It was in 2016 that I first established the Old Stackyard British Blues herd in memory of my late wife Evelyn. We had sold our farm and built a house for our retirement, but sadly Evelyn’s untimely death from cancer changed everything. I launched this Blues herd from scratch, with just three cows and five heifers, for the sole purpose of raising funds for my two favoured causes. Four years on, I have raised over £50,000 so far – and am now planning the biggest sale to date.
Having already sold, from the outset, 4 bulls and 17 maiden heifers, I should explain: “The herd has done incredibly well and grown to 28 with 11 more calves due next year. They keep me busy with all the calves this year born naturally, unlike the previous eighteen months with 7 breech births resulting in 3 caesarean section which was diappointing, having initially purchased the 3 cows and 5 maiden heifers from naturally calving blood lines. These, being the original animals, are still in the herd, with the oldest cow Stonebyers Erica, now due with her ninth calf. All calves are reared on silage, good grass and hay, and calf rearing nuts.
The herd is bred to AI, is Level 1 Herd Health, totally closed. Double fenced with badger proof wire on the inside.
The First Selection of Old Stackyard Progeny was offered for sale by
Harrison and Hetherington
at their British Blue Cattle Society Spring Show & Sale
Carlisle 19th May 2018
My entries in aid of Old Stackyard Charity Blues raised more than £16,900 for my chosen two charities at the Society’s May sales fixture in Carlisle on the 19th May 2018 when I entered five heifers and a young bull.
These were the first registered progeny to be sold from my recently established Old Stackyard Blues herd here at Llansantffraid, Powys. The herd was established two years ago with the sole purpose of generating funds for Ovarian Cancer Action and RABI, my wife Evelyn having died from ovarian cancer.
The top this year was 3,800gns (£3,990 with auctioneers’ commission thrown in). The January 2017 heifer Old Stackyard Blues Mono, which came second in class OF.11, is by the Empire D’Ochain son Boherard Cantona and out a Tamhorn Enterprising daughter, one of his foundation cows bought from the Stonebyres herd.
Three of the other heifers sold were by Kersey Geronimo and a fourth by Tamhorn Enterprising:-
Megan, Mary, Mia, Molly
( Also sold from the foundation
herd was Stonebyers Merlin)
Six Lots in all
I was delighted with the trade for stock at Carlisle and was also grateful to Harrison and Hetherington for contributing their commission to the cause. But the other thing that has been so pleasing about all of this has been the wonderful people it has brought me into contact with – people in the breed I had never known before. I am particularly grateful for those who helped and encouraged me, and supported me with this venture.
The Second selection of Old Stackyard progeny was presented
for sale at
CARLISLE 17th May 2019
2 Bulls and 7 Heifers
1 Bull (Old Stackyard Max) and 7 Females (of the Old Stackyard progeny) were sold with a top price of £4000. The mean age for the 8 animals was 12½ months, and the average price per head was £1900. Down £800 on last year. Reflecting, perhaps the uncertainty of Brexit and the after effects of last year’s drought, and pressure on capital.
£4000 has been divided between 2 Charities
1 Bull (Old Stackyard Ned) was brought to the ring unsold and will be kept until next spring (proceeds to be divided between 2 charities).
The most pleasing part of the event was to take 9 animals to the sale (having only kept one animal from those born in 2017/2018 as herd replacement) all passing inspection, and meeting acquaintances, old and new.
Old Stackyard Narcosi
Born on the 16thJuly 2018 out of
Stonebyers Kylie by Cromwell Fendt
Purchased for £4300 by Eifion Williams, Cilmawr, Llangedwyn, Oswestry
Very correct and well grown
Out of my best cows who has had 3 bull calves in under 3 years
The proceeds to be divided between the two Charities
24th Jan 2020
Old Stackyard Ned
Sold for 3000gns
Proceeds will be divided between the two Charities
Naturally born 28th January 2018
Old Stackyard Ono
Born on the 5 th May 2019 out of Stonebyers Lizzie by Newton Blues Cracker
(Taken February 2020)
Purchased for £1100 by Ryan Morris, Llangedwyn, Oswestry,
7th Mar 2020
Old Stackyard Opal
Was fancied by Joel Gill after seeing her on the website as a calf and in January asked to update the picture on the website. On 7 March he came down to look at her and purchased her for £3000. Although intending to keep her I reluctantly I let her go. I wish him good luck and hope that she will breed well for him.
Born on the 8th Sepember out of
Stonebyers Kendra by Newclose Colonel
The proceeds will be divided between the two Charities.