We held an open day on Sunday 14th October on the farm of Michael Philips, Doon, Gurteen, Co. Sligo – home of the Doon West Limousin Herd.
Michael started the herd in 1998 when he visited a society sale in Roscommon and purchased Bova Nessa, a Ferry sired maiden heifer. Subsequently the Garryduff dispersal sale at Roscrea mart was visited and a number of animals were purchased.
In 2006 Michael travelled to Carlisle to the Greenwell reduction sale and purchased two daughters of Greenwell Master. Seven females were also purchased from the Grahams herd of Robert Graham, Stirling, Scotland. With this nucleus of foundation females Michael then embarked on a comprehensive embryo transfer programme which has resulted in the present day herd of 40 cows.
The crowd of 150 were informed by Michael that his emphasis within the herd was on milk, docility and easy calving. With these traits in mind, Grahams Apache was purchased in 2006 (in joint ownership with Tom Feehan) from Robert Graham, by Waindale Prime and the highly influential dam Lisette, Apache (GZP) has had a major influence on the herd and has also delivered in the three traits Michael requires.
In 2010 Michael travelled to the Greenwell dispersal sale where he secured a half share in the senior sire Casimir. This bull, bred by Pierre Gillet, had been previously purchased from the Lanaud test station in March 2008, by a very high merit dam Sabine and the sire Univers 566.
The progeny of both these sires could be seen as Michael led a tour of the herd answering questions from a very interested audience. After this tour all present were invited to participate in a stock judging competition and a guess the weight event.
The young members were given a presentation by well known showman Michael Oliver on the different aspects of preparing and showing animals. After this presentation the young members were also invited to participate in the stock judging and guess the weight competitions.
After the competitions had finished the attendance were treated to a fine display of hospitality, compliments of the extended Philips family and the North West ladies.
Finally to close the event Paul Sykes secretary of the ILCS and Pat Bruen Chairman of the North West Limousin club thanked Michael Philips for making his herd available for the open day and preparing for the event. Special mention went to Michael’s father Michael Senior who has been a major help to Michael over the years and is still heavily involved in the day to day running of the farm. Likewise to Michael’s extended family, friends and the North West members for their involvement in ensuring the day was such a successful and enjoyable event.
Finally the results of the competitions were announced and special congratulations to young 12 year old Dylan Bourke on being the winner of the guess the weight competition of a bull 845kgs – only one kg out!
Results of the open competition stock judging:
1st Billy Duffy, Lavally, Tuam.
2nd Richard Hegarty, Lahardane.
3rd Henry Carr, Tubbercurry.
YMA Stock Judging:
1st Saoirse Oliver.
2nd Daniel Bourke.
3rd David Murphy.