Waldencourt Legacy

Another to bring 4,500gns when knocked down to PL Francis and Son, Church Stretton, Shropshire was Waldencourt Charolais’ reserve supreme champion from Newent, Gloucestershire. Waldencourt Legacy is a 16 month old son of Esperanto and his grandsire on the dam’s line is the 25,000gns Royal Highland junior champion and Perth supreme champion Goldies Unbeatable.

Newroddige Lampard

Newroddige Lampard

Following on at 4,400gns was Newroddige Lampard, an April 2015-born lad exhibited by JD Leavesley, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire and sired by the 10,000gns Welshpool supreme champion Esgob Ferrari and purchased by DT Richards, Maesteg, Mid Glamorgan.

Foxacre Leander

Foxacre Leander

Two bulls then achieved 4,000gns apiece. Foxacre Leander was the first, a 15 month old Wesley Forceful son who took the fancy of RP Morgan and Son, Knighton, Powys. Leander has previously been a class winner at both the Royal Three Counties and the Charolais National Show at the NEC Livestock Event for breeder Ann Orr-Ewing, Purton, Wiltshire.

Esgob Logo

Esgob Logo

Minutes later another secured the same price of 4,000gns this time coming from Gareth Jones, Bala, Gwynedd. Esgob Logo who stood second in his class is a full brother to Esgob Gold, a Royal Welsh Show junior champion and the 8,000gns Esgob Harry. DT Richards, Maesteg, Mid Glamorgan was the man behind the money on this 15 month old son of the 26,000gns Carlisle reserve supreme champion Anside Excalibur.

Female Section

Leading the bids for the females at a combined price of 4,000gns was an entry from Jeremy and Alla Price, Staunton-on Wye, the only cow and calf lot of the sale which was split to separate homes at 2,000gns a piece. Oakchurch Gem, a five year old daughter of Blelack Digger took the fancy of T Rich & Son, Mold, Flintshire and SJ Baker, Codsall, Staffordshire took home her nine month old bull calf Oakchurch Magic sired by the home-bred Oakchurch Igor.

Mr Rich showed his faith in the Charolais females as he also purchased the top priced and champion heifer from breeder Gareth Jones, Bala, Gwynedd. Esgob Joy an April 2014-born daughter of Blelack Digger and home-bred Esgob Gwenllian going back to the 18,000gns Thrunton Virginian sold for 2,700gns.

An added feature of the sale was a consignment of heifers from the Maerdy herd of Esmor Evans, Mold, Flintshire. His top priced at 2,300gns was Maerdy Insular by the prolific French show winner Arlequin who was purchased by DW Jones, Welshpool, Powys.

Just behind on 2,100gns and knocked down to J Rowsell, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, was the May 2014-born Vald’or-ra daughter Maerdy Jane.

Averages: 36 bulls £3,856, ten heifers £1,874, one cow and calf £4,200. Auctioneers: Welshpool Livestock Sales


Judge: Harvey Wood, Aldbrough, Hull

Supreme Champion
Gerwyn Jones – Graiggoch Lad ET – s. Barnsford Ferny
Reserve Supreme Champion
Waldencourt Charolais – Waldencourt Legacy – s. Esperanto

Class One – Bulls born on or between 10/01/2015 – 09/03/2015
1st – Gerwyn Jones – Graiggoch Legend ET – s. Barnsford Ferny
2nd – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Lopez – s. Maerdy Grenadier
3rd – Roberts & Jones – Montgomery Lafant – s. Balmyle Harlequin

Class Two – Bulls born on or between 10/03/2015 – 22/03/2015
1st – Highfields Park Farm – Edenhurst Lexicon – s. Ratoary Ferguson
2nd – John Howells – Gwenog Legend – s. Thrunton Classic
3rd – JD Leavesley – Newroddige Laird – s. Esgob Ferrari

