A PEDIGREE cow from North Devon has won its breed championship after attracting a record number of points during the show season.
Frenchstone Boo, the Hereford cow featured on the Journal's farming pages earlier this year, has proved head and shoulders above the competition everywhere from Scotland to Wales and finally, at the breed headquarters in Hereford. The two-year-old, due to calf in December, has just been named the Hereford national female champion by the Hereford Cattle Society.
She's been reared by the Ayre family at Great Frenchstone, Queens Nympton, who've been delighted at Boo's progress and see it as a fitting tribute to the late Angela Ayre, wife of Lloyd and mother of Dawn.
Angela died earlier this year, and her son-in-law, Richard Gray, said: "Angela had a really good eye for stock and she was the one who picked out the cow that calved Boo.
"She was a mild-mannered lady who kept in the background, but she and my father-in-law worked as a team. They were always out together taking care of the cattle.
"This success is something good that's come out of the year after all that's happened."
The national female Hereford award goes to the cow with the most points at shows during the year and Boo amassed more than any other female in the society's records.
Richard said: "We knew she was good and had the possibility of winning the national. Ten different judges put her up (as champion)." Among the awards were Reserve Junior Inter-breed Champion at the Royal Welsh, Royal Highland and Shropshire County shows during 2013.
Boo, who is out of Severnvale Regina and by Bosa 1 Mr Bean, has had success throughout the UK. In addition to taking the prestigious Breed Society Award, she has also claimed the 2013 Poll Female of the Year. Now the family is hoping their best cow produces a calf of the same standard, and that they can show the two together.
Inquiries are already coming in from Hereford breeders interested in rearing calves.
Richard said: "We've had a lot of interest since she was crowned champion Poll female and orders from some of the best breeders in the country. Now she'll have a blood test and then go out with the rest of the herd. At Christmas she'll go into her own shed and we'll keep an eye on her. We'll make sure the calf gets the colostrum and then they've got to fight for themselves."