By South West Limousin Club PRO, Ann Curtin

Brian, Jane, and the Frawley family of Ballylin Limousin herd, in Croagh, Co. Limerick, opened their farm to visitors on Saturday the 15th of July – the quality of cattle and the infrastructure on site was a sight to behold.

Brian and Jane together with their children – Sarah, Orla and Pat run the farm. Orla was absent for the start of the Open day, however, the sports fanatic had a good excuse as she was representing Limerick in camogie.

Ballylin Open Day hosts – the Frawley family

Brian first started the Ballylin herd in 2013 with the purchase of Wood Road Geraldine from fellow Limerick breeder Noel Fennessy. Geraldine is a daughter of Tullamore prize winning bull Wood Road Donald and Wood Road Celia ET, a Raquette daughter. Geraldine’s first calf Ballylin Isobel, a daughter of Lowerfrydd Empire, has had seven calves born into the herd.

Further heifers were sourced at society sales and dispersal sales from Esker-hill, Newtown, Brickhill, Tomriland, Shannon, Royal County, Mount Scott, Meenross, Baileys, Grangeford, Ballyline, Castleview, Roundhill, Rathnestin and Woodview herds.

Along with the pedigree cattle the herd is also home to exceptional commercial cows which are bred to Limousin and Belgian Blue sires – the herd uses 100% AI. These were of exceptional quality – Brian finds the LMX cows are ideal mothers with plenty of milk to rear a quality calf.

In excess of 200 people attended this very well organised event, where on arrival to the farm, we were treated to refreshments after which Brian led the assembled crowd to the first group of cattle, these were the recently calved cows, exceptional cows one of whom (a commercial daughter of Meelickaduff Lamborghini) had a set of 2-week-old twins from the well know BB bull Chocolat d’Ochamps.

The next group were the young weanling bulls some of which will be offered for sale in the autumn society sales. These boys were from a variety of sires including Mereside Godolphin, Gamin, Plumtree Fantastic, Telfers Munster, Pabo Peredur, Kaprico Eravelle, Lodge Hamlet, Tomschoice Lexicon and Gstaad.

Across the avenue from the bulls was a terrific group of incalf cows (a mixture of pedigree and commercial) which are due to calf down in the autumn. Once again, several sires are represented in this group including Goldies Jackpot, Gamin, Usse, Lodge Hamlet, Ampertaine Elgin, Claragh Neymar, Elderberry Galahad, Imperial, and Castleview Gringo Et.

Throughout the herd it is evident that the type of cow at Ballylin has plenty of milk, length, and style.

It was then on to the cows with spring born calves – this group contained some exceptional cows including one of Brian’s favourites Ballylin Melon, a 2017 born daughter of Ampertaine Commander. Beside this group were the weanling and yearling heifers, once again the quality was exceptional, the heifers are by Tomschoice Jet, Lodge Hamlet, Damona, Highlander, Ampertaine Majestic, Gstaad, Claragh Neymar, Mereside Godolphin, Raffertys Immanuel, Ampertaine Gigolo, Telfers Munster, Tomschoice Lexicon, Loyal, Kaprico Eravelle, Meelickaduff Lamborghini, Whinfellpark Lomu, Ampertaine Metric and Sympa.

The wintering facilities and paddock system are testament to the attention to detail at Ballylin.

With the weather beginning to turn it was time to return to the farmyard for the Barbeque and stock judging competition. Micheal Roche ably assisted by his wife Brigid proved to be a culinary expert team feeding the crowd delicious Limousin beef burgers.

Limousin burgers on the BBQ

Master judge John Lynch of Dovea Genetics undertook judging duties for our stock judging competition and took the time to explain his reasons for his placings. Four young heifers, which will be put forward for our South West club sale on the 2nd of September in Roscrea mart, were the subjects of the competition. These ladies are by Mereside Godolophin, Tomschoice Lexicon, Elite Lacette Et and Claragh Neymar.

John Lynch giving his stock judging reasons

The winners of the competition were Rory Biggane, Alan Connolly, and R. Patch, while the under sixteen category winners were Pat Frawley and Conor Geary. On hand to present the prizes were Michael Phillips from World Wide sires and Mary Duggan from Eurogene.

The South West club together with the Frawley family would like to thank the sponsors of this event:

Main Sponsors:

• Paul and Vincent
• Southern Milling
• Kellihers Feed and Agri Supplies
• Bova AI
• BullWise
• Bull Bank
• Elite Pedigree Genetics
• Eurogene
• Dovea Genetics
• Munster Bovine
• Progressive Genetics
• World Wide Sires
• Geary’s Garage Ltd. John Deere Tractors
• Samco Agricultural Manufacturing Ltd.

Days like this do not just happen a lot of time goes into the preparation and organising – we would like to acknowledge and thank the Frawley family for all their efforts, Brian’s parents, siblings and nephews, and friends were on hand to ensure the smooth running of the event. Everyone present appreciated all your efforts.

Many thanks to the South West Club organizing committee Micheal Roche, Sarah McElligott, Pat Sheahan, Eric McSweeney, and Brendan Curtin.

We left Ballylin after viewing one of the countries nicest herds in a most ideal setting.
The very best of luck to Ballylin Limousin for the future.

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