Class Three – Bulls born on or between 25/03/2015 – 10/04/2015
1st – Gerwyn Jones – Graiggoch Lad ET – s. Barnsford Ferny
2nd – G Jones & Son – Tynddol Leonardo – s. Inverlochy Ferdie
3rd – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Loftus – s. Darkvador

Class Four – Bulls born on or between 11/04/2015 – 02/05/2015
1st – Dan Harman – Silver Louisiana – s. Thrunton Fairfax
2nd – Billy & Sarah Turner – Brampton Legoman – s. Brampton Hawiifiveo
3rd – Billy & Sarah Turner – Brampton Legendary – s. Brampton Hawiifiveo

Class Five – Bulls born on or between 03/05/2015 – 30/05/2015
1st – Brian & Peter Heath – Sackville Lancelot – s. Thrunton Fairfax
2nd – C & R Currell – Solo Lincoln – s. Blelack Formidable
3rd – Boden & Davies Ltd – Sportsmans Lightning – s. Barnsford Ferny

Class Six – Bulls born on or between 01/06/2015 – 09/07/2015
1st – Waldencourt Charolais – Waldencourt Legacy – s. Esperanto
2nd – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Llew – s. Maerdy Hearthrob
3rd – RT & DM Roberts – Brynffanigl Lee – s. Blelack Digger

Class Seven – Bulls born on or after 10/07/2015
1st – PJ Maher – Roscrea Lennox – s. Gretnahouse Hugo
2nd – Gareth Jones – Esgob Logo – s. Anside Excalibur
3rd – Ann Orr-Ewing – Foxacre Leander – s. Wesley Forceful

Class Eight – Females
1st – Gareth Jones – Esgob Joy – s. Blelack Digger
2nd – SM Corbett & Daughters – Teme Lotty – s. Waterfall Hero

welshpool-charolais-f042 welshpool-charolais-f040 welshpool-charolais-f038 welshpool-charolais-f037 welshpool-charolais-f036 welshpool-charolais-f034 welshpool-charolais-f033 welshpool-charolais-f031 welshpool-charolais-f032 welshpool-charolais-f027 welshpool-charolais-f025 welshpool-charolais-f022 welshpool-charolais-f021 welshpool-charolais-f019 welshpool-charolais-f018 welshpool-charolais-f014 welshpool-charolais-f013 welshpool-charolais-f011 welshpool-charolais-f009 welshpool-charolais-f007 welshpool-charolais-f006 welshpool-charolais-f004 welshpool-charolais-f003 champion003 champion002 champion001 jeb_6801 lot-12

November 4, 2016 Dungannon 4 November 2016

Show Results

Class 1 – Bulls born on or between 17/02/2015 & 04/04/2015
1st – J Smyth – Bessiebell Luigi – s. Alwent Goldbar
2nd – O’Kane Bros – Ovill Leary ET – s. Dingle Hofmeister
3rd – E & A Morrison – Drummeer Lewis – s. Blelack Digger

Class 2 – Bulls born on or between 10/04/2015 & 08/05/2015
1st – Douglas Morrow – Ramrad Laurence – s. Allanfauld Hustler
2nd – David & Albert Connolly – Brigadoon Liberty – s. Royal Cheiftan
3rd – Clive Hoey – Rawbrooke Legend ET – s. Maerdy Dublin

Class 3 – Bulls born on or between 20/05/2015 & 08/06/2015
1st – Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lamarr – s. Goldstar Hugo2
2nd – S & A McKenna – Ballyoak Lazard – s. Newhouse Bigal
3rd – VG Cunningham – Cunnsallagh Leeroy – s. Indurain

Class 4 – Bulls born on or between 10/06/2015 & 23/06/2015
1st – Sean McGovern – Ratoary Logan – s. Ratoary Honkydory
2nd – Derek Hume – Culnagechan Luner – s. Whitecliffe Highlight
3rd – Robin & Agnes Todd – Cappagh Luke – s. Blelack Goldenboy

