• Messrs Ridley of Cumbria go forward to National Final

Details of the winning herds in the regional finals of the 2011 National Limousin Pedigree Herd Competition have now been announced by the British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS).  The National Limousin Pedigree Herd Competition is a one-off unique event and is being held as part of the British Limousin Cattle Society’s 40th Anniversary promotional programme. Supported and sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, this new event is an extension of the coveted annual herd competitions held annually within the nine Limousin regions around the United Kingdom.

The regional competitions, open to all pedigree Limousin herds in the respective areas, saw the appointed judge in each region put forward an overall winning herd.   With regional judging completed through August, the nine winning herds now go head-to-head in a National Final judge-off to determine the 2011 National Limousin Pedigree Herd Overall Champion.  Currently moving around the UK and judging the National Final is noted breeder, and current Hon BLCS President, Mr Sam Coleman of Glarryford, Ballymena, N. Ireland.

Commenting on the task at hand Mr Coleman said: “It is a great honour to be judging such a prestigious event and it is clear that the level of competition is of the very highest order.  What I am looking for is a combination of such things as the overall presentation of the herd, the up-and-coming youngstock, the breeding policy, sires used, the breeding females, herd health, and herd successes.  Herd size won’t be the overriding determinant.”

The Haltcliffe Limousin herd of Messrs Ridley, Haltcliffe, Hesket-New-Market, Wigton are the North West regional herd competition winners and now go forward to the National Final.

Craig Ridley (Haltcliffe), Jane Soulsby (Pfizer Animal Health), Sam Coleman (Judge)

The North West area has more than 270 Society members and so the Ridleys faced stiff competition to become one of the finalists according to Craig Ridley.

“To have won the North West regional award is a great achievement for everyone here at Haltcliffe and we’re very proud as a family to be able to go forward to the National Final. The farm comprises 350 acres with land rising from 800 to 1000ft above sea level. We maintain 90 pedigree Limousin cows and in total run 270 head at any one time. We’ve aimed to breed consistent top quality pedigree animals and strive to maintain the highest possible standards for replacement as well as surplus male and female animals,” he said.

Judging the regional element was Mr Derek Hume, Randalstown, N Ireland who commented: “The overall quality of cattle in all the categories throughout the North West region were of a very high standard.  However what gave Haltcliffe the edge over other competitors was the uniformity of the whole herd which was very true to the characteristics of the Limousin breed – cattle with style and great shape.  The choice of stock bulls was impressive with easy calving traits which is very important to the future of the Limousin breed. The quality of the livestock, Craig Ridley’s good stockmanship and his enthusiasm for the future of his herd made him my number one choice.”

National Judge, Mr Sam Coleman, this week visited the nine UK regional winners and was accompanied around the Ridleys’ Haltcliffe herd by local Pfizer representative Jane Soulsby.

“This is an important UK award and Pfizer is very pleased to be able to support this competition set within the British Limousin Cattle Society’s 40th Anniversary celebrations. Originally open to all the Society’s 3,000 members, Messrs Ridley are very worthy winners from the North West region,” said Jane.

The Ridleys established the Haltcliffe Herd in 1979 with an original purchase of eight cows and four heifers.  The herd has achieved considerable success in the show ring as well achieving breed leading prices at auction, including the world record 100,000gns Haltcliffe Vermount. The family recently hosted the British Limousin Cattle Society 40th Anniversary Open Day which attracted over 2,500 visitors.

When the final judging is completed, the Overall Winner of the 2011 National Limousin Pedigree Herd Competition will be announced, by Mr Coleman, at a dinner being hosted by the British Limousin Cattle Society and Pfizer Animal Health in Carlisleon Friday 14th October.  The dinner, at the Shepherd’sInn, Borderway Mart, is being held on the evening prior to the Society’s 2011 October Bull Sale at Carlisle.


East Midlands                                 RM Hazard & Sons, Mereside HerdJudge: Richard Bartle, The Cottages,Upper Dinmore, Dinmore,Hereford

Scotland                                           Mr J Nimmo, Maraiscote Herd
Judge: Brian Jones, Bailea, Sennybridge, Brecon, Powys

NW Midlands & N Wales               Messrs KI & E & HI Jones, Garnedd Herd
Judge: John Phillips, Esgerddeugoed, Cwmfelin-Mynach, Whitland, Carmarthenshire

S Wales & Mid West                       ED Griffiths & Co, Mynach Herd
Judge: William Cowx, Hudscales, Hesket New Market,Wigton,Cumbria

South East                                       Buriton Estates Ltd, Miscombe Herd
Judge: Jim Bloom, Scorborough, Driffield,East Yorks

South West                                      Messrs EW Quick & Sons, Loosebeare Herd
Judge: Martin Bull,  Warminster, Wiltshire

Northern Ireland                             WJ & J McKay, Ampertaine Herd
Judge: John McInerney, Clonmoney West,Newmarket On Fergus, Co Clare

North West                                       Messrs Ridley, Haltcliffe Herd
Judge: Derek Hume, Randalstown, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland

North East                                        Messrs JM & SP Cooper, Tomschoice Herd
Judge: Gary Swindlehurst, Procters Farm,Woodhouse Lane, Slaidburn, Nr. Clitheroe, Lancs