The commercial herd currently numbers around 20 cows, mainly all homebred largely consisting of Limousin and British Blue crosses. Since 2007 we have been selectively breeding our commercial cows with Limousin or British Blue AI to produce quality suckled calves for show and sale as well as our own commercial summer and winter show team.
Commercial showing has been a part of everyday life for Wilodge long before the pedigrees ever came to the farm. We’ve had some amazing highlights in the show ring, the biggest of which came at the Royal Smithfield in December 2008 when Paul and I won the lightweight and overall steer championship with The Stig, a homebred steer sired by Toubib out of a Blue x Limousin cow who had herself picked up the suckled calf championship at Smithfield. This was an incredibly special occasion as we then went on to take the Kings Cup for the best homebred exhibit, a cup I had been reserve for on three occasions previously.
2009 has seen a great return to the commercial show ring and has brought us some fantastic success. We started the year with an exhibitor bred championship at Beef expo with Oh La La, a homebred Limousin cross heifer by Salomon out of the only crossbred daughter out of the pedigree Blue cow Maybrock Fleur. She stood second and then went on to take the reserve overall heifer champion ticket.
Later in the year we took a first, steer championship and overall reserve champion with Buck Off, another Salomon sired animal. Buck Off is out of a full sister to the dam of The Stig. We also took a first with Oh La La and the two of them joined up to win the pairs competition at East of England Show
Buck Off also picked up a first prize at the Great Yorkshire Show as well as reserve champion steer. He also stood first in his class at the Royal Welsh Show.
At Burwarton Show we took the overall commercial championship with Oh La La, while Buck Off stood reserve champion.
Having not been able to make Edenbridge and Oxted show last year, it was great to head down to Surrey for this year. We took the pedigrees and commercials, but this time fared better with the commercial team. Our Limousin cross heifer Oh La La took a first prize in her heifer class under judge Simon David, Somerset, and then went on to take the female and overall championship.
The team has equally been successful in winter events in 2009. Out of the most recent six winter events, five homebred steers have never been out of the prizes and have averaged £1337.97 at sale.
The Beef Expo Event in Carlisle saw us take a first with Buck Off before he went on to be reserve male champion at the English Winter Fair. At the same event we won the pedigree Limousin class and then went on to be pedigree champion with Destroyer.
Having made the long journey up to Scotland for the Scottish Winter Fair, we stood a pleasing second in the class to the overall champion.
The Royal Welsh Winter Fair saw us take three third places with Buck Off, Dave and Deadline and a 6th place with Mr Willetts. Our local fatstock show at Market Drayton saw us take a first with Dave who then sold for £1162.46 and Mr Willetts who sold for £1207.72.
We then headed south for the Sedgemoor event where we stood first and reserve overall champion with Buck Off before selling him for 254p/kg (grossing £1692.43) to Court Farm Butchers. We also stood first with Dave who was then grossed £1189.69 to Mike and Melanie Alford of Stilman’s.