Class 5 – Bulls born on or between 25/06/2015 & 10/07/2015
1st – Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lyle – s. Goldstar Hugo2
2nd – James McBride – Moorlough Lager – s. Allanfauld Vagabond
3rd – Jeremy Paynter – Drumilly Legend – s. Goldies Eddy

Class 6 – Bulls born on or between 15/07/2015 & 09/09/2015
1st – Brian & William McAllister – Burnside Lightning – s. Goldies Carnival
2nd – Sean McGovern – Ratoary Lancer ET – s. Conval Frank
3rd – Brian & William McAllister – Burnside Lawman – s. Clyth Diplomat

Class 7 – Females born on or between 26/06/2014 & 04/11/2014
1st – James McBride – Moorlough Joanna – s. Liscally ETI
2nd – Stuart and David Bothwell – Killadeas Jacinta – s. Blackford Dynamite
3rd – Stuart and David Bothwell – Killadeas Joan – s. Blackford Dynamite

Class 8 – Females born on or between 30/01/2015 & 08/03/2015
1st – Kenneth Veitch – Drumlone Lulu – s. Elgin Davinci
2nd – Harold Stubbs & Alan Burleigh – Derryharney Lappy – s. Glenross Graham
3rd – Caldwell McAskie – Mountjoy Lark – s. Alwent Goldbar

Class 9 – Females born on or between 14/07/2015 & 30/08/2015
1st – Clive Hoey – Rawbrooke Lola – s. Maerdy Dublin
2nd – Stuart and David Bothwell – Killadeas Lana – s. Goldies Usher
3rd – Stuart and David Bothwell – Killadeas Lillian – s. Blackford Dynamite

Senior & Supreme Male Champion
J Smyth – Bessiebell Luigi – s. Alwent Goldbar
Reserve Senior & Supreme Male Champion
Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lamarr – s. Goldstar Hugo2

Junior Male Champion
Sean McGovern – Ratoary Logan – s. Ratoary Honkydory
Reserve Junior Male Champion
Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lyle – s. Goldstar Hugo2

Female Champion
Kenneth Veitch – Drumlone Lulu – s. Elgin Davinci
Reserve Female Champion
James McBride – Moorlough Joanna – s. Liscally ETI

October 25, 2016 Northern Ireland Charolais Club suckled calf competition results

Ballymena Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Alan Farlow
Champion: McAfee Bros, Bushmills
Reserve Champion: McAfee Bros, Bushmills

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            Robert Workman, Kilwaughter                           310kg  £1000
2nd           Arnold Douglas, Limavady                                  300kg                                     £960
3rd           O’Kane Bros, Carnlough                                       439kg                                     £980

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            McAfee Bros, Bushmills                                       360kg                                     £1180
2nd           McAfee Bros, Bushmills                                      280kg                                     £1100
3rd           Arnold Douglas, Limavady                                  240kg                                     £880

Hilltown Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by David Connolly
Champion: Martin McShane, Hilltown
Reserve Champion: Leo Fearon, Rostrevor

Success for Leo Fearon Rostrevor with reserve champion at Hilltown

Success for Leo Fearon Rostrevor with reserve champion at Hilltown

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            Leo Fearon, Rostrevor                                        438kg                                     £1100
2nd           Henry Quinn, Kilkeel                                           444kg                                     £1050
3rd           Frank Reid, Ballynahinch                                    384kg                                     £900

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Martin McShane, Hilltown                                  418kg                                     £1100
2nd           Leo Fearon, Rostrevor                                        376kg                                     £910
3rd           RW McCaw, Armagh                                            394kg                                     £965

Swatragh Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Ian Rea
Champion: John Bradley, Maghera
Reserve Champion: Joseph Andrew Semple, Dungiven

Judge Ian Rea and Noel Loughran, Ulster Bank Ltd congratulates Swatragh champion John Bradley and reserve Joseph McIlwaine

