Building a herd of top-quality animals is a skill that can take years of patience and careful management – something that this year’s judge of the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society’s (BSCS), National Herd Award, David Dickie knows all too well about.

Entries this year include the Chapelton, Podehole, Glebe Farm, Jodame, Meonhill and Holkin herds, who all won their UK regional herds competitions in autumn 2022. Established in 2022 during the society’s bicentenary celebrations, the award scheme sponsored by Pedigree Sales Online Livestock Auctions will be run over an initial three-year period.

Commenting on his judging role, David Dickie who had the well-know Knockenjig herd until 2020 said: “We had a fantastic few weeks touring the UK and judged some exceptional herds. The standard within the breed is growing year on year and that hasn’t gone unnoticed when it comes to people investing within the breed, with numbers increasing each year at society sales and national and regional shows. The six herds were a credit to the breed, and I look forward to sharing the results with fellow members and breeders later this month at Stirling Bull Sales.”

The versatility within the breed makes them well suited to most farming systems whether it be the far north of Scotland or the south of England.  Known as ‘the great improver’, the Shorthorn has been enormously influential in the development of other cattle breeds, with more than 40 different breeds of cattle now incorporating Shorthorn genetics.

Clive Brown, Operations Manager and Breed Secretary for BSCS added: “Now arguably one of the best sales for purchasing top quality females, this year’s October Bull Sales at Stirling is looking no different with a strong entry of 66 females and 15 bulls. This sale gives purchasers the opportunity to invest in some of the best genetics within the UK.”

With over 4,000 females and nearly 1,100 bulls being registered every year and commercially birth registrations to Beef Shorthorn sires on a steady increase, the breed has also seen an increase in regional shows and sales including a new event being held at Darlington Auction Mart on 18 November 2023.

Director of the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society, Stuart Currie said, “It’s great to see more regional auction markets coming on board and organising sales with a focus towards Beef Shorthorn genetics. The new event at Darlington will give buyers the chance of purchasing Beef Shorthorn commercial calves and stores as well as pedigree calves with show potential. Entries close on 25 October 2023 and we hope to see many vendors and buyers from all over the UK, with a good prize money on offer and a great opportunity to advertise the versatility of the breed.”

For more information on upcoming sales nationally and regionally please visit

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