My interest in Pilot started when I judged Otley Show in spring '18. I made Pilot my champion for his length, balance, shape, correctness and locomotion. He pipped a very nice bull from Steve & Lizzie Walker. Two great bulls, but Pilot just had more growth.
I followed his progress through the 2018 show season, and most judges formed the same opinion about him. He was champion at most shows he attended, including the Highland, Great Yorkshire & Scottish National.
I thought that we needed a good bull on staff at Moorside. We had done well with AI & ET, but time pressures made a period of natural service attractive. We had built up a herd of good cows, which needed a great bull to take the herd forward. Also, I could see the great qualities of Pilot in the flesh, with my own eyes, rather than just the photos of AI bulls.
We needed to check out Pilots dam, so I took the boss to see him at Miss Whittakers near Halifax. The second calver was a great example, just how I remembered her from Agri-Expo as a heifer. She now had a great udder on her and another good calf. She was from the Romany Ishbel cow family, one which I had admired for several years. The Jane family from the same herd had done great for us.
Pilot also looked great at home, with a quiet temperament and great locomotion.
We took the opportunity to buy him at the record breaking Designer Genes Sale in December at Shrewsbury, organised by Joshua Dowbiggin. However, we were not the only herd after him and the Mc Mordie family from the Solpoll herd were last losers. Minutes before the sale, he was announced as Champion Hereford Bull of Europe. Pilot had become the highest price Poll Hereford bull to sell at UK auction.
So we brought him home and he is still looking well despite being on a basic ration of straw and some blend. He has settled our autumn calving cows and we look forward to using him in the spring.
On 3rd February 2019, the Hereford Champion of the World results were announced in Fortworth, Texas. Pilot is now Reserve Champion Hereford Bull of the World!
So that's his first chapter- "Otley to Texas"!
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We will keep you updated in later chapters on this blog.
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