Riggit Galloway Cattle Society
Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
President: Neil Alsop
Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2015
Alison Bunning has had a very successful year again, variously assisted
by a rolling crew of enthusiastic RGCS helpmates, notably Gemma and
Cliff. Highlights included the first ever Riggit Group of Three being
led out at the Devon County Show, Sherberton Dory (pictured right,
with Harriet) taking a championship at the Royal Three Counties at
Malvern with Hatherland Finlay the reserve,. Frome put on mixed Galloway
classes - which went down very well - the different types of Galloway
standing together in the ring drew much attention. Notably, bystanders
aren't asking 'Wot are they?', but rather can be heard to say 'Aah,
they're Riggit Galloways, aren't they lovely!'
Still in the Southwest, Karin Chandler-Wilson from
Dorset has taken her cow and calf (Hatherland Cassiopiea and Jaslu
Athena) out at the Sherborne Rare Breeds show.
It is hoped that some Riggits will be led out at
the Dumfries show in 2016, tying in with the world congress. Currently
members in Scotland have only been showing Belted Galloways and we
should encourage them to try showing Riggits!
At left - Mollie and Daisy Keiley helping prepare
Grannies show team. If only they had some Riggits!
The Society extends a warm welcome to new members, including New Zealanders,
Barbara Fitchett, Kate Bradbury and Beth Mcverry, and associate members
James and Mary Forsey in Dorset.
Movement within the Society follows accustomed trends, as associate
members upgrade by purchasing cattle. In Dorset, Patrick Ford has
sourced a weaned heifer from Hon Sec Anton Coaker for Darlene's birthday
present. How he wrapped this heifer is unreported. The Fords are also
implicated in attracting James and Mary Forsey, by buying them their
1st year's membership and a pair of RGCS mugs as a wedding present.
And we should congratulate Harriet Bunning on her appointment to the
Belted Society Council.
There have been plenty of calves reported, with marked calves up and
down the country, young bulls being swapped or lent, and heifers finding
new homes. In the Cumbrian mists of Dentdale, the Richardsons have
had a successful season, including the sale of a Riggit heifer for
export to Germany. In Sussex, Caroline Fitzgerald, Ashdown Forest,
has 3 marked heifers this year - Aspidistra, Asphodel and Angelica.
On Dartmoor, Hon Sec Anton has had a few marked calves by Clifton
Firethorn. However new bull Sherberton Fergus, despite throwing some
very well put together calves on Firethorn daughters, has left mostly
whites, blacks and reds. Karin Chandler-Wilson has secured a young
red Riggit bull -'Hatherland Firefox'- from Alison Bunning, which
will no doubt be handy for Darlene Ford.
Most exciting has been news coming from Richard Cunningham, above
Loch Ken near Castle Douglas. After a couple of crops by Clifton Dougal
with very few marked calves, Richard has suddenly had 13 in one year.
Out of some very good White and Black Galloway cows, they're an outstanding
bunch. One bull calf has been sold for breeding, and there are 2 good
entires left, being cut next week (beginning 14th Dec) if no-one else
wants them. Phone Richard Cunningham 01644 420636 / 07849 640791
As well as new UK calving now being recorded onto the new software,
Alison Geen and Alison Bunning have been busily entering information
from New Zealand, building their foundation register. There are inevitable
complications and confusions, with the differences between NZ ear
tagging and registration systems and our own, and finding a way to
fit the 2 situations together.
So far 16 animals have been entered, including some very smart looking
beasts indeed. These are exciting times for the Kiwis, and we're very
pleased to have been able to help them.
A rural story
A great thumping on the farmhouse door one evening brought little
Johnny to the porch. Outside stood the neighbouring farmer Arthur
Dagglebury, with his teenage daughter Mary beside him. looking somewhat
sheepish. 'Evenin' Mr Dagglebury' says young Johnny, ever polite.
'Evenin young man' says the visitor, 'Can I have a word with your
Dad?' 'Sorry Maister, he's not back from market yet' replies Johnny.
'What about your older brother Seth then?' 'No, sorry sir, he's with
Dad. But look, I'm sure I can help. If you want to borrow a tool or
something, I know where everything is. Or I can take a message'. 'Hmm'
said the neighbour, 'It's a bit difficult. See, I want a word with
em because it seems your brother Seth has got our Mary here in the
family way'. 'Oh' says Johnny, looking a bit thoughtful, then downcast.
'I don't think I can help you then. I know Dad charges £100
for the bull, and the pick of the litter for Shep. But I durn't know
how much he charges for Seth'.
Delegates travelled the length of the country for a foray into Dorset
in August this year, to be jointly ministered to by Riggit breeder
Karin Chandler-Wilson (and Johnathan), and Patrick and Darlene Ford.
As well as a useful meeting in a cosy hostelry, excursions and activities
took in visits to both commercial and rare/native cattle breeders
locally, a bar-b-q, fish and chips by the seaside, and visit to a
huge Iron Age hillfort. The aforementioned James Forsey kindly showed
delegates his Hereford cattle, and it would be fair to say that standing
amongst his herd chatting, as his impressive stock bull- the unbelievably
laid back Merlin- ambled happily in among us, was a fairly sublime
moment, and a rare privilege.
Over the course of the event, Darlene was eventually coaxed from her
It's hard to convey either how much fun our outings are, or the debt
of gratitude we once more owe our hosts.
At right - With only 1 Riggit cow and calf found on the tour of Dorset,
Hon Sec Anton has to admire Patrick and Darlene's Belts instead.
Alison Bunning is preparing another bi-annual herdbook, to be available
by the world congress 2016. Returns will be sent early in the New
Year and the Society would appreciate it if they could be returned
as soon as possible.
Reds! (Picture below)
As many of you will know, there is an ongoing discussion
about starting a register for solid Red Galloways. Those of us breeding
Red Riggits, or red Belts/red pointed Whites, get them sometimes,
and there are always a few odd ones among the blacks in the Galloway
The proposed concept is that members of either/any participating group
could enter cattle, with registration fees due to whichever group
holds the register. Please contact the Hon Sec if you're interested
World Galloway Congress
Plans for the Congress are being finalised. Centred at Gretna, Scotland,
August 5th to 10th, with farm visits, the National show of Galloways
in Dumfries, and various excursions. Places in the main hotel for
the full 5 day event are fully booked, however there is additional
space and places being located. Full details can be found on the Belted
Galloway Cattle Society website.
The RGCS will have a presence in and around the Congress, and there
are plans evolving to include a tour of the Westcountry before or
after the main event, for overseas delegates. This should combine
with our own summer jamboree.
The winter meeting is planned for February 10th 2016, in the usual
Midlands venue. Stay posted.
The RGCS wishes you all a Happy Christmas
and peaceful New Year