Judge Ian Rea and Noel Loughran, Ulster Bank Ltd congratulates Swatragh champion John Bradley and reserve Joseph McIlwaine

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            John Bradley, Maghera                                       432kg                                     £950
2nd           John Bradley, Maghera                                       476kg                                     £980
3rd           Dermot McCullagh, Swatragh                            412kg                                     £1000

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Joseph Andrew Semple, Dungiven                   354kg                                     £750
2nd           Joseph Andrew Semple, Dungiven                   328kg                                     £730
3rd           Joseph Andrew Semple, Dungiven                   290kg                                     £665

Draperstown Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Andrew Patterson
Champion: John Boyle, Draperstown
Reserve Champion: James McDowell, Moneymore

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            John Boyle, Draperstown                                   370kg                                     £1060
2nd           James McDowell, Moneymore                          340kg                                     £900
3rd           John Boyle, Draperstown                                   400kg                                     £950

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Martin O’Kane, Dungiven                                   320kg                                     £840
2nd           Nigel Jordan, Moneymore                                  290kg                                     £745
3rd           James McDowell, Moneymore                          290kg                                     £690

Dungannon Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Philip Johnston
Champion: N & S Cochrane, Portadown
Reserve Champion: Ciaran Fox, Maghery

Judge Philip Johnston and Cormac McKervey and Sandra Cochrane, Dungannon Overall Champion

Judge Philip Johnston and Cormac McKervey and Sandra Cochrane, Dungannon Overall Champion

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            N & S Cochrane, Portadown                              390kg                                     £900
2nd           Collin Dunwoody, Caledon                                 340kg                                     £960
3rd           N & S Cochrane, Portadown                              300kg                                     £715

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Ciaran Fox, Portadown                                        295kg                                     £820
2nd           Peter Dobbs, Carrickmore                                 340kg                                     £770
3rd           A Donnelly, Sixmilecross                                    295kg                                     £670

Armoy Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Cyril Millar
Champion: Sean McCambridge, Ballycastle
Reserve Champion: Gerard McCambridge, Ballyvoy

Bullock winners with Ulster Bank Representative Conor McNeill and judge Cyril Millar

Bullock winners with Ulster Bank Representative Conor McNeill and judge Cyril Millar

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            Gerard McCambridge, Ballyvoy                         390kg                                     £1030
2nd           Vincent McErlain, Armoy                                    340kg                                     £915
3rd           Aiden Hamilton, Ballycastle                                405kg                                     £1110

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Sean McCambridge, Ballycastle                         420kg                                     £1070
2nd           Gerard McCambridge, Ballyvoy                         340kg                                     £900
3rd           Gerard McCambridge, Ballyvoy                         360kg                                     £780

Plumbridge Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Richie Devine
Champion: Thomas McIlwaine, Plumbridge Reserve Champion: Brian McCullagh, Greencastle

Judge Richie Devine and Ulster Bank representative Fergus McCrossan congratulate Plumbridge champion Thomas McIlwaine

Judge Richie Devine and Ulster Bank representative Fergus McCrossan congratulate Plumbridge champion Thomas McIlwaine

Judge Richie Devine and Ulster Bank Representative Fergus McCrossan congratulate reserve champion Brian McCullagh

Judge Richie Devine and Ulster Bank Representative Fergus McCrossan congratulate reserve champion Brian McCullagh

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            Thomas McIlwaine, Plumbridge                        420kg                                     £1210
2nd           Brian McCullagh, Greencastle                           340kg                                     £900
3rd           Brian McCullagh, Greencastle                           350kg                                     £1030

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Brian McCullagh, Greencastle                           300kg                                     £860
2nd           Lawrence McLaughlin, Claudy                           270kg                                     £770
3rd           Kieran Quinn, Strabane                                      280kg                                     £810

UFM, Enniskillen Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Gordon Cutler
Champion: Sam Rankin, Castlederg
Reserve Champion: Alan Veitch, Lisbellaw

