Ireland’s Oldest Aubrac Cow?

Mudgee (Calverstown Aubracs) died on the 23rd of June 2015, in her sleep, lying in the sun.

At 19 years of age, she was rearing her 17th calf and doing a good job, as she had done all her life. According to ICBF,Mudgee was only a one star cow. To us she was our star. She had a calving interval of 368 days over 16 calvings and 374 including the 17th calving (11 bulls- 6 heifers). We never saw her go to the bull, we never saw her calve. Just found a lively little calf sucking in the morning. One of her calves died un-expectantly at a week old and she willingly reared another one. She goes back such a long way, we don’t have all the kill out figures from her progeny but from the ones we have she bred 5 Us and 2 Rs. 5 of her bull calves went on as stock bulls including 3 in pedigree herds, one of her daughters won the Aubrac Championship at the Tullamore show and 4 others are performing well in our herd. She had perfect feet, perfect udder, vet bills were nil and her temperament exceptionally sweet. In her younger days, and for many years, she was taken around the country to many shows as an exhibit, advertising the Aubrac breed and spreading the word.  In 1999 she appeared on the 9 o’clock news along with our bull of the time Nemrod. She was a little cow who made no noise, never put a foot wrong except at feeding time in the shed when those French horns came in to play. For that reason, she spent every winter out except for the last one when we finally felt sorry for her. Then was also the first time she got a taste of ration. If all cows behaved and performed as well as she did, there would be very little need for replacement heifers!

Mudgee cow

Read more about the Calverstown Aubrac Herd here.

Win an Aubrac heifer

The Irish Aubrac Society will host a raffle for a 17 month old Pedigree Registered Aubrac maiden heifer, with the draw to be held at  this year’s National Ploughing Championships, taking place from the 22nd to 24th of September.

The Heifer is from the Ballinclea Aubrac Herd owned and farmed by Ernest & Lionel Mackey,based in Donard, Co. Wicklow, established in 1999.

Maternal Breeding: The herd has an overall maternal rating of €164, placing it firmly within the top 10% of all herds (across all breeds) in the country. They also successfully entered Ballinclea Iveco (VEZ) into the G€N€ Ireland Maternal Breeding Programme, with 475 straws ordered to date, topping the list.

‘ Ballinclea Juno’ born on 15th October 2014, is the heifer that is up for grabs.

She is sired by ‘Balinclea Galaxi’ and her dam is ‘ Ballinclea Geneva’.  Balinclea Galaxi has a maternal index of €250 and is 5 Star for Replacement both within and across the breed.

ernest heifer raffle

Ballinclea Juno.

Tickets are available to purchase from any Society Member at €2 per line, 3 lines for €5 or €50 per card for 30 lines, from the beginning of July until 1st of September 2015.

Tickets will also be available to purchase on the day of the Tullamore Show and the Ploughing Championships where the heifer will be available to view. The opportunity is also available to meet and talk with Irish Aubrac Council members.

The lucky winner of the heifer will be chosen and  announced at 4pm on Thursday 24th of September at the Ploughing Championships.

Progeny Photos Required

turin photo


Progressive Genetics/NCBC/ Munster AI currently have four Aubrac Bulls available-Duches, Perlou, Rockill Urbano and Turin.

Have you got any stock bred by these four sires?

Send progeny photos, along with details to

They will be featured on our website and Facebook, along with the possibility of being featured on the Progressive Genetics Facebook Page, upcoming catalogues, brochures, their website and advertisements! They also hold several photo competitions throughout the year.




Top tips for taking photos:

A great animal can look poor in a badly taken photo use the below guide to enable you to take better photos.

A picture says a thousand words:
1. Time: Early or late, the middle of the day is not great! Cloudy days work better than bright clear days.
2. Keep the sun behind you. Stand where your shadow does not fall into the picture.
3. Fill the photo with the whole animal – don’t have bits cut-off.
4. Have the “cow” going uphill. Cattle photograph much better when their front legs are higher than their back legs.
5. It is best for the camera to be lower than the centre of the “cow”. Get down on the ground if necessary. Never take a picture with the camera higher than the cow. It makes them look small (butty).
6. The background of your picture is important, a cow standing in a green pasture.

