Summary of the bloodlines found in the Honeycombe herd
The Honeycombe herd is comprised of solely home bred cows, all descended from just two foundation females.
The first of these was the elderly Wantsley Charity who came to us heavily in-calf early in 1989. Charity was out of Templeton Chamois [Runnymede Bantam by Parndon Musky] and by Wantsley Lottery [Templeton Minx by Canwell Buster].
A month later, Charity produced a long-legged heifer who was officially named “Honeycombe Hopeful” but always known to us as “Briar”.
Briar's father, Ilsington Bramble, was a young, unknown bull at the time, but some years later Bramble became breed champion at the RBST’s national show and sale and subsequently stood for AI.
Bramble was by Woodtown Douglas [Templeton Minx by Canwell Buster] while his dam, Ilsington Clematis, was by Saltaire Haytor out of the Templeton Michaelmas Squeak cow, Ilsington Candytuft.
Honeycombe Hopeful, "Briar" at 6 months
Only days after Briar’s birth, a ten month old heifer called Migh Gemini [pictured left] arrived from Pam Weaver's herd. Gem's dam was from entirely Woodmagic lines while her sire was the great show champion Migh Eric.
By the AI bull, Ypsitty Bridegroom 32nd [Ypsitty Chunky by Canwell Buster], Eric was out of Margeoff Erica [Wantsley Lanner by Templeton Irresistible].
Although Charity never bred again, Gem and Briar would become the matriarchs of the Honeycombe herd.
Bulls have always been carefully selected from quality herds. At first we made good use of two well known AI sires from the Saltaire herd: Saltaire Finian and Saltaire Foxhound. In the early years, we had a total of seven heifers from these two outstanding bulls. All were retained in the herd and they set the standard for future generations. The last of these was Honeycombe Nugget who we only lost in 2012 when seventeen years old.
Honeycombe Nugget, a daughter of Briar and Saltaire Foxhound, at 15 years
Next, a rare opportunity arose to hire the champion AI bull, Templeton Irresistible. By Templeton Michaelmas Squeak, Irresistible was out of Templeton Kestrel.
Although he was only with us for one season, Irresistible's progeny are still in the herd today.
As cow numbers increased, we acquired Galehill Hovis from Chris Nightingale. Hovis was out of a Whitegates Seamus cow and by Moonshine Troylius [Saltaire Foxhound]. Hovis was a great success. Much loved, he stayed with us for the rest of his life, and his positive influence on both the conformation and temperament of his descendants, remains his perenial legacy to the Honeycombe herd.
Subsequent bulls have mainly come from Sollershope, Moonshine and Saltaire bloodlines. Sollershope Thome was with us for several years, as was Cranhill Beech, a son of Sollershope Legend, while both Sollershope Tibs and the Sollershope Hector bull, Bildor Blazeaway, where short term visitors. Salix Red and Salix Jack were two bulls out of Honeycombe cows who also lived with us for a time.
Honeycombe Vol-Au-Vent, by Sollershope Thome, and a grand-daughter of Hovis
From the Moonshine herd came the red Moonshine Tan, then Moonshine Woody, and most recently Imlay Bobby. Out of Imlay Sunshine [by Saltaire Platinum out of Saltaire Coriander], Bobby's sire was Beeches Sir Percival who, like Templeton Irresisible, was by Templeton Michaelmas Squeak, and one of the last bulls entirely descended from the legendary Doesmead herd.
Champion Honeycombe Daisy is just one of the lovely heifers we have had from Bobby and his entire final crop of calves has been retained in the herd.
A young Imlay Bobby
Our current bull, Honeycombe Weevil, is home bred and is a descendant of both Briar and Gem.
Weevil is out of Honeycombe Queen Bee, daughter of Hovis, and a great-grand-daughter of Gem.
His sire was Honeycombe Trailblazer who was by Bildor Blazaway and out of the lovely Honeycombe Laurie, a daughter of Saltaire Foxhound and a grand-daughter of Briar.
Honeycombe Queen Bee, daughter of Hovis, mother of Weevil.
We are delighted that Weevil has returned to us after spending several years with Mike Bancroft and the Moonshine herd. His first calves are showing great promise.
More photos of our cattle, past and present, can be found here