South Wales and Mid West Limousin Breeders Club

Club Report 2008

The prominence of the Limousin in the cattle population of Wales continues to gain momentum with a continuing increase in the use of pure bred Limousin from the perspective of maternal genetics. The breed is prized for its adaptability to environment, efficiency and fertility, and can produce a superior conformation carcase with little supplementary feeding. The Brecon sales centre continues to flourish with increasing numbers of buyers with every sale and ever increasing sale averages recorded together with very healthy clearance rates.

The Welsh Beef Quality Improvement Project has successfully installed some 325 superior genetics bulls across Wales over the last three years with over 40% of these being Limousin bulls. Together with training 680 famers in the selection of bulls on their EBV values, the challenge for breeders will be to increase the local provision of performance recorded bulls to supply future demand.

Due to Bluetongue restrictions we had a very special Royal Welsh Show with exhibitors coming nearly exclusively from north, mid and west Wales, and a local judge in Brian Jones of the Bailea herd. Although cattle numbers were down generally, the Limousin classes remained very strong both in quality and numbers which was testified by the winning of all the major Interbreed Championships. The Limousin Champion and Individual Interbreed Champion, Rhonllwyn Vandal was of real local pedigree, being the stock bull in the Griffiths’ Mynach herd, bred by the Ingrams at Llandrindod Wells and out of a Fleethill dam from the Grey family. Many congratulations go to the Griffiths family for winning the Individual Interbreed, the Fitzhugh Pairs Interbreed trophy with Rhonllwyn Vandal and Mynach Treasure, with these two animals also included in the victorious Team of Five. Even the weather turned up trumps providing a gloriously sunny and warm week, probably the only one of the summer! We were joined for the judging and at our awards dinner on the Monday evening by a combined Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland group visit, and we were pleased that they managed to visit a couple of herds as well. It was a pleasure to return some of the hospitality that we are always offered plenty of on our visits to Ireland!

In September the North West Club made the long journey to stay a night in West Wales and several of our Club members joined them for dinner and some unique Welsh entertainment by the singing group of Bois Y Frenni. Visits to the Mynach herd of the Griffiths family and John and Heather Phillips’ Gronw herd followed the next day with an invitation to Club members to join in again. The quality of the cattle on show made for a very enjoyable day despite the inclement weather which by now we had become quite used to! It was also an opportunity to view again the impressive daughters of Sable which have won the Best Stock Bull and Progeny in our Herd Competition for four years now.

Our annual Club Sale with JJ Morris in Whitland was again very well supported with the top priced female at £3,700 going to Terry Jones with Sherry Vanessa, a Nenuphar daughter with an Objat bull calf at heel. This was followed by £2,800 for Angiean Vixen from John Brown of Redskins with an Oxygene bull calf at heel. Top priced maiden heifer at £2,400 was Cwmpedran Chocolatechip from Teleri Thomas. Bulls peaked at £1,850 for Gower Cosmo from Mrs CM Jones.

The Irish Beef Expo gave us a great opportunity for a Club Trip on the ferry across the Irish Sea, and we were treated to an excellent weekend in Kilkenny to witness the tremendous spectacle of a very well staged and organised Beef Expo. The next day we travelled to Roscrea for the Premier Sale where some very fine cattle, especially heifers, had been pre-selected for the promotion of the best of Irish genetics. We only wished we could have stayed a bit longer to visit some herds, but the Carlisle Autumn Bull Sale beckoned.

Our herd competition slipped into the beginning of October this year which meant that our judge, Gary Swindlehurst of Procters Farms, found some cattle had already been housed because of the exceedingly wet conditions. Members enjoyed the opportunity to show all their cattle and discuss their thoughts on breeding, and we were pleased to welcome Gary and Karen back to our Christmas Party in November for the verdict and to present the prizes.

The Welsh Winter Fair affords the opportunity to support all the commercial showmen who have played a significant role in the development of the breed in Wales over the years and it helps pedigree breeders to focus on the requirements of our main market. The Club always looks forward to providing bulls for the Society stand and welcoming all our friends and customers for tea and a chat. The coming year will be a special one for the Club as we will be holding special events to celebrate our 25th anniversary so please come along and join us!