Disappointment at Charolais entries at Balmoral Show

BY RICHARD HALLERON

Charolais Cattle Society Chief Executive David Benson has expressed disappointment at the number of cattle actually competing at this week’s Balmoral Show.

“The quality of the Charolais cattle on display was tremendous, but we should have seen more of them. Each Charolais breeder receives £75 per head for all animals exhibited at our four flagship events: Balmoral, the Royal Highland, the Royal Welsh and the breed’s national show at Stoneleigh.

“I think that’s a pretty decent incentive when it comes to encouraging breeders to participate in these shop window events.”

Benson made these comments in the main cattle ring at Balmoral Park, directly after the Connolly family had been presented with their Charolais championship winning sash with their second calver Wesley Glamorous.

He also believes that Charolais cattle are as in demand now as would have been the case a decade ago.

“The prices paid at last weekend’s Blelack sale confirm this. Cows with calves at foot averaged £7,400. I think this is a breed record.”

Nor does Benson believe that Charolais cattle are losing out to the native breeds in the ‘quality beef’ recognition stakes.

“I take my hat off to the Angus, Hereford and Beef Shorthorn societies in terms of what they have done to promote their product. But, at the end of the day, these bloodlines are primarily used by commercial suckler farmers to  breed the cows they need,” he said.

“There is still a requirement for elite terminal sires. And it is in this context that Charolais cattle continue to pay a pivotal role within the UK beef industry.  And this will continue to be the case.”