Celebrating forty years of Aberdeen-Angus Club

The North-east Aberdeen-Angus Club will be hosting a tour of North-east herds for Aberdeen-Angus breeders from all over the world this autumn.

The Keenan Ruby Anniversary Tour, sponsored by one of the world’s leading feed technology companies, Keenan, will celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary and will take in visits to no fewer than 16 herds over five days from Thursday, October 4, to Monday, Monday, October 8.

The programme will also include a special sale of elite Aberdeen-Angus females, open