Enniskillen Champion Sam Rankin is congratulated by judge Gordon Cutler and Cormac McKervy Ulster Bank Ltd

Enniskillen Champion Sam Rankin is congratulated by judge Gordon Cutler and Cormac McKervy Ulster Bank Ltd

Reserve champion Alan Veitch with Cormac McKervey Ulster Bank ltd and Gordon Cutler, judge at Enniskillen

Reserve champion Alan Veitch with Cormac McKervey Ulster Bank ltd and Gordon Cutler, judge at Enniskillen

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            Alan Veitch, Lisbellaw                                         396kg                                     £1060
2nd           Tom Park, Springfield                                          296kg                                     £935
3rd           D Henderson, Tamlaght                                      336kg                                     £960

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            Sam Rankin, Castlederg                                       397kg                                     £920
2nd           Tom Park, Springfield                                          382kg                                     £1120
3rd           D T Prentice, Garvary                                          432kg                                     £1020

Camlough Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Eimear McGovern
Champion: B Casey Reserve Champion: T Treanor

Male Calf born in 2016
1st            B Casey                                                                  410kg                                     £930
2nd           E Murchan                                                             325kg                                     £810
3rd           P McParland                                                         345kg                                     £645

Female Calf born in 2016
1st            T Treanor                                                               350kg                                     £825
2nd           J Mullen                                                                 270kg                                     £715
3rd           J Mullen                                                                 260kg                                     £635

Keady Charolais Suckled Calf Competition– judged by Richard Mackie


NI Charolais Club are indebted to Ulster Bank Ltd for sponsoring the shows along with the financial support of the British Charolais Society and the generosity of the Livestock Markets for hosting the NICC Suckled Calf Competitions.

October 14, 2016 Meeting the new weight specifications

Meeting the new weight specifications 

Charolais cross steers can be fast finished within the new weight specification according to the Watson family’s system at Darnford, Banchory, Aberdeenshire.  

Their latest crop of steers achieved the following performance. 

Table 1: Darnford steer performance 2016


Dwt (kg)

Finished age (months) Est DLG (kg) Ave DDWG (kg) KO%
Charolais cross steers ave 380.62 16.76 1.28 0.76 58
Average Q-Box 370.56 21.56 0.99 0.60

Source: MacIntosh Donald


The following scatter graph demonstrates how the Darnford steers consistently achieved beyond target performance


 The Darnford system: key features 


Charolais has been the preferred terminal sire for over 25 years. Bulls are selected initially on visual appraisal for feet and mobility, and then from the breed’s top 10% and in particular for weight EBVs.

Damline, Salers. Heifer replacements are selected for size, feet, temperament and maternal qualities.


Split calving herd: a 12 week calving period is maintained in the spring calving herd, and over nine weeks in autumn, to help simplify management. Steers and heifers are separated at eight month weaning enabling a tailored nutrition programme which takes in to account their very different requirements. All animals are allowed to grow to achieve adequate frame size before being intensively finished.


All diets home mixed using the same basic ingredients – homegrown forage and cereals combined with cost effective bought in by-products. The key is formulating diets specific to age, weight and gender, consequently they offer flexibility to vary starch and protein levels at key stages of development. See Table 1. Herd nutritionist, Harbro’s David MacKenzie offers the following pointers.


  • Calves: low-starch creep feed to avoid early fat deposition.
  • Yearlings: reasonably high protein diet, 15% to 17% CP, with limited starch, to encourage lean growth and frame development.
  • Cattle are turned out for a limited three month grazing period and set stocked, followed by housing in early August. They are introduced to full finishing rations after they reach 500kg liveweight.
  • Steers: low protein, high starch finisher.
  • Heifers: higher protein, lower starch finisher
  • Both steer and heifer diets are formulated with limited forage and balanced with cereal and dark grains in order to achieve the correct fat cover and meat yield.



