Based near Melrose in the Scottish Borders myself, Adam and my Dad Roy started the Bacardi Salers herd in 2011. We began with a mix of 22 commercial and pedigree cows with calves at foot bought from the Livesey family, and went on to buy stock bull Seawell Fortune from Peter Donger. This herd has since been built up to 100 cows with 24 registered pedigrees.
The pedigree herd got off to a good start with Seawell Fortune winning Salers Champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2012. Then Bacardi Herbie selling to Cogent Breeding later that year. Then on a trip to France, Roy spotted Gulliver at a show as a yearling bull. After seeing Gulliver’s dam, Roy was sold and Gulliver came to the Borders to join the Bacardi herd. He has since become a firm family favourite with his quiet, friendly nature.
In 2013 as a 2 year old Gulliver went on to win Salers Champion at the Royal Highland Show. On coming home he was put out to bull cows and has since sired 70 females in our herd. We have added another bull from Peter Donger to our stock bulls, Seawell Kitemark. Then a French import named Magnificent, they have both proven to be good pairings with our Gulliver daughters.
Show & Sale Highlights
2014 Bacardi Impeccable sells at Castle Douglas for £6,500gns to Benson & Wemyss who have gone on to be loyal customers buying a further 3 bulls.
2017 Bacardi Legend (Bacardi ICandy & Gulliver) sells at Castle Douglas, setting the U.K breed record price at £15,000gns to John Martin of Swinlees.
2018 Bacardi Jessie-Jay (Cleuchhead Delilah & Gulliver) wins Salers Champion at the Royal Highland & Great Yorkshire shows as a cow with calf at foot.
2019 Bacardi Keisha (Cleuchhead Delilah & Gulliver) wins Salers Champion at the Royal Highland Show.
2019 the first year for Salers classes at Stars of the Future in Stirling. Bacardi Orleans (Bacardi Lexi & Magnificent) wins Junior Salers Champion and goes on to win Junior Interbreed.
We chose Salers as their strong maternal instinct and ease of calving mean they require minimal intervention. Calves are generally small when born but go on to grow well. All our cows are turned out from Spring to Autumn and over winter on a silage and straw based diet, with no concentrates. Our pedigree bulls are mostly sold to breeding homes and commercial bulls are sold deadweight, aiming for a 360kg-400kg carcass. With bulls having an average daily live weight gain of 1.7kg. Pedigree and commercial heifers are mainly retained to join the herd and some are sold in-calf.
Going forward we aim to continue improving our herd, building numbers within the commercial herd and potentially adding a Charolais bull to cover some of our commercial Salers. We are also looking forward to getting back into showing in 2021!