Richard Hackett is a pedigree Charolais breeder based in Clonlara, Co. Clare. The Limkiln Charolais herd consists of 14 pedigree cows and is run by Richard and his wife Kate.

The herd began in 1989 when a daughter of Shamrock Ambassador was purchased at Naas Mart for £4100. The most influential female purchased into the Limkiln herd however was Island Bernie out of Farmleigh Romeo (FHO). She was purchased in Naas in 1991 at a dispersal sale. There are still cows in the herd today that feature Island Bernie in their back pedigree.

The herd has always tried to use the best bloodlines available and this is achieved through AI. Some of the most influential sires include Jupiter (JPR), Excellent (EXT), Balmyle Vagabond (S590) and Bowerhouses Topper (BHP). In recent times CF52 and Pirate became more influential. This resulted in the herds top price, when Progressive Genetics purchased Limkiln Bosco (KIB) privately, for a 5-figure sum. KIB is a son of CF52 and again goes back to Island Bernie on the dam’s side. Bosco went on to sire over 6000 progeny. Such is the success of the herd, this is not the only bull that was purchased by an AI company. In 2013 Dovea purchased Limkiln Hulk (LKK), who combines the bloodlines of CF52 and Pirate. This bull has an exceptional Terminal Index of €166. The herd has some outstanding terminal indexes, boasting an average figure of €133 and an average Carcass Weight figure of 38 kg for the pedigree herd.

Limkiln Bosco pictured above before entering the bull stud in Feb 2008. KIB went on to sire over 6,000 progeny
Limkiln Hulk pictured in Dovea 2015. Hulk went on to sire over 800 progeny and is in the top 2% for Carcass weight and Conformation.

There have been numerous show successes for the herd over the years including, 2008 Reserve Senior Male Champion, 2009 Reserve Junior Male Champion and 2011 Female Calf Champion all at the National show. The herd also had the Female Champion at the 2008 Premier sale and the Reserve Junior Male Champion at the 2010 Christmas Cracker sale. These show successes culminated in sale success when Limkiln Italia was sold for €7000 at the Charolais Christmas Cracker in 2014.

Limkiln Italia pictured at the Christmas Cracker 2014.
Limkiln Eager Reserve Junior Male Champion, National Charolais Show 2009
Limkiln Frances 2011 Female Calf Champion National Charolais Show

Richard has been recording data on his herd for many years now. All the calves born on the farm are weighed, as well as having birth measurements recorded. This level of recording helps to create more consistent indexes and improves the accuracy. Richard also records insemination dates which is used to work out the gestation length of the bull and the cows. All this information will also help to improve the reliability of the calving difficulty of the sires.

What attracted you to WHPR?

‘The number one thing that attracted me to the WHPR program is giving the buyers confidence that they know what they’re buying is correct.  I think there is still a bit of work to be done by ICBF for the breed but the breed has gone away from the maternal and replacement characteristics. I thought this was very evident at the elite female sale last year, where high replacement index females were highly sought after. The herd currently consists of females from a wide variety of sires including CF52, MJR, PTE, MZT, PXU, EXT, CF57, CH2199 and S605. I have decided to try an improve the replacement index figures within the herd and build on the strong Terminal traits that are consistent throughout the herd. This year I am using Blelack Digger (S956), Voimo (VMO), Fiston (FSZ), Meillard RJ (MIR) and Enfield Plexus (PXU) using 100% AI. I was happy with how the visit went and found the scorer very professional.’

The Limkiln pedigree Charolais herd is above the breed average when it comes to average Daughter Calving Interval and Daughter Milk figure. Richard still feels there is room for improvement and has focused more on the replacement index in his selection of sires for this year.

To view bulls that have been weight recorded by ICBF, click the link below to go to the Stockbull Finder. This is an online sales section for bulls from WHPR herds. Search by breed and county to filter down selections!
Stock Bull Finder