Table 1: Darnford herd diets

  DM % ME/kg DM CP% FCR Main diet components
Calf creep 86.00 12.50 18.7 3.5:1 Maxammon alkaline treated barley, distillers dark grains, sugar beet, minerals plus yeast and Rumitech
Yearling steer 47.00 12.70 15.8 9:1 TMR: grass silage, alkaline treated barley, distillers dark grains, sugar beet, minerals plus yeast and Rumitech
Yearling heifer 43.00 12.40 17.2 8:1  

As above



Finishing steer 65.00 13.00 13.5 9.2:1 TMR: limited forage, increased treated alkaline barley, distillers dark grains, sugar beet, minerals plus yeast and Rumitech
Finishing heifer 60.00 12.90 15.5 8.4:1 TMR: limited forage, treated alkaline barley, distillers dark grains, sugar beet, minerals plus yeast and Rumitech

Source: Darnford/Harbro

Measuring and monitoring

All cattle are weighed and benchmarked – at birth, at eight month weaning and thereafter at six weekly intervals until reaching target finishing weight.


Closed herd, member of the SRUC Premium Cattle Health Scheme, own herd health plan reviewed annually with the farm vet.



September 23, 2016 QR Codes


The Stirling Charolais catalogues have included QR codes so that a link to the BCCS on-line database can be accessed directly from smart phones to give extended pedigrees, performance information, breeder contacts etc.
To download the QR codes follow these instructions.

Step 1
Download and install a QR code app on your smartphone if you don’t yet have one. Open your App Store, Market, Marketplace or App World application (for the iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry platforms, respectively).

Step 2
Search for “QR code reader,” and then download and install a free app. The app should be named something to the effect of “QR Code Scanner” or “QR Scanner.” There are paid versions of these kinds of apps, but the free ones work just as well.

Step 3
Open the QR barcode app on your smartphone, and choose “scan from camera” or “scan QR code” from the main menu. A new window should open with a square in the middle of it.

Step 4
Center the QR code in the middle of the square that’s currently displayed by your QR barcode app. The app should automatically take a picture of the QR code for you when it has finished scanning the code. A new pop-up menu will appear, with the QR code information on it.

Step 5
Click the link that was embedded in the QR code, this will direct you to the Society website.

September 23, 2016 Charolais the choice for Suckler Calf Producers

Ian MacCrae selling his Charolais cross calves at UA Stirling on Monday, which averaged over £1000, topping at £1080.

Ian MacCrae selling his Charolais cross calves at UA Stirling on Monday, which averaged over £1000, topping at £1080.

Ian MacCrae, Point Farm, Tighnabruaich, Argyll

Using Charolais bulls helps Ian MacCrae achieve the best possible price for the 11-13-month-old store calves he sells through the ring.

“At the age I sell my calves at, it’s the Charolais crosses that make me the most money. They definitely achieve the best weight for age,” he says.

Mr MacCrae buys his bulls at Stirling, focusing on ease of calving and good weight gain, whilst making sure they look the part too.

David Rock, Knock O Ronald, Gargunnock

Stirlingshire-based David Rock has no qualms over the reliability of Charolais bulls, having bought just three in the 25 years since he started using the breed!

“The bulls I have bought have certainly lasted well for me, and with my system, selling suckled calves, I’d certainly say that Charolais are the best option,” says Mr Rock.

From his 45-strong suckler herd, he sells eight-month-old calves, with his lot of 22 January-born calves averaging £827 at UA on Monday (233p per kg).

“Considering the overall trade is well back on the year for stores, I’m only down 9p per kg compared to last year, so I’m happy with that.

“I buy stretchier type bulls and with those I’ve never had any calving difficulty – in fact, in all the time I’ve used Charolais bulls, I’ve very rarely had to calve a cow, and I’ve always managed to get a good trade for the suckled calves,” he adds.

Older articles »« Newer articles