The Wilodge herd of pedigree Limousins was established by Don Williams in 1989 and from there has had a massively influential effect on the Limousin now with his daughter Christine and her partner Paul Tippetts at the helm, the herd now currently numbers around 50 Limousin breeding females and a small number of pedigree British Blue females. The herd has seen Limousin bull sales top at 50,000gns, Limousin females sell to 20,000gns, British Blue females top at 30,000gns and commercial cattle take championship tickets at Smithfield.
Christine and her father have always been involved with cattle having had experience of working with various pedigree breeds including British Blondes, South Devons and commercial cattle. And it was from the start of winning local market shows with homebred store cattle that she developed her love of breeding and showing pedigree and commercial cattle.
Lodge Hill Farm was bought in 1982 as a dairy unit and soon turned in to a place for finishing Hereford cross steers and heifers. The transition then moved from native to Continental bred cattle, where Christine gleaned her first few show cattle. Her first major win in the 1980’s was at Bridgnorth market with a three quarter bred Limousin heifer Emma – from then on she hasn’t looked back and still strongly believes there can be no greater satisfaction than winning with a homebred animal.
The decision was taken in the late 1980’s to encourage a greater interest in the breeding of pedigree cattle (which Christine admits was fully her father’s idea!) and having had a taste of success in the commercial ring with Limousin sired cattle and with pedigree Limousins already on the farm, it was to this breed she would turn. The early 90’s saw Don and Christine searching various dispersal, production and reduction sales for honest working females at reasonable money.
The first major purchases of Limousin cattle came from the Boswells dispersal in September 1992 where four cows were bought including Boswells Danette who still has descendents in the herd to date.
The Mereside production sale in 1993 saw the first major bull purchase at Wilodge in the form of Mereside Bevan for 7000gns. Up to that point he had been the dearest buy for Don and Christine. Other purchases followed from Peasley, Lodge, Crowhead and Newsham, Paddock and Hengrave and in the early 1990’s the decision was made to sell the Blondes, Charolais and Simmentals that had joined the farm to concentrate solely on Limousin and British Blue cattle.
Odd females were purchased during 1980s to the early 1990s including Balavil Dolly, born 1988, who was bought from Perth as a maiden heifer. She has produced well for the herd breeding Wilodge Dolly who when bred to Manoir produced Wilodge Ritzy who sold for 20,000gns as a foundation female for Harry Emslie and Lynwen Evans.
Midtown Gem was bought in September 1992 for 1350gns and then bred us Wilodge Little Gem who then produced Wilodge Priceless who is the mother of Wilodge Cerberus who sold for 50,000gns to Alan Jenkinson of Whinfell Park.
1997 saw Christine take over the business. Autumn 2001 saw yet another chapter in the history books written with the purchase of the 10 month old French heifer Ravenelle who was bought from the KBS sale for £5000. This stylish, feminine female with great depth is greatly admired at Wilodge and has bred some exceedingly exceptional cattle including Wilodge Vantastic sold for 42,000gns to Smiths of Bloxham. She has also left some great females in the herd including Wilodge Vavanelle who is the full natural sister of Vantastic.
In 2007 new bloodlines joined the herd in the form of Sarkley Bellola who was bought for 24,000gns at the Sarkley production sale. Bought as a yearling heifer she is by Cloughhead Lord and her grand dam is the great show cow Sarkley Ola who was Royal Welsh champion as a maiden heifer. She has an amazing pedigree including some of the greats such as Heros, Cannon, Ronick Luke and Rhadh Thelma and Ronick Gains.
From here the Wilodge herd has not only featured prominently on the summer show circuit (see show results), but in the sale ring as well, both at home and at society sales. The 2003 production sale saw Wilodge Ritzy sell for 20,000gns and Wilodge Little Gem sell for 11,000gns. Her daughter Wilodge Priceless was sold privately in 2005 for £26,000. Embryos by Wilodge Tonka out of Wilodge Meclaire sold for 900gns at the ILC Elite sale in 2004, while Wilodge Navette sold for 11,500gns at the same sale.
Since 2007 a major programme of AI and ET work has been undertaken to introduce exciting new bloodlines in to the herd. Following a difficult year on 2008 here we battled with DEFRA enforced movement restrictions, 2009 has been the best ever year for Wilodge. We’ve had a successful show season where the work carried out in 2007 has now come to fruition.
The Wilodge herd has been part of the SAC Premium Health Scheme since March 2002. Cattle have been vaccinated for Leptopspirosis since March 1994 and BVD vaccinated since March 2000 as the herd was found to be naive.
The herd goes through annual testing and is Johne’s Disease monitored. Due to change in our Parish status, the Wilodge herd is now on one yearly testing, but to date has never found a positive or inconclusive reactor.
The herd is Signet recorded and is also vaccinated for clostridial disease with Covexin 10.