There will be celebrations in the cattle section at June’s Royal Cornwall Show on 7 – 9 June, when the Limousin exhibitors notch up 25 years of classes.
It is a breed that goes from strength to strength across the whole country, including the south west.
In 2011 there were over 20,000 pedigree Limousin calves registered, with 1,422 in the wider south west. In Cornwall there were 284 and in Devon, 671.
Richard Saunders is development manager for the British Limousin Cattle Society. He said:
“These cattle were first imported from France in 1971 and we celebrated the 40th anniversary last year with a National Show & Open Day which attracted an audience of 7,500.
“Since figures were first published in 1996, Limousin has been the most numerical breed, beef or dairy, in the UK. The total is now bigger than the second and third placed breeds put together.”
Having classes at prestigious shows such as the Royal Cornwall has helped build up the breed’s numerical strength and good reputation, he said.
“The Royal Cornwall Show is a real shop window for the breed; a real showcase for the very best pedigree genetics.
“And we expect there to be an increased number of entries this year because of this special milestone.”
Geoff Hollow, who farms near St. Ives, is chairman of the South West Limousin Club.
“Normally we get around 40 but this year I would like to see somewhere between 70 and 80 entries. A lot of people are interested because of the 25 years and will support it by bringing extra cattle.
“We also think there will be new breeders at the show. People we haven’t seen before.”
Geoff’s family-run farming enterprise (with his wife Carolyn and his parents) started eight years ago and now maintains up to 50 breeding heifers.
“We do a lot of embryo flushing, which helps us get the best genetics for the breed and to build up calf numbers from a good cow,” he said.
Celebrations will include a barbecue on Friday night (8th June). It is expected that the society’s national chairman, Peter Kirton, will say a few words, as will the Limousin classes judge Meirion Thomas, from Llanwrst in Conwy.
The society has also put some funds towards a prize-giving and a drinks reception to be held during the show.
“It’s something we shall all appreciate and I am sure the 25th anniversary of classes will attract a good response. It is important to attend the show because it is here that people can see what you are doing and how your genetics are moving forward,” said Geoff.
“The Cornish are very proud of the show. We class it as our annual holiday.”
Keep up to date with the show at www.royalcornwall.co.uk, Royal Cornwall Show News (Facebook) and RCS Update (Twitter).