Welsh Club Report

Welsh Club Report

Our AGM was held later than usual in June, with Meirion Jones elected as club chairman, Huw James as vice chairman and Helen Price as club secretary and Chris Walters as treasurer. We thanked our past chairman Aled Davies for his work over the years. 

We swiftly moved onto the Royal Welsh Show in July, where the stand was full of activities, and it was a pleasure to see the stand was busy throughout the week with members and farmers not only from Wales but with many coming from all over the United Kingdom to share their passion for the breed. I would also like to thank all those who helped man the stand throughout the week as it is not an easy task. Not many cattle were forward, but the quality was extremely high with Finlay Soutter (pictured below) taking the Overall Simmental Champion and Reserve Interbreed Champion with Brandane Millie also winning Reserve interbreed young handlers during the week and winning the young Simmental stock person award at the show. Well done, we wish you well for the future.

The reserve champion was Richard Cumming with Cwarre Naughty’s Nettle. Male Champion went to Aneurin and Heulwen Francis with Pistyll Nightrider and reserve male going to OC & E Jewel with Ebbsley Nice Guy. It’s promising to see such enthusiastic young breeders within our society and showcasing our fantastic breed at these shows.

Group of Four

In September we held our Herd Competition where John and June Trafford judged they travelled all over Wales for four days up and down the hills. It was a pleasure to have them with us and we must thank them for their time. Overall Champion Herd and Large Herd went to Anthony, Lesley and Harry Davies from the Welston Herd, with Meirion and Linda Dyfed Herd winning the medium Herd and Chris Walters winning the small Herd with his Goldcross Herd. A presentation was hosted by Will and Helen Price. They provided us with a hog roast.  A big thankyou to the price family for their hospitality and a wonderful day.   

Then we moved onto the Welsh winter fair held at Llanelwedd, where Callum Croft provided the Raceview heifer to be displayed on the stand.  A great example of the breed. The day itself was quiet but we still had interest in coming to the stand and it showed the tremendous efforts that were put in by members by coming away with the first prize for the best breed society stand. We must also thank Richard (Storersmith Simmentals) for setting up the stand prior to the show and for all those who helped manage the stand over the two days.

In early December as a club we held our annual calf show with the Welsh multi breed pedigree calf show. With The Francis family again for the second year running winning the continental Interbreed section with Pistyll Pablo. A big congratulations to the family.  

We held our annual dinner at the White Hart Llandeilo at the beginning of January2024.

Thank you all,

Meirion Jones



• Pistyll Nightrider takes Reserve Championship as UK Simmental genetics feature strongly

Islavale Jabba

It’s a massive well done to Gavin Brown of the Springfield Simmental herd, Springfield Farm, Penicuik who has won the 2023 Simmental Champion of Europe with his herd stock bull Islavale Jabba. The European Championship is held within the ‘Simmental Champion of the World Competition’ run by the Texas, USA based Simmental breeder. With British Simmental genetics very much to the fore, the Reserve Championship was won by the young bull Pistyll Nightrider from Welsh breeders GA & HM Francis, Pistyll Uchaf, Abergorlech, Carmarthen.

With a growing track record in this event, the Champion of Europe award was a second in a row, and the fourth time in five years it has been won by British Simmental breeders. Last year it was Drumsleed Legacy 20 from Gerald and Morag Smith, Fordoun, Laurencekirk, who prevailed, with previous wins for Lisglass Goldstar from Gordon Clark, Cupar, Fife in 2020, and prior to that Heathbrow Important from David and Lesley Sapsed, Herts in 2019.

May 2018 born, Islavale Jabba was purchased for 6000gns in 2020 from breeders WS Stronach & Son, Berryleys, Keith, Banffshire, and his first bulls at Stirling last year averaged 5000gns, with a good run of heifers levelling at 4500gns. Springfield Major, the champion at the Simmental Calf Show at Borderway Agri Expo in 2021, and also a Jabba son, sold for 7500gns at Stirling in February this year. A prolific breeder in the 30 cow Springfield herd Islavale Jabba has sired some 40 calves in this last two years. He himself stood Senior Male Champion at this year’s Scottish National Simmental Show whilst a son, Springfield Neptune, won the Reserve Supreme & Senior Championship at the recent Simmental Youngstock Show held at Carlisle at the end of October.

