Open day marks centenary of the Wedderlie herd

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Renowned Aberdeen Angus breeders John and Marion Tilson and their daughter Wanda Hobbs celebrate the centenary of their Wedderlie herd with an open day at Wedderlie, Gordon on Saturday (August 16).

Fellow Borders farmer and NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller will officially open the day which the family hope will also promote the commercial attributes of the breed.

Mrs Tilson said: “We want to demonstrate what the Aberdeen Angus breed, with its easy-keep characteristics, can achieve on a typical Borders hill farm.

“We look forward to welcoming commercial beef producers as well as pedigree breeders to help us celebrate this important milestone in the history of the herd.”

The herd was founded in 1914 by A.W. Baird and acquired in 1942 by Mrs Tilson’s grandfather, Captain Thomas Elliot, when he bought Wedderlie farm.

Tours by tractor and trailer round the farm and out to the hill will leave the steading every half hour from 11.30am onwards.

The event is being supported by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society with EDF Energy

Renewables, who recently developed a large-scale wind farm in the Lammermuirs accessed via Wedderlie, as main sponsor.

In addition to the farm tour, features of the open day will include stockjudging, sheepdog handling, scanning, animal health, bedding and dry stane dyking demonstrations, a display by Lauderdale Foxhounds, trade stands, a charity auction and barbecue featuring Wedderlie beef by catering company, The Buffalo Farm, from Fife.

The pedigree Wedderlie herd is recognised as one of the top Aberdeen-Angus herds in the country, with championship successes at the Perth/Stirling bull sales to its credit and prices of up to 25,000gns for young bulls.

The herd of 200 cows and followers is run on commercial lines and 50-60 bulls are sold privately off the farm each year to both pedigree and commercial breeders.

Half of the bull calves are steered with spring-born steers finished on the farm for Scotbeef for Marks and Spencer and autumn born calves sold as yearling stores at St Boswells.

The farm covers 2,500 acres rising from 800 feet to 1200 feet and in addition to the cattle supports a flock of 1,800 Blackface, Cheviot cross and Mule ewes which are crossed with the Texel as terminal sire, with all lambs finished on the farm.

A Wedderlie-bred Aberdeen-Angus heifer will be up for grabs at the charity auction, in aid of Scotland’s rural charity, RSABI, and MacMillan Nurses, which is scheduled to conclude the open day at 4pm.

The successful buyer will have the choice of one of two heifers.

Other items coming under the hammer will include a four-ball round of golf at Roxburghe Golf Course, paintings and joints of Aberdeen-Angus beef donated by Scotbeef and A K Stoddart.

The open day will start at 10am with the official opening by Nigel Miller, taking place at 11am.

There will also be a barbecue, car parking and free entry.