Clifton Farm Visit
23rd August 2015
The Scottish Belted Galloway Club had its first ever event last Sunday at Clifton Farm, Southwick, Dumfries by kind permission of Anne Bell and ably assisted by all her family.
The day started with an introduction by Anne followed by an excellent appraisal of two belties by Robert Graham, Irelandton. He outlined what we should look for in a good beltie and said how important it was to keep the traits that we need in Belted Galloway cattle; good feet and legs to be able to move about on less productive land; good thigh muscles to be able to power out of a bog if she got into one; and not too big and heavy so that the land is not poached.
When asked about how expensive Belted Galloways can be he replied that if you bought a stone trough for £2000 it would look lovely but when you have a moving beltie heifer grazing your fields it is so much more attractive and enjoyable.
We then went and viewed the cows, and calves by Clifton Hercules and Southfield Major Ronaldo, Clifton Hercules was running with the cows. The cows all looked super and in a beautiful setting overlooking the Solway, it was a glorious day so it was lovely.
On returning to the steading we took part in ‘Guess the Weight’ of two belties, a heifer and a bullock, their combined weight being 1134 kgs and this was won by Caitlin Ross, Muil Farm, Shawhead, who guessed 1135 kgs, second equal was Callum Ross, Muil Farm and Adam Lawson, North Cassingray, Fife, who both guessed 1130 kgs.
After a very enjoyable hog roast from Jamie Shennan, New Abbey, and more tea, coffee and juice, we had Jim Ross, Romesbeoch, giving us a demonstration on how to dress cattle for the show or sale.
Jim made it look so easy as he clipped off about an inch of hair from an attractive yearling heifer, he did half so we could compare one side to the other and Katie Keilley did a great commentary throughout, with Jim saying why he trimmed certain parts and answering questions from the audience.
We were very fortunate to have sponsorship from James Gordon Ltd., For Farmers, Johnstone Wallace Oils and Imrie Sawmills.
To round off the day we had a wonderful afternoon tea in the garden, Anne had got a Scottish Belted Galloway Club cake and all her grandchildren had done a lot of delicious home baking. We announced the results of the photograph competition which was kindly judged by Ulrike Kaufhold, first was Emma and William Richardson, second Kenny Cullen, and third Raymond Kirk, and the best twelve photographs are being made into a calendar for 2016.
All in all a great day, wonderful cattle, super scenery and great hospitality – a grand start for the Scottish Belted Galloway Club.