Commenting a delighted Gavin Brown said: “We are over the moon with the result. In this online competition Islavale Jabba has been judged on his presence and by breeders from different parts of the world who will have different takes on the values of the Simmental breed in terms of colour, fleshing, and muscle definition. So to be picked out as Champion from all of these entrants is very special. The coverage this competition has over a social media and online platform is massive and it can only be good for the breed in the UK to have British Simmental genetics again recognised internationally.”

Pistyll Nightrider

The Reserve European Champion, the May 2022 born Pistyll Nightrider is by the noted Team Celtic and is out of Pistyll Frances VG87, a Brookwood Alla King daughter. Earlier this summer Pistyll Nightrider won the Simmental Male Championship at the Royal Welsh Show. The Pistyll herd who hold the Welsh Simmental record for a bull sold at sale, the 26,000gns Pistyll Kingsman at Stirling in February 2021, have also previously won the Reserve Female Championship at the Royal Welsh Show.

The Simmental judges for the ‘Champion of Europe’ award consisted of Flávio Montenegro Alves (Brazil): Fred Dell (South Africa): Dominik Matti (Switzerland): and Deanne & Rob Young (Canada).



  • Cwarre Naughty’s Nettle takes Simmental Reserve
  • Finlay Soutter wins Young Handlers Championship

It’s a summer that just keeps on giving for young Simmental breeder Finlay Soutter (17), Yew Tree Farm, Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire who won the Overall Simmental Supreme Championship before going on to place Overall Reserve Interbreed Supreme, on day one of the 2023 Royal Welsh Show at Llanellwedd Wells, Powys, Monday 24th July 2023, and with his February 2021 born heifer Brandane Millie.  

Millie is the foundation female in Finlay’s newly established Millennium Simmental pedigree herd, and was bred by well-known breeder and stockman Jimmy McMillan, Bradwell Ash, Bury St Edmunds. Full of pedigree Brandane Millie is by the AI bull Sterling Gino 15, and out of the noted Sterling Candy’s FCUK, a female bought at the Sterling Sale. As a young heifer Millie was successfully shown in 2022 by Jimmy McMillan and where she won a number of awards including the Junior Female Championship at the Royal Highland.  With a little bit of Simmental history, Finlay is believed to be the youngest Simmental breeder to have won one of the ‘major’ Royal titles!

Brandane Millie

Brandane Millie, who is due to calf in January, was purchased privately by Finlay’s granddad, Doug Mash, Chesham, Bucks and was gifted to Finlay as a birthday present to initiate his Millenium herd. A very proud Doug was on hand at ringside when Brandane Millie got the winning tap from the day’s judge Michael Barlow of the noted Denizes herd, Nr Leyland, Lancashire. 

Following the judging Michael Barlow said:  “This is an exceptional heifer and has everything I’d look for in a Simmental female.  She’s very feminine, moves well, has a natural width to her, and is full of style, character, and quality.  A terrific Simmental heifer.”

Judge Michael Barlow

Beyond the Simmental judging Brandane Millie moved on to represent the breed in the Overall Individual Interbreed.  Typically judged in the late afternoon and in the natural amphitheatre of the corner of the main judging ring, the sun was out as a huge ringside audience watched the judge Owain Llyr, Denbighshire, cast his eye over the Champions from some fourteen breeds.  Impeccably shown by Finlay, Brandane Millie wowed the crowds with her quality, class, presence, and natural style and was duly tapped out as the Reserve Overall Individual Interbreed Champion.  Rounding off a superb week, on the fourth day of the show Finlay powered through to win the prestigious Royal Welsh Young Handlers competition and the second such win in the summer and following on from the Royal Norfolk.