Ballinclea Iveco- Topping the List!

To date, 392 herds are participating in the G€N€ Ireland Programme. Over 6,000 straws have been ordered, with an average of 15 straws per herd ordered.

Top of the list is the Aubrac bull Balinclea Iveco (VEZ) from the Ballinclea Aubrac herd, based in Donard, Co. Wicklow, established in 1999.

Iveco combines five-star replacement and terminal indices within and across breeds, with a calving ease of 1.3%. A total of 475 straws have been ordered for VEZ.

The first calves from Iveco are starting to arrive. He has since been sold on for Breeding.

iveco bull

His dam scooped a prestigious award ‘ RDS Champion of Champion- Top Maternal Cow 2015’ earlier this year.

Only 15 straws remain of Iveco. To order, contact our Society office or ICBF.

Two more bulls have been purchased, as part of this programme and have began testing. Johnstown Ian 1039, from the Johnstown Aubrac Herd, Mullingar Co. Westmeath has been selected. He is already proving him, as he received title  ‘Supreme Champion’ at the Irish Aubrac Society Annual Sale, held in Tullamore Mart in October 2014.

Here is sired by Roussel, see his Eurostar Report here.

gene ireland johnstown ian 1039

Also, a second bull, Slaneymill Jack 687 has been purchased,  alsosired by French AI Bull Roussel. See his Eurostar Report here.

Capture new

Slaneymill Jack 687

See Updates and Press Releases of the Programme by the Irish Farmers Journal here.

Tullamore Show 2015- Entries

Roll up, Roll up! It’s coming up to that time of year again!

The Tullamore Show 2015 will be held on Sunday 9th of August 2015- Save the date!

Entries for classes close on Friday 17th of July.

We are asking our breeders to submit their entries as soon as possible.

Entries form are available online here.

Competition & Exhibition Rules & Regulations can be found here.

We would encourage as many of our breeders as possible to exhibit in the classes.

See list of Aubrac classes for the Tullamore Show 2015 here.

Please notify our Office or Council Members if you are interested in showing!

Come along and support Team Aubrac on the day, where you will get the opportunity to meet with our Council Members and see the cattle for yourself!

Top Recommended Aubrac Bulls 2015.

The Maternal Bull Breeder Programme Recommended Bull List 2015 is now available.

ICBF claim that the aim of this list is to provide pedigree breeders that are members of the Gene Ireland Maternal Beef Breeding program with a selection of AI Sires that they should mate to their highest index pedigree females to produce high index young bulls. These young bulls will then be considered for purchase by the Gene Ireland Maternal Bull Breeder Programme for entry into the progeny test programme. These bulls are selected by each breed’s Gene Ireland Breeding committee which is made up of: Commercial Farmers, Pedigree Breeders, Breed Society Representatives, AI Companies &  ICBF.

Top Recommended Aubrac Bulls include:


The three bulls can be purchased through our Society Office. Download the Order Form and see more information here.

Read More here:

Tullamore Show 2015

The Tullamore Show 2015 will take place on Sunday 9th of August.


Judging commences at 10:00 a.m. Ring 10. 

Aubrac Classes as as follows:

Entry Fee: €12 (Unless otherwise stated)

Prizes:1st- €100 2nd- €75 3rd- €50 4th €25 (Unless otherwise stated)

Animal details must be provided for all the classes of animals including the ‘pair of animals’ classes. Otherwise the entries will be disqualified.

Class 149: Pedigree Aubrac Bull Calf born on/after 01.09.2014.

Sponsors: SOBAC, Humus Creator.

Class 150: Pedigree Aubrac Heifer Calf Born on/after 01.09.2014

Sponsors: Johnstown Aubracs.

Class 151: Pedigree Aubrac Maiden Heifer Born on/ after 01.09.2013.

Sponsors: EWS Butchers.

