THIS year marks the 40th anniversary of the Crawford Brothers’ high profile commitment to pedigree Limousin cattle breeding.
The family’s Maguiresbridge farm is currently home to a selection of the Limousn breed’s most prestigious bloodlines. Among them is the young cow Culnagechan Liberty – the winner of this year’s Northern Ireland National Limousin Show – and her calf, Rathkeeland Phoenix, selected as the runner-up at the same event.
But this was only the beginning of what has become a memorable few months for the daughter of Culnagechan Lazio. November saw the weanling heifer take part in the 10th anniversary Stars of the Future Calf Show, hosted by United Auctions in Stirling, at which she won the Junior Female Limousin Championship.
Stephen Crawford takes up the story: “This was our first time at the Stars of the Future event. The decision was taken to head for Scotland because of the fact that the show was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“We were also confident that Phoenix was a young heifer with tremendous potential.
“It was very gratifying to have her perform so well on the day. Her sire was sold for 17,000gns. Phoenix is the first calf of Lazio to really catch the eye in the show ring.
“Our plan is to breed from her, which means that we will be showing her in 2020.”
Phoenix is a February 2019 calf. She was weaned prior to travelling to Scotland. A total of 58 Limousin cattle, from across the UK, participated in the Stars of the Future show.
Her success at Stirling adds to the numerous success achieved by Crawford Brothers over many years.
A case in point is the fact that they are the only Limousin breeders to have won Limousin Championships at all of the Royal Shows: The Royal Welsh, The Royal Ulster Agricultural Show, The Royal Highland Show, The Great Yorkshire, The Royal Show, and The Royal Dublin Show.
Stephen Crawford again: “Our success at Stirling is further confirmation of the potential, which Phoenix is now showing. Obviously, we want to build on this for the future.”