Brandane Millie with Finlay Soutter (right), and Doug Mash
Finlay Soutter

For young Finlay at the Royal Welsh it doesn’t get much better than winning the breed Supreme Overall, the Reserve Individual Interbreed with Granddad Doug Mash lending a helping hand, the Young handlers Championship, and all in your first year of showing!

Back in the Simmental judging and taking the Reserve Overall title was Cwarre Naughty’s Nettle from Richard Cumming, Blaencwarre, Hermon, Carmarthen.  This January 2022 born heifer’s calf is by Clonagh Frosty King and is out of Cwarre Hyacinth’s Knautia who goes back to the herd’s noted Rosie’s Cadette line. A small herd of some six breeding females, the Cwarre herd are consistent exhibitors at shows and sales, and have previously won the Reserve female title at the Royal Welsh with Cwarre Cinderella’s Firefly in 2015.

Cwarre Naughty’s Nettle

Winning the Male Championship was the June 2022 born Pistyll Nightrider from GA & HM Francis, Pistyll Uchaf, Abergorlech, Carmarthen.  This calf is by the noted Team Celtic and is out of Pistyll Frances VG87, a Brookwood Alla King daughter. The Pistyll herd who hold the Welsh Simmental record for a bull sold at sale, the 26,000gns Pistyll Kingsman at Stirling in February 2021, have also previously won the Reserve Female Championship at the Royal Welsh Show.

Pistyll Knightrider
Supreme & Reserve Champion Lineup
Male Champion & Reserve

2023 Royal Welsh Show Simmental Results

Judge: Michael Barlow, Denizes Herd.

Bull, born on or before 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022

1st OC & E Jewell  Ebbsley Nice Guy

2nd A & R Davies Hirwaun Nos Da

Ebbsley Nice Guy

Bull, born on or after 1st April 2022

1st GA & HM Franics Pistyll Nightrider

2nd OC & E Jewell Ebbsley North Star

3rd A & R Davies Hirwaun Neville 22

Heifer, born on or between 1st January 2021 and 31st August 2021

1st Finlay Soutter Brandane Millie

2nd Lizzie Harding Hallway Winnies Majesty

Heifer, born on or between 1st September 2021 and 31st December 2021

1st RJ Cummings Blaencwarre Cwarre Naughtys Nettle

2nd A & R Davies Chestermann Gibble Lulu 4

Best Group of 4

Ebbsley Nice Guy

Ebbsley North Star

Pistyll Nightrider

Brandane Millie

Group of Four

Best Pair

Ebbsley Nice Guy

Ebbsley North Star

Male Champion Pistyll Nightrider

Reserve Male Ebbsley Nice Guy

Female Champion Brandane Millie

Overall Champion Brandane Millie



• 36.23% of buyers changed to Simmental from a different breed of bull in previous five years
A fantastic ninety four percent of Simmental bull buyers have confirmed that they will purchase further Simmental bulls at future Society sales. That’s the strong endorsement of the Simmental breed following a snapshot survey of bull buyers at Society Sales held between 2017 and 2019.

The survey saw buyers through these years being sent a detailed questionnaire covering the initial reasons for purchasing a Simmental, and thereafter how satisfied they have been with the abilities and the performance of their bulls to date. A broad range of questions invited respondents to score and comment on the performance of bulls bought, including: calving ease; temperament of the bulls and their progeny; fertility and serving capacity; longevity and physical condition of the bull; and performance of progeny, including growth rates and perceived food conversion. Further questions asked buyers about the most important traits when buying a Simmental; the principle purpose of the bull; use on heifers; the importance of herd health information, pre-sale inspections, performance figures, and pre-sale fertility testing.

Unsurprisingly maternal traits featured highly in the characteristics of the Simmental breed most attractive to buyers, including: mothering ability and easy calving; milk; producing replacement heifers; and fast-growing progeny. The top characteristic for buyers was temperament and this was emphasised later in the survey with a total of 97.18% saying that the temperament of their bulls was good (88.73%), or average (8.45%), and with 92.53% saying that the temperament of the progeny was very good or good. Across these two categories less than 5% of purchasers responded that the bulls or their progeny had been below average for temperament.

