For the Rodgers family from Dromara in Co Down 2010 has been a year in which their pedigree beef bloodlines have continued to gain recognition in countries around Europe. This year’s Balmoral Show was marked by the attainment of their 15th ‘Royal’ title with the supreme young Blonde bull Hillhead Dandy, who won the Supreme Blonde Championship at the Spring Show.

Dandy was subsequently purchased by the Epps family, who live in France – but who farm on the Island of Islay.

Hillhead Dandy
Hillhead Dandy

“Dandy was bought to improve the quality of the beef calves produced from the cows already on the island,” Geoffrey Rodgers confirmed.

“And that’s a job Dandy is bred to do. His sire Hillhead Clint is a tremendous example of the Blonde breed. He is also a former Balmoral Champion and his semen is in strong demand from farmers throughout the British Isles and beyond.”

Mr Epps’ specific interest in Blonde cattle stretches back over a significant number of years.

“We bought our first Blonde bull, primarily for use on heifers, and were very pleased with the temperament and growth rate of the calves. Several of the Blonde cross calves, out of heifers, stood on a par with the Charolais cross calves when it came to sale time,” he explained.

“Dandy was exactly what I was looking for in relation to bulling my Simmental cross heifers. He is quite tall with excellent confirmation. I had to buy him because he was obviously so correct and so easy on the eye. His nature was ideal and he did not appear to be a bull that had been "pushed" excessively. It is my intention to use him on my best homebred cows and on a few of the strongest Simmental cross Friesian cows. I am very confident that he is going to leave some very special calves.

The Rodgers family has been breeding pedigree Blonde cattle since 1982. The animals produce high quality beef, they are easy calving and have an excellent temperament.

“We have constantly selected the best Blonde bloodlines available in France and used these to build up the quality of our own cattle. In recent years this is best reflected in our purchase of the elite bull Sauveur,” Geoffrey Rodgers continued

“He has been specifically used to improve the size and beef attributes of our female breeding stock.”

The success of this approach was most recently reflected by the decision of the Epps family to purchase two pedigree Hillhead heifers, in addition to Hillhead Dandy.

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