Class 152: Pedigree Aubrac in-Calf Heifer (Any Age)

Sponsors: South Leinster Aubrac Group

Class 153: Pedigree Aubrac Heifer/ Cow with Calf at foot (Any Age)

50% Judging to Cow, 50% Judging to calf.

Sponser: BIOGREEN.

Class 154: Best Pair of Animals.

Property of the same exhibitor and exhibited in the above classes.

Sponsor: De Buitlier Aubracs.

Class 155: AIB Livestock Show Aubrac Champion.

(No pre-entry)

Sponsors: Watson Trailers.

Prizes: Champion Gold Medal, Champion Sash, Reserve Champion Silver Medal, Reserve Champion Rosette.

If you wish to show Aubrac Cattle at the Tullamore Show 2015, please notify our office.

We would encourage as many breeders as possible to show.


Irish Aubrac Society -Yearbook 2015

The Irish Aubrac Society will release their 3rd Edition of the Irish Aubrac Journal later this year. It will set to launch at the Tullamore Show 2015.

A committee is currently working on producing the Journal and content from our breeders is required.

Committee Members:

James Donnellan.

Ernest Mackey.

Mireille McCall.

Denis Lenihan.

Francis Butler.

Alfie Hanbidge.

Catherina Cunnane.

Catherina Cunnane will  be of assistance with the compiling of these ads. If you are interested in compiling an ad of your herd for the Journal, please contact her.

Contact any of our commitee members if you have a news story that you would like covered.

Deadline is July 1st.

Farm Walk- Alfie & Marion Hanbidge, Co. Wicklow

Alfie and Marion Hanbidge hosted the Irish Aubrac Breeders Society event at their farm in September 2014, in Stratford on Slaney which was attended by many  farmers from the locality but also as far away as Counties Clare and Kilkenny.

Chief Scorer at the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation Basil Bothwell demonstrated the different qualities needed in the modern beef animal, especially due to rapidly changing market requirements.

alfie h herd 2

He was very insistent that the present suckler dam needs to have enough milk to feed her calf well and thereby cutting out the need for expensive meal feeding.

Kim McCall ,Calverstown, Co. Kildare, from the Calverstown Aubrac Herd, who is one of the original importers of the breed spoke about the history and background of the breed. The McCall’s first imported Aubracs into Ireland in 1996 and have been breeding Aubracs ever since.

The challenges of the the beef market was discussed by Eamon Moules of Slaney Meats, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.

One of the topics raised here was the lower carcase weight requirements of the trade at the moment and the importance of sufficient fat cover in the continental animal.

Mr. Moules stressed that the Aubrac breed could meet these requirements .

‘The livestock on show at Alfie and Marion Hanbidge’s farm were of a very high and consistent quality and were a great credit to them and their family,’ said Ernest Mackey, Council Committee Member of the Irish Aubrac Breeders Society.

alfie h farm walk

Aubrac X Simmental Calf.

Since the farm walk, several Aubrac heifers and steers have been slaughtered from the farm of Alfie and Marion.

Read more here.

alfie h herd farm

A New Breeding Venture for Aubrac Breeders

Aubracs genetically polled, now exclusive in close collaboration with Union Aubrac and Midatest. Our breeding results are recognised now by the French Breeding Authority. At present two of our pedigree B cows are on a French station for Embryo harvesting. Two pedigree heifers B and- we are so proud-two pedigree heifers A are on the way to France. From the pedigree heifers B female embryos are being produced and from the pedigree heifers, A male embryos are being produced, for reproduction.

From the union of the female progeny of B and of the male progeny of A homozygote bulls are produced. A long but very controllable process, in the thinking of Aubrac breeding. These are our future bull mothers for the Aubrac breed, genetically polled.

These heifers will produce embryos that will be sexed and genotyped. The process will be repeated over a few generations. Straws of poled Aubrac bulls should be available through Midatest in 2019.

Ernest Baumer has been working on this project for a long time and was very strict on the selection of the heifers. One of the points he insisted on, is that they had pretty heads.


One of the Aubrac Heifers involved in the programme.