Highland Cattle: An old breed with an exciting future

20th July 2017

Becky Smith Becky Smith

Please note: the views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of SellMyLivestock.

Buying Champion Highland heifers on SellMyLivestock

Rebecca Greenhorn and Graeme Easton are a new fold who purchased their first highlander in 2015. Graeme is a freelance stockman and has worked with the Idves fold previously. Rebecca says:

“When the fold was dispersed he really missed the highlanders and then started looking to bring our own fold together. We are very lucky to be in the position where we are just starting out so we can buy exactly what we like. We have bought privately until the very latest addition to the fold. When we saw the Ubhaidh Glamour Girls advertised we visited Roy and instantly fell in love with them. Roy really loves his cattle and they were all so well handled.

We bought 4 Heifers through SellMyLivestock. Claira and Eleanor are full sisters, at the Highland Claira won her class and junior female champ then junior reserve champ and Ellie won her class, female champ then overall champ. Flora is a three-year-old that we also purchased and she is a full sister to (the now Balmoral Bull) RUARIDH 1ST OF UBHAIDH. Flora is also full sister to Claira and Elenors sire.”


Champion Highlands from the Ubhaidh Fold

Roy Tylden Wright Abel who owns the Ubhaidh fold bought his foundation animals in 2002, to populate a small part of his grandfather’s larger unit when the latter was sold. At that time, he was still working as a joiner but reverted to beef breeding like his father. He says:

“I chose Highlanders as there was no infrastructure on the farm so they had to survive highland winter, outdoor living and calving!

I listened to advice from a specialist in the village, and bought into good bloodlines, selecting my first stock bull, Torquil, as a calf at foot. He turned out to be an absolute topper, doing well in all weathers with exceptional length, good feet and a sweet temperament that marks the character of all his offspring. He sired several wonderful bulls including Ruaridh, who won Royal Highland Breed Champion 2014 for Her Majesty at Balmoral.”

Roy currently has a pedigree Highland bull for sale on SellMyLivestock for those looking to add to their fold, he is the last male born to this sire. He adds:

“I currently work with his half-brother, Fergus, who sired this year’s champion Eleanor.

Having sold my lead cow, Flora of Lagg, when I started breeding with her son, I lost my top genetic pairing but was lucky enough to replace her with a well-set new cow, Alice of Earn, who works just as well with Fergus as Flora did with Torquil.

This year’s two champions were both out of this pair, in successive years and their quality was evident from very early on. In fact, I chanced my arm pronouncing Eleanor to have a good shot at the Royal Highland a good year beforehand.”

Roy thinks that temperament is an often-undervalued feature of show or beef animals in the search for growth at all costs and says if they’re placid, easy beasts, not only will they be easier to handle single handed, but will do well also, and help create good conditions for herd welfare.


See all Highland Cattle for sale here!

Further reading:

Pedigree livestock to sell? Our portals have it covered!

10 reasons I’m glad I’m a farmer

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