Just over 70% of buyers indicated that performance figures and EBVs were a ‘quite’ or ‘very’ important aid when purchasing a bull. Of the traits, EBVs for calving ease were ranked the most important and with Maternal (Milk), a close second. The Simmental breed has taken a lead in many aspects of herd health at sales over the years, and the importance of this is shown in the survey with a total of 98.59% of respondents saying that it was ‘very important’ (83.10%), or ‘important’ (15.49%), for them to purchase bulls from herds with a high health status. Over 90% of buyers placed importance on bulls having passed through a pre-sale inspection with 57.34% saying it was ‘very’ important.

Interestingly, and perhaps indicative of some strong Simmental sales, 36.23% of buyers said that they had changed from a different breed of bull in the previous five years, and predominantly from other continental breeds. 53.62% of buyers run over five Simmental bulls with a further 40.58% indicating that they had one to five Simmental bulls. The makeup of buyers’ farms shows that 60% of the bulls have gone to hill farms, and with 40% to lowland. The bulls are used on mainly suckler herds (93.25%), with the dominant breed of suckler cows being Simmental/Simmental X, followed by Limousin/Limousin X; Angus/Angus X; and Luing/Luing X. The largest percentage of buyers run 31 to 100 cows (41.43%); with 37.14% having 101 to 200; and just over 21% having over 200.

The working abilities of the breed are again highlighted with 94.12% of buyers saying that they were happy with the physical and structural condition of the bulls bought, and with over 85% of the bulls still working in purchasers’ herds. In an anticipated strength of the breed, just over 92% of buyers said that they retained heifer calves as herd replacements. 42.86% of buyers said that they used bulls on heifers, and of those, 44.12%, aiming to calve the heifers at 28 months and under.

In another strong endorsement of the performance and commercial attributes of the Simmental breed, a remarkable 89.65% of those surveyed said the progeny of their bulls had been of the standard they expected (81.03%), or better than expected (8.62%), and 10.34% saying that the progeny had been average. No respondents replied that progeny from their bulls had been below expectations.

At the conclusion of the survey buyers were asked for ‘any other comments’, and again these were a combination of extremely positive, constructive, and insightful points. A number of comments remarked on what they saw as the ‘big strides’ in ongoing improvement in the Simmental breed over the last ten years. A further similar sentiment was that if the breed maintains and improves its strengths in milk, easy calving, docility, and good locomotion, ‘Simmental bulls will sell themselves’ in the forward industry. Breeders were given some ‘signals’ for forward sales to not overfeed bulls, and the importance of feet, good legs and mobility. Herd health, the versatility of Simmentals on all breeds, the importance of good growth rates, and food conversion from grass were also noted. Producing ‘bulls that make good cows’ was also a sentiment with a clear overall emphasis on the desire for Simmentals many recognised maternal strengths.

Commenting on the survey BSCS General manager Iain Kerr said: “It’s really important for the Society to engage with Simmental buyers to find out how satisfied they have been with their purchases, and to feedback their thoughts to breeders. The Simmental breed is renowned for breeding quality heifer replacements and for being first class suckler cows with plenty of milk, good fertility, easily calved and crossing to advantage with any other breed. We also see Simmental progeny being easy fleshing, with good growth rates, top weights for age, and being the industry leader for age at slaughter. To have these qualities recognised and endorsed by the breeds buyers, with an approval/repeat customer rate of 94%, is really encouraging. A massive well done is extended to pedigree Simmental breeders for these results and for consistently bringing forward a high standard of bulls. There is an ongoing commitment from the breeders and Society, in the sum of all its parts, to keep working hard to consistently produce the choice and quality of bulls that commercial beef producers and pedigree breeders require.”

The survey results have been released in the run up to the next round of pedigree Simmental Sales with sale fixtures at Stirling on February 20th; Aberdeen on 1st March; Dungannon on 24th March; and Melton Mowbray on 25th March.