Stonmour Herd

Early 1926 Wharf Farm was bought, and from a very early days, it was always planned to bring Shorthorns to the low land along the estuary, after a few difficult years it was time to purchase the first Shorthorns from around the local area and joining the Society in 1945 to be in the journal registered as a member 1946 Coates’s Herd Book Volume 93  and registering the first cattle in 1947, but buying animals from 1944 onwards.

Late 1949 we have our first registration of the Musical and Barrington family, still going today, with the purchase of some of the animals some of the best herds with in the south west at the time the foundation was truly built for Kingsey and the Stonmour heard to follow. The goal at Wharf Farm was to build a home bred Shorthorn with good foundations this could only be done by animals being bred and cared on the farm so once the initial animals were bought everything else was from home bred. From the early forties every cow the was booked to the farm or bread on the farm has a record and that record shows that animal is exactly what we say is, and not left to chance by bringing in outside blood with no guarantees that does pedigrees are true and correct because we can only rely on the information given to us by the way governing bodies (Societies).

The 1950s were the time with the farm was really just getting established and this were taken slowly to make sure what we felt was correct way of going forward with Dairy Shorthorns at that time. Although this may seem a quiet time at the farm in actually established good depth within the herd we had the Lady Somerset cattle we had established the Musical line family and the bull Barrington Locking King proved to be a good sire for the herd. And of course we had the Birch Fairy Barrington cattle at the farm. 55 saw foot-and mouth at the farm for the first and last time with devastating effects with almost the whole herd completely wiped out. In the late 50s for the first time the farm entered the show ring at a local show were successful enough to win a few prizes which sets the farm up for the sixties.

Some would say the 1960s was the golden year for this very small run family farm; I arrived 4th-generation for the farm & for the future. This period of time the farm was milking around 15 to 20 Dairy Shorthorns by hand, and the decision was made to enter more agricultural show with very good results. Remembering this is just a small farm at the time around 130 acres results in the show ring can tell of, champions, supreme champions, first in milk trials at the London International Dairy Event, Gold Cup winner for the 1sttime and remember in those days it was a real Gold cup not just a shield as given today. And lots more prizes throughout the South West of England and London always representing Shorthorn cattle to the best of the farms ability.

On the homefront back at the farm thing weren’t going so smoothly very regulary being flooded by the bristol channel fooding over 100 acres at a time leaving only a few fields in land for the animals. TB, Foot & Mouth all the standard run of the mill problems that all farmers have to cope with and diversify to manage and survive.

The 70s started, as the 60s days left, with good results within the show rings and farm animals moving in the right direction getting a reasonable price for milk and animals at the market thing were looking good. In 72 with things going ok a decision was made to slow down within the show circuit and just concentrate on farm life and issues, but before this happened, yet again with great delight the herd was recognised with a milk yields a World Champion Cow Kingsey Musical 3rd a few more show couple of more cups won one more Gold cup and it was time 2 hang up the showing halters for now. With the second and third generation of Wharf Farm farmers working together it was time to slow down with the milking and start bringing in a small suckler herd of Shorthorn cattle and sub-sidising they’re milk with buying in commercial calfs. Just for raising on our dairy cattle not for breeding in anyway or cross breeding with are steel pure Dairy Shorthorns.

80s come to be a very quiet time at the farm with competitive showing finished Serbian reduced in size and the herd also becoming more of a suckler foundation with the Society motto ‘the great improvers’. With the last of the dairy herd were being milk and in the middle of the 80s we seen the milking Shorthorns at Wharf Farm coming to a very sad end. With the sad departing in these years was the second generation farmer within the farms history and it only seemed fair at that time too reduced the herd yet again to a smaller number. Now with the herd of just 6 Shorthorns still 100%.

At that time recognised with societies and still being registered has 100% Shorthorns, at the end of the 80s on a day trip out to the Royal Show and a discussion with the secretary at the time a decision was made with the 4th generation of the farm to introduce a Beef Shorthorn bull to cross with a Dairy Shorthorn cow and with us asking what status we would have within the society, we were told if you cross 100 with 100 you will be registered with the Beef Shorthorn society has 100% Pure Shorthorns this was told to by the secretary at the time. With the purchase old semen of a sad bull from the Scottish Milk Markerting Board we moved into the 90s.

Early 90s with our first cross from dairy to beef we returned competitively to the show ring with moderate success but not everyone with in the South West understanding which section of the show ring we were in dairy or beef classes decisions were made with the farmer showing at the time. Even though we were still being recognised as a dual purpose animal we were allowed into the classes that suited us with our agreements at the shows but no real Beef Shorthorn classes foreshore in the south west. At one show we took the entire herd entail of 6 cows and two calves to a show it was a very interesting week coming away with reasonable success the decision was now made to try and rebuild up to a reasonable number. By the end of the 90s we had established the herd of just 15 animals.

2000 as we moved forward in the 2000s we continued to keep the herd small and selling mainly to the markets and a few off the cattle to new Beef Shorthorn breeders until we realised that even though we were a closed herd and the herd contained just a few breeding females and there was no support from societies to keep 100% cattle decision was made again to cross at that time 2 families which contained of the old lines Musical and Fairy families. 2005 bust us some lovely calves to the farm amongst them was a bull calf Stonmour Thunder Cloud. With only moderate success in the show ring we had a lot of interest regarding the young bull calf and although we understood that no one from society wanted to support 100% shorthorns on and even being told that it doesn’t exist and there was no need for a bull of his stature. The bull was noticed at one of the Royal Show and we all agreed to try the bull at a, ai centre because everybody believed in this bull except the society. The bull went on to win over 100 prizes in the show ring in his lifetime, we continued in our own way still registering all cattle with the beef shorthorn society even though they have removed all percentages from pedigrees it is if they were ashamed of the foundations of a shorthorn. By the end of the 2000s the herd once again had breed winning at the show rings with male and female champions, supreme champions, and native champions. In 2010 we sent the bull back to ai centre for collection of semen for worldwide sells for the second time.

2011 till present, we started the back to the future programme, now we are working along side the rare breeds survival trust two try to bring back some old genetics from the 60s and 70s, and now we have been given some semen from the 1950, now with us looking on the cattle on the farm going into genetic selection for the next few years with the old  bulls in our tanks and analysing every female on the farm so we could hopefully match they with the  right old genetic bulls. With the first few calfs on the ground we were very pleased with the results, two males and two female.males where give to r.b.s.t. to take semen to put back to tanks for future.female kept on the farm 4 breeding. With now 17 old genetic animals on the farm we believe the importance of the program is second to none. 4 the first time in 71 years in 2018 we carved at 2.5 years this we may not repeat it was an experiment. We now have 3 bulls on the farm from the 70s, next step to breed one from the 60s and 50s. All this is done with no support from the society and no recognition, and with are stud bull Stonmour Thunder Cloud selling over 14,000 straws worldwide to date through our agents UK Sires & Shorthorn Sires UK.

Wharf Farm
Wharf Farm
Wharf Farm

100% Shorthorn Genetics

Pure Bred Shorthorns.

At Stonmour we aim to use the most pure Beef Shorthorn genetics that are available. We actively seek out Beef Shorthorn bulls that are as near 100% pure as possible.