Robert, David and Jessie with the cows out to grass spring '15

At Ballygowan Blondes we recognise the benefits of showing in promoting the breed. However we are not a show herd and do not have the traditional large framed Blondes. We breed blondes to produce terminal and maternal sires for both the pedigree and commercial markets. The Ballygowan Blonde Herd was awarded the best small herd of Blondes in NI in 2014 and again the next time the competition was run in 2017. In 2014 we went on to achieve reserve small herd in the UK finals.

Heifers are regularly showed, a week at Balmoral show puts manners into them which stands them in good stead to be handled at any stage in the future.

We occasionally have bulls and heifers for sale - see below in the For Sale section. We only sell animals for breeding we are prepared to breed with ourselves. If they don't make our standards, you wont get a chance to buy them as they go to beef.

About Us

Ballygowan Pedigree Blonde herd was founded in 1979 by Robert and Sandra Gibson with the purchase of two maiden heifers from Southern Ireland. Tipperary Olive and Barrettstown Olive, they went on to breed many of the foundation bloodlines in Ballygowan progeny today.

We are a family run farm and have built up the herd slowly. It is a closed herd for health status reasons, apart from the careful selection of herd sires.

These include: Homebred Ballygowan Viceroy, a heifers calf weighing 704Kg at 400 days out of a Sandbrook cow. 

Classic Caesar, sired by Broomfield Taurus and then Carn Gordon, a Fortescue Augustus son weighing 730Kg at 400 days.

Ballygrainey Jack (Ballygowan Nobles Sire) by Whistley Dollar, Blackwater Nebus by Febus, Glenvale Tarzan by Droit Ocean. Ballygowan Rambo, a Nebus son, then Budore Donald, Classic Intel by Utah and the latest addition being Ark Maverick (By Dollar, pictured below aged 17 months).

Ballygowan Blondes host NI Club 35th anniversary stock judging and BBQ

Friday the 19th of August was quite a special day at Ballygowan. With David as the Chairman of the NI Blonde Cattle club we were delighted to host Blonde enthusiasts from all over the UK and ROI, joined by our own club members. We prepared wagyu briskets on the BBQ, smoked 'low and slow' with special dry rub and whiskey soaked wood chips. Wagyu x blonde sausages and burgers were also available. The day consisted of presentations from two of the stock judging sponsors MSD animal health and Danske bank on BVD eradication and farming in NI. A tour of the farm and livestock was followed by stock judging competitions with the slap up BBQ to finish. We were delighted so many breeders and friends joined us and you are all welcome back any time. Bo Davidson captured some of the craic during the evening.

Breeding and farm management at Ballygowan

At Ballygowan we believe in maximum production from forage, for this reason we select easy fleshing genetics to breed cattle that do not need concentrates. We Ai heifers with Wagyu or Speckle Park semen for ease of calving. The Speckle Park heifers will be used as embryo recipients. Wagyu sired heifers are finished off grass at 30 months and hung for up to 4 weeks. Steaks, roasts and all the usual burgers and sausages are for sale, please email or call David.

Animal Health

We have been a member of the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme for six years and accredited free of Lepto, Johnes (7 years clear - risk level 1) and Vaccinated Monitored Free (VMF) of both BVD and IBR. We have also screened clear of Neospora too. 
We deem our biggest risks to be the virus's IBR and BVD and have established a rigorous vaccination programme to establish immunity in the herd, we use the IBR marker live vaccine to ensure clarity of results.  We are happy to test any animal at any time; every animal in the herd has a negative test for Johnes, lepto antibodies, IBR antibodies and BVD virus. To quote AFBI, 'the current herd status you have achieved is exceptionally enviable, and a credit to your hard work and effort'. Do not be fooled ' AFBI continually find that some breeders think the fact that they are testing for something means they are immediately Accredited.  This could not be farther from the truth.'

Stock for sale

We have just sold Ballygowan Nexen - See photos directly below - to a commercial farmer in Co.Tyrone.

There are also 3 exceptional 2018 spring born bull calves with serious potential for pedigree stock sires. One sired by Classic Intel, one by Ashtonlodge Tyson and one by new stock bull Maverick. Call for more details.

Select females are occasionally for sale. Call for more details.

Semen and Embryos for sale

Export grade semen off stock bull Budore Donald is now sold out from Ai services.

Semen for use in Northern Ireland (farm collection) can be purchased direct from David on 07714402555.

Limited number of Whistley Dollar embryos are available from selected Dams. Retained full blood females can be seen.

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