Gunnerfleet, one of the oldest and best known herds of pedigree Limousins in the UK, has been sold privately in its entirety to Garrowby Farm, Yorkshire.

Renowned for breeding top quality stock from the outset, the Handley family – Jim and Janie, sons Ian and his wife Diane and Peter – from Gunnerfleet, Ingleton, was the first hit by the falsification of Ballinloan pedigrees, when Ballinloan Jaegerbomb was bought in 2016.

However, while the first progeny sold at Carlisle in February, last year, proved extremely popular, with five sons averaging £12,000 and 20 daughters levelling at £2635, all Jaegerbomb progeny has since had to be deregistered, leaving Gunnerfleet and those who purchased at the first sale seriously out of pocket.

The herd has been sold privately to Garrowby Farm, Yorkshire, a 700-acre mixed livestock unit managed by Clive Rowland.

“I’ve always been impressed by the quality and the consistency of breeding of Ian’s cattle. He’s got the one of the best and most uniform herds of cattle I’ve ever seen in the UK,” said Mr Rowland.

“Gunnerfleet is the only herd I’d be interested in buying, so I spoke to Ian as soon as it was announced the herd was to be dispersed. Buying the whole herd was a plus for both parties too.”

The sale comprises 94 head of pedigree cattle to include 13 maiden heifers; seven bulling heifers; 16 young bulls and 56 cows either with calf, in calf or in a flushing programme.

Mr Rowland who established the Garrowby herd of pedigree Limousin in 2002, which includes 18 breeding females, also bought Gunnerfleet’s two stock bulls – the 70,000gns Ampertaine Magnum and Nabal, a young bull imported from France which boasts new genetics on both sides.

The farm has also previously bought cattle privately from Gunnerfleet to include several former stockbulls in the shape of Glenrock Ventura, Dolcorsllwyn Brynmor, and Plumtree Fantastic.

“Ian breeds the type of cattle I would always be looking to breed. They’re medium sized, shapey cattle and we hope to be able to maintain that.”

In doing so, the farm which in the past has sold most of it’s pedigree stock privately aims to keep herd numbers at around 200 head, of which 50 are pedigree Limousins and sell bulls at the three society sales at Carlisle and locally.

“It’s really very exciting. I know I’ve got big boots to fill in taking on these cattle but I’ve never shied away from a challenge. I just hope I can maintain the Gunnerfleet stamp for breeding consistently good breeding, quality cattle,” said Mr Rowland.

Progeny will take the Garrowby prefix, with all cattle running on better quality pasture land compared to that of the exposed high hills at Gunnerfleet. They will run alongside the farm’s Limousin and British Blue cross commercial herd which is already renowned for breeding show calves and a 700 Scotch Mule and Texel cross ewe flock.

The Handleys intend taking a break from the limelight of breeding top quality Limousins, to concentrate on spending more time with family, farming pedigree and commercial Swaledale ewes and their on-farm holiday houses.

“The Limousin is the best breed in the world and fantastic to work with, but the society needs to come clean about what has been happening. They have to be open and look after innocent members before I could ever think about coming back to the breed,” concluded Mr Handley.