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Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

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The Newtown herd of the Richardson family of Newtowngore Co Leitrim was the feature of a recent herd open evening in conjunction with Teagasc & the Irish Limousin Cattle Society.

The first feature of this farm that captured the attention of the large crowd as they arrived was the attention to detail and the actual layout of both the paddocks and farm yard. Farm size is 114 acres with 70 pedigree cattle.

The Newtown herd was established over 30 years ago when Stanley Richardson purchased a heifer from Nicholas & Barbara Grubb at the RDS Show in Ballsbridge.

This first heifer from the Castle herd was 10 months of age and cost 2000 however when Stanley returned home with his purchase Stanley’s father the late Bob Richardson talked Stanley into giving him a half share.

Subsequently in the same year Stanley purchased another heifer at the Limousin Society sale in Cahir, again from the Castle herd costing 2,450. Two more heifers were purchased privately from the Castle herd along with a cow from the Hibernian herd which Stanley purchased from the Allen family at a sale in Portadown.

The herd was gradually built up with a breeding policy adopted of using the best available sires to ensure maximum genetic gain, typical such sires as Dauphin & Mas Du Clo, Litron etc . Selling consisted of both on farm and at society sales with Roscrea being a major selling venue, indeed on one particular occasion 9  Newtown animals were sold grossing over 29,000.

In 2001 the Richardson’s travelled to Castleisland Co Kerry to the Castleview herd of Sean O Sullivan where they purchased Castleview Rub,an Ideal 23 daughter with back breeding to Geannt . It was then decided to accelerate genetic improvement by embarking on an embryo transfer programme with Castleview Rub, the result was 8 male calves from 7 embryos by the French Sersia sire Mas Du Clo.

When these males went to sale the top three prices were €6,000, €7,000 & €10,000, the later being Newtown Bunty purchased by Mr John Moroney for his Ballinacurra Herd in Clare.

The first heifer to sell from Castleview Rub realised €12,500 at auction.

The format of the evening was a walk through the different paddocks starting with cows & calves, dry cows, incalf & maiden heifers, recipient dams with their calves at foot. The one underlying theme that was evident at each batch of cattle was the consistency of quality. During the walk the audience were given a detailed account of all animals by local Teagasc advisor Mr Tom Coll, a man who the Richardson family have high regard for, Mr Coll has been an integral part of the development of the Newtown farm with particular emphasis on the farm yard layout and buildings.

The Newtown herd has acknowledged the role of animal health and has been participating in a scheme to become accredited for Johnes along with vaccinating for both BVD & Lepto. This year bulls will be fertility tested along with scrotal measurements recorded.

In 2010 the Newtown herd participated in the North East Herds Competition where they won the Medium Herd section, best group of calves & best 2009 heifer Newtown Emma, another daughter of Castleview Rub & Wilodge Vantastic.

Local shows are also attended each summer with many prizes won, a fact that was evident with many rosettes on display.

In the farm yard and adjacent paddock was a display of both show cattle and cattle destined for the forthcoming Roscrea Premier sales. Included in the line up were Newtown Freman who won Overall Male Champion at the National Limousin show in Tullamore, by Wilodge Vantastic  and the Dauphin sired dam Newtown Trixie.

Newtown Gentleman who stood Reserve Overall Male Champion at the National Show, by Ampertaine Commander & Castleview Rub.

Newtown Fruity another 1st prizewinner from the National Show, again by Wilodge Vantastic & Newtown Trixie.

During the evening the Richardson family were very open and willing to answer all questions put forward by an enthusiastic audience. The evening finished with a vast array of food prepared and served by the extended Richardson family & relations.

The Irish Limousin Cattle Society would like to thank the Richardson family for making their farm available for this event, there is no doubt that a lot of preparation went in to this event. Likwise special mention to Mr Tom Coll, Teagasc for his involvement in the event.

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Some of the cows in the herd

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The Newtown men

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The Richardson family

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Phoning a friend

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Mark Richardson with Newtown Freman

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Stanley Richardson with Tom Coll, Teagasc

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Section of the large attendance

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Embryo calf with dam

Further photos available online at Agri Images




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