The lady taking to the stage this week is well-respected Hereford and Charolais breeder, Audrey Anderson of the Panmure herd, who has certainly made a name for herself within both the show and sale circuits.


I was born and brought up at Craigton of Monikie where I resided for two years before my family moved to Alyth due to my father, Alex, changing jobs.

I attended Alyth Primary School but we then moved back to Craigton of Monikie when I was 11. After attending Carnoustie High School, I undertook a two-year hotel management course, whilst still helping dad with cattle at home.

My first job was at St Andrews University halls of residence and to summarise my time there, it was like being a student without the studying! I worked in a few similar jobs following that, with my catering management career finishing up at Aberdeen’s Debenhams store, in 1993.

My husband, Neil and I welcomed our daughter Abbie into the world in 1995 and then moved back down to Letham Grange as it was the closest we could get to Easter Knox, which allowed me to help dad further with the cattle.

In 2003, Neil, Abbie and I moved to Easter Knox Farmhouse and shifted all the cattle from Craigton to the farm’s new cattle shed. We now house 76 cattle in total with the herd split 50:50 in regards to the two breeds.

What got you into breeding Herefords and Charolais?

The Hereford herd was founded in 1969 following mum and dad’s argument about what breed they were going to buy into – it’s fair to say the Hereford over-ruled dad’s choice of the Aberdeen-Angus.

The Charolais were introduced in 1992 after my sister showed an interest in them through stockjudging. Again, dad lost out on his Aberdeen-Angus thanks to another female in his family!

With the Hereford not being a very popular breed in this area, we wanted to venture into a continental breed that was, so we chose the Charolais.

Which qualities do you like about your breeds?

Herefords are very quiet, docile and easy fleshed – maybe sometimes too easy fleshing. I run the Herefords and Charolais together as much as possible and as a result, I have to take the Herefords away from Charolais as they will get too fat too quickly.

With regards to the Charolais, the daily live weight gain is better and my cows are as quiet as the Herefords, but I am in beside them all the time, so I expect them to be.

What do you look for in a good beast?

Anybody that knows me knows that I like strong boned cattle and in my opinion, you can’t have enough bone. Cattle have to be good over their plates and down into the thigh, with good locomotion and good on their legs.

In my females, I like a nice feminine head and big fluffy lugs, and the cattle have to have a bit of sass about them.

Best animal you’ve bred?

It would have to be Panmure 1 Blessing, as she was a great Hereford cow.

She stood champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2014 with a set of twins at foot. The three of them made the perfect outfit and being able to lift the title with home-bred stock was the icing on the cake for us.

Another I have to mention is the bull, Panmure 1 Henry. He was sold to the Northern Irish-based Solpoll herd, where he bred tremendous stock.

He was named Sire of the Year in 2015, with two of his sons being the first to make over 10,000gns in the breed. His genetics are in so many herds across the UK and abroad so it’s quite an achievement, with some 242 progeny currently registered under the UK Hereford Society.

Finally, I must mention my Charolais bull, Panmure Roberto, which we sold in October last year for 10,000gns. This was a personal goal we wanted to achieve within the breed so it was fantastic to be able to do it.

Best animal you’ve seen?

I liked the Galloway bull, Blackcraig Kodiak, which I first witnessed at the Royal Highland Show. He was just a great representation of the breed.

Like many others have mentioned, I would also like to say that Kilkenny Celia was an outstanding animal, and it seemed like she just went on and on.

Abiding memory?

It would be Abbie winning the 2015 National Charolais Stock judging competition, in Birmingham – we never expected that she would go on to win the whole thing. Another proud moment would be watching Abbie graduate as a vet, in 2019.

Biggest disappointment?

We used to show a Hereford cow which we called Brown Eyes and she won everything at the Highland Show bar the championship.

We showed her for a few years and she was always reserve but never got that top award, and it was disappointing as we rated her as a show cow.

Most influential person?

It has to be my dad, especially with the Herefords – he was Mr Hereford himself. He was in the breed for so long and passed down a lot of his wisdom to me.

We worked well together, with disagreements now and again but we made a good team.

I do want to mention Bert Taylor for his contribution to our Charolais cattle. He came and started helping here as a freelance stockman, and has now worked with us for some 20 years.

He has worked with a lot of big herds in his time – both in Scotland and down south too – but the Charolais are a different breed all together and we couldn’t have gotten to where we are without Bert’s expertise and guidance.

Favourite sale and show?

My favourite sale would be the last ever breed sale to be held in the old Hereford market, back in 2011, before the new building was erected.

We topped the sale and set a new breed record on two occasions that day, making 8100gns and 8300gns for Panmure 1 Gino and Panmure 1 Goliath.

As far as shows go, it’s hard to beat our victory at the Royal Highland with Panmure 1 Blessing, however, we did have a fantastic 2016 Highland Show where every one of our beasts returned home with a red ticket.

We managed to bag the reserve supreme, junior and reserve female, junior and reserve male and the pairs but just missing out on that top ticket. Nevertheless, it was a show to remember.

That same year in the Charolais ring, Abbie stood reserve junior female with her heifer, Edenhurst Jou Jou.

Best breeder?

There are so many top herds and breeders that it would be too difficult to choose just one. There are a lot of breeders that have made it to the top but it’s difficult to stay there, with there only being one direction and it’s down. So I have a lot of admiration to those that achieve that year on year.

Best advice you’ve received?

Fred Smith used to come and help us, and he always told me to never go into my stock without a stick – no matter how much you trust them.

I trust mine implicitly but nowadays you hear of so many terrible cattle-related accidents that I’ve stuck to that advice.

With showing, dad used to say that at the end of the show, if I was happy to take my beast home then it didn’t matter where it had been placed, you’ve done alright.

Biggest achievement?

Winning the National Hereford Herd Competition in 2006 with only 16 cows at that time.

We were really chuffed, especially going against herds that were running over 100 cattle but we try to breed quality not quantity so numbers have always remained on the smaller side.

Advice to someone wanting to get into the breeds?

Think long and hard about what you want to breed and once you decide, stick with it. Don’t chop and change but it might take you a while to get to where you want to be.

If you are happy with what you’re breeding, then that goes a long way. Most importantly, though, you have to be able to see the faults in your own cattle – being critical is the only way to improve your stock.

Favourite thing about showing?

I’ve made so many great like-minded friends from all over the country and no matter how long it has been in between seeing those people, we always seem to be able to pick up where we left off. Being involved within the cattle world is like being in an extended family.

Another breed you would go into?

Having discussed it on many occasions, it would probably be the Simmental. I just think that they carry the same attributes to the two breeds we already work with … but we’re not looking to get into a third breed!


There are a lot of very capable young breeders coming through in both breeds. I think the Herefords are starting to make a bit of a comeback, more so down south, but it’s starting to happen up north.

I would like to see them being used commercially a bit more as I don’t think that we have a big enough commercial basis for the breed, but there’s no doubt it is picking up.

The Charolais always do well at sales and seem to manage to get top prices and clearance rates. They are perfect for producing commercial cattle.

On a more personal note I have every confidence that Abbie will keep both the herds going, however I know she is more of a Charolais girl at heart. But she has been well warned that if she doesn’t keep a few Herefords I’ll be back to haunt her!