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Mara Herefords

The Blossoms - A bit of Luck!

by Colin Clark

Llandinabo Gay Girl arrived in 1961 as a reserve replacement in a group of six females purchased from Major Symonds to become the foundation stock for R L Broad's Badlingham Herd. Both her sire and dam were by Tarrington March On, surely one of the most influential bulls ever bred. A bull had been purchased for £100 from C Rudge, namely Baysham Sage, who was at the time considered to be a bit long in the leg.

Llandinabo Gay Girl was mated to Baysham Sage and the resultant calf was Badlingham Blossom born 1963. I do not think her potential was realised immediately. She had a rather long face, red ears and a larger frame than her contemprories and carried no fat. When Jack Coxon, manager of the well known Chadshunt Herd, came on a visit he said of her "That's what I like, a dairy cow gone wrong."

She was a great mother, seldom being more than a few feet from her calf. I quickly learned that she was an animal with more attitude than a Tesco trolley and, on the day she calved, was best observed from a distance. Although she made it clear that she did not require or welcome human help, she was not an unkind cow and was no trouble.

Her bull calf Badlingham Bossy, a tremendous calf who won a class of 34 October bulls at Kington, went on to be 1st at Shropshire & West Midlands Show, 2nd Royal Show, and winner of many Champion cards at other shows. In 1972 he was purchased by Ted Hewitson on behalf of Shang Moorcroft, from South Africa, for 3000 gns. He became a very successful bull, siring the Champion and Reserve Junior Champion at the Rand Show, South Africa.

The first Blossom female to be sold was Blossom 6 out of the original Blossom sired by Chadshunt Chancellor. The buyer was Bob Borwick on behalf of Charles Mackaness, for the Prestone Herd, and how well she bred for him. She was the highest priced animal in our joint sale with the Duke of Grafton. Her first calf was Prestone Blossom P18 by Badlingham Broadway Bill. Blossom P18 was Senior Female Champion at the 1983 Royal Show and aslo dam of Prestone Blossom T7, who was the dam of Mara Chancellor; a bull used through AI at Badlingham and who produced, among others, Badlingham Blossom 50, Joint Horned Female of the Year and Three Counties Female Champion 1996.

The birth of two heifer calves, Blossom 7 and Blossom 8 were to prove significant as from them developed two distinct lines. Blossom 7 in my view was the loveliest of all the family. She was by Wenlock Gladstone who was by a Marlow Glamour son, Wenlock Giles, out of a Marlow Glamour daughter. Blossom 7 was 1st at East of England as a heifer and as a cow was shown twice winning a Female Championship and a Reserve Championship. We did not show at any major shows bewteen 1980 and 1989 so few people saw this great cow.

Blossom 7 was dam of Blossom 18 by Wenlock Grandee who was out of a Marlow Glamour cow. Grandee sold at the Wenlock Sale for £5,000 gns at 7 months of age to Hugh Morgan in Australia. He was loaned to R L Braod for 10 months while Wenlock Galdstone was at an AI centre. Blossom 18's most memorable calf was Blossom 35 who was Grand Female and Reserve Supreme Champion at the Royal Show and Tenbury Show 1990. She was not only a great show cow but also a great breeder.

Blossom 35's heifer Blossom 44 went on to be Grand Female and Reserve Supreme at Tenbury Show twice and was also Reserve Grand Female Chmapion at the Royal Show 1994, the year in which she also achieved Female of the Year.

It is of interest to note that Blosom 44 was by Badlingham Bold lad from Blossom 8 line and that Standard Lad 93J was the sire of both her sire and dam. Blossom 44 was also dam of Blossom 77 who was Reserve Grand Female Champion at Tenbury Show, and Junior Grand Female and Reserve Supreme Cnampion, Royal Show and Grand Female Champion at the Three Counties in 1998.

Blossom 71, out of Blossom 44, was not only dam of Blossom 96, but also the Three Counties Grand and Reserve Supreme Female Champion 2005. Her unshown bull, Badlingham Boyce was sold to Bob & Maragret Borwick at the Mara Herd. He has been a great breeder for them and hopefully will aslo be for his new owner, Mr R Eld.