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Backmuir Farm wins 2022 Royal Highland Simmental Supreme

The cattle and the crowds were back to normal at Ingliston, Edinburgh as the 2022 Royal Highland roared into life on Thursday 23rd June – featuring a strong Simmental section of some 75 entries.

Judge Joe Wilson selected Islavale Lullaby from Reece and Andrew Simmers, Backmuir Farm, in Banffshire as the Female Champion and as the 2022 Simmental Overall Supreme Champion.

Joe runs the noted Ballinalare herd of some 60 Simmental cows at Dorans Hill, Newry, County Down.

Bred by Mr WS Stronach, of Berryleys Farm, in Keith, Banffshire, the heifer was born in April 2020 by Shacon Hannibal 16, and the first calf out of Islavale Inspire GP 82, was purchased by the Simmers for 8000gns at the Society’s inaugural Simmental Next Generation Sale of females and weaned calves at Carlisle in December 2021, and where she had also stood Overall Champion.

Commenting on his choice of Champion Joe Wilson said: “This heifer just had tremendous quality throughout. Super stylish, she was just full of breed character, was well fleshed and moved really well. Overall, a terrific heifer and just the kind of Simmental I’d love to take home with me!”

Of the show generally, Joe Wilson went on to say: “With the advent of Covid I’ve been waiting some three years to judge the Highland! It’s been a great honour and fully lived up to expectations. I’d like to congratulate all exhibitors for the quality of the stock forward and have no hesitation in saying that the future of British Simmental looks very bright.”

Established in 2018, the Backmuir herd now features some 80 pedigree Simmental cows and is already an increasingly prolific herd in both the sale and show ring, British Simmental Cattle Society says. At the last full Royal Highland in 2019, the Simmers’ herd secured the Reserve Overall Supreme Championship with Sterling FCUK Impuls.

Commenting after the judging, a delighted Reece Simmers said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet but it’s a tremendous honour to win the Simmental Supreme Championship at what is the blue riband show in Scotland and with such a rich history.

“The standard of competition here within the breed and from fellow exhibitors is really high. To come through that and win the Championship is just fantastic and quite humbling.”

Of Islavale Lullaby, Mr Simmers continued: “Islavale Lullaby was bought as a new bloodline and as an investment in the future of Backmuir Simmentals. We are really pleased with how she has come on and very much hope that she will be a cornerstone female in the herd.”

Mr Simmers noted that Islavale Lullaby had been served by the herd’s 18,000gns stock bull Wolfstar Jackaroo who was purchased at Stirling in February 2020.

The Reserve Female Championship and the Overall Reserve Supreme Championship was Annick Ginger’s Lucia from the herd of the late Lachlan Quarm.

Other results

Meanwhile at the show, the Reserve Female Championship and the Overall Reserve Supreme Championship was Annick Ginger’s Lucia from the herd of the late Lachlan Quarm, Holehouse Farm, By Irvine, Ayrshire.

The herd picked up the Reserve Overall; the Reserve Female; the Reserve Junior female; and along with two first prizes, two seconds, and a third in the classes, and a reserve in the group of three.

The Annick herd is set to be fully dispersed at United Auctions Stirling Market on Saturday 10th September following the sad passing of Lachlan Quarm last year.

Lifting the Male Championship was Gerald and Morag Smith, Drumsleed, Fordoun, Laurencekirk, with their April 2020 born bull Drumsleed Legacy 20.

Another bull to secure a bounty of prizes was Denizes Monty from MA Barlow & Sons, Four Oaks, Near Leyland, Lancashire. This January 2021-born bull placed first in his class of 13 young bulls, the largest on the day, before moving through the gears to take the Overall Junior Championship; Junior Male; and Overall Reserve Male Championship titles.

Next stop Denizes Monty will take aim at the October 2022 Stirling Simmental Bull Sale.

Taking the Reserve Junior Male Championship was the January 2021-born Corskie Mikah from Mr WJ&J Green, Corskie, Garmouth, Fochabers.

Back in the females and winning the Junior Female Championship and Overall Junior Reserve was Brandane Millie from the herd of Jimmy McMillan, The Beeches, Back Lane, Bradwell Ash, Bury St Edmunds.

A well-known figure in Simmental show and sale rings around the UK over a prolonged number of years, this was Jimmy McMillan’s first time showing at the Royal Highland on his own behalf.

With a show record behind her already, Brandane Millie was Reserve Interbreed at Suffolk Show and will now move on to the Royal Norfolk. The longer-term intention is to enter Brandane Millie into this year’s Next Generation II Sale at Carlisle in December.

A first time and welcome exhibitor in Simmental classes was David and Lesley Sapsed, all the way from High Heath Farm, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Their long journey met with reward when securing two red tickets in the classes.

First up was the April 2019-born Heathbrow Koko Star, last year’s Supreme Champion at the Great Yorkshire, and who won the class for Females calved before three years or due to calve before three years old, in milk, or in calf born in 2019. The Sapseds’ second first prize winner was for Heathbrow Girlie’s Ivy who secured the Female born in 2017 or 2018 in milk or certified in calf at the time of show.

Rolling on to the second day, Friday 24th June, and the Simmental breed secured the first beef Interbreed of the show when winning not only the Marks & Spencer Beefbreeder title but landing both the Champion and Reserve positions.

Winning the Interbreed was the December 2020-born Blackford Local Hero (P) from the noted Mr WG MacPherson (A FIRM), Blackford Farm, Croy, Inverness. This is another bull that will now be aimed at the Stirling Simmental October 2022 Bull Sale. Lifting the Reserve was Corskie Mikah from WJ & J Green.

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