The world famous Haltcliffe herd of pedigree Limousins is run by the Ridley family, Matthew and his wife Margaret and their son Craig and his wife Sheila, on their hill farm at Hesket–New-Market, Cumbria, on the northern edge of the Lake District.
Originally established in 1979 the herd has been at the forefront of the Limousin breed ever since and is without doubt one of the leading herds in the UK.
Highlights of the herd’s success include breeding the first UK beef bull to sell for more than £100,000 when Haltcliffe Vermount sold for 100,000gns (£105,000) in February 2006.
Other noted bulls bred in the herd include the 72,000gns Haltcliffe DJ, sold in February 2010 and Haltcliffe Pirate, the first UK bred Limousin bull to be bought by Genus. Haltcliffe Rembrandt, Aristocrat, Eros, Flashman and Hercules have all also, over time, had a massive impact on the Limousin breed in the UK.
Sadly the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth outbreak resulted in the culling of all livestock on the farm, with the herd now comprising animals bred since the restocking in 2002.
Breeding policy is to use stock sires across the herd, only AI’ing to owned or homebred sires as the family believe this is the best way to breed a herd true to one type. Semen from a number of the current herd sires is available for sale on the semen shop page of this website.
The herd has won the North West Limousin Club’s annual herd competition on numerous occasions and in 2011 won the 40th anniversary National Limousin herd competition.
Alongside the Limousin herd the Ridley family, with the help of stockman Kevin Bates, also run a 300-ewe flock of Swaledales and an 80-ewe flock of Texels.
The Ridley family pride themselves in their ability to breed top quality stock in all their herds and flocks and welcome visitors to the farm by prior arrangement. The farm is just two hours from Manchester airport and only 11 miles from junction 41 of the M6 motorway and half an hour from Borderway Mart, Carlisle.