Scottish Open Day
Beltie Open Day draws huge crowd
Belted Galloway cattle are a familiar sight in the south west of Scotland, and they never fail to turn heads when spotted out in a field. On Sunday 4th August a large gathering of farmers and friends got the chance to view these striking beasts on their home ground at an open day organised by the Belted Galloway Cattle Society. Ninety members and friends came from as far afield as Ireland, East Anglia and all over Scotland for the event.
Two of the most influential herds in the breed were on view, beginning with the Cairnsmore herd of Bill and Jane Landers at Bargaly Farm near Newton Stewart. Relative newcomers to Belties, Bill and Jane founded their herd in 2004 and have quickly established the Cairnsmore name as a breeder of top quality stock. The twenty cow herd has enjoyed success in the show ring as well as the prestigious annual sale at Castle Douglas, and has recently joined the exclusive breeders on the Beltie A.I. list with their outstanding young bull, Cairnsmore Fergus.
Moving nearer the coast, the next visit was, by contrast, to one of the oldest established herds in the world. The Mochrum herd was founded by the Marquis of Bute on Mochrum estate near Port William and was one of the original founding herds of the Belted Galloway Society in 1921. Current owner David Bertie pointed out that the Mochrum herd is not only a part of local history, but also remains a prominent player on the Beltie stage.
Herd manager John McTurk brought this home to an impressed crowd by showing the heifer Mochrum Lilac 3rd, which has carried off a host of prizes in this year’s shows, including the supreme championship at both the Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire shows. The Society’s President, Robert Graham of Twynholm, then treated everyone to a well-received demonstration of the things a judge looks for in the show ring.
After a farm tour of the sixty cows and followers everyone enjoyed a meal and a drink in the grounds of Mochrum castle courtesy of Mr. Bertie before heading home.