For anyone interested in Aberdeen Angus cattle either as an enthusiast or as a breeder, the dispersal sale of the Wall herd is a sale very definitely not to be missed. This is the message from livestock auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington. Saturday 8th October will give breeders chance to buy stock from one of the country’s finest herds of Aberdeen Angus Cattle at Carlisle’s Borderway Mart.
Senior Pedigree Auctioneer David Thomlinson continues: “Harrison & Hetherington are delighted to have been asked to handle the sale of what is a truly magnificent herd of Aberdeen Angus. As Neil usually sells all of his cattle privately from his farm, The Wall herd have very rarely been seen on the open market. Through the years he has concentrated on his blood lines, and as a result this is a herd of outstanding, powerful and exceptional cattle of the 21st century.”
The award winning Wall Herd has been built up over the last twenty years under the careful stewardship of owner Neil Dobson on his farm in Kynnersley-on-The-Wealdmoors near Newport in Shropshire. The sale coincides with his planned retirement and includes:
62 cows and heifers served and/or suckling (56 calves)
19 served heifers
22 maiden heifers
3 stock bulls
1 young bull
The importance of this sale is reiterated by Ron McHattie Chief Executive of the Aberdeen Angus Society: “Neil Dobson and the Wall Herd is one of the best collection of Aberdeen Angus offered for dispersal for many years. It is a magnificent herd with top genetics and this sale provides a real opportunity for people to buy into some excellent genetic lines.”
Between them Neil and his family have many years experience of successfully raising commercial cattle. Neil managed the renowned Rigwardine Herd with his father Gerald and his Grandfather Percy also had many Royal and Dairy Show winners with his own herd of Blue Albion Cattle.
Wall Lady Ruth E397As Neil explains this knowledge was put to good use when he started the Wall Herd in 1998 after selling his Holstein herd, “My strategy was to buy into very good cow families and use the best bulls I could afford. My first cows came from Canada via Baggrave - Ruth, Royal Lady and Erica Star from Gies Farms, Alberta; Samantha from Burnbrae, Ontario; Elnora from Argwen, Alberta; Ruby from Batchcol, Saskatchewan; and Tidy Bee from Coldstream. With the British families we bought Eodesta from the Castle of Mey; K Pride and Equidora from Strathburn; Black Rose from David Evans Tyisha herd and Erilla and Pride from Tom Bomer at Wingfield Park.”
At the same time, Neil was keen to have a herd that was financially viable and that suited the farm and its farming system and wanted to reduce the high inputs that come from expensive feed and excessive showing. “I wanted the cattle to be of a type that I like: large framed, easy fleshing ability and easy calving with strong mothering traits. I also felt it would be best for us not to get involved with high input bulls going to sales in Scotland, but instead to sell bulls straight off the farm”.
The Wall Herd won the West Mercia large herd competition in 2009 and 2010 receiving the compliments of the judges James Playfair Hannay and Marion Tilson. The herd calves each spring and the offspring of its first bull Equidorian of Strathburn still remain in the herd. His pedigree is in most of the best cows and daughter Ruby is one of the best bull breeding cows. Of the many exceptional bulls Blelack Evor was Senior Champion at Perth in February 2010 making 18,000 gns.
The whole of the Wall Farm is in the Higher Level Stewardship and the Aberdeen Angus seemed to have thrived on the resulting low input system. Grassland has been returned unimproved vegetation including rich wild flower meadows. The scheme requires no artificial fertilisers, no rye grass and as little white clover as possible. This has had a significant impact on the farm’s stock management. Supplementary feeding of stock is severely restricted with only minerals being allowed and the creep feeding of calves at pasture is prohibited. Hay is produced in preference to silage, forage conservation is only allowed in late summer and the herd is housed over winter. Herd health is important and the herd has passed its pre-movement TB test and IBR tests prior to the sale.
Summing up the sale, Neil says, “I have now had the Angus cattle for twenty years. It has been a wonderful experience and I have particularly enjoyed being involved in a breed that is dominated by true cattle breeders, rather than multinational AI and embryo companies. Reaching the age where the government is contributing to my living expenses and without a family member wishing to continue with the enterprise I have decided to sell the Wall Herd. I feel the herd is currently at a very high standard. With the cows and heifers now looking better than ever I feel now is the right time to sell.”
The dispersal sale, on Saturday 8th October begins at 12 noon, at Borderway Mart, Rosehill, Carlisle. Cattle are available to be viewed prior to sale. For further details please contact Heather Pritchard on Tel. 01228 406230 or visit www.livestock-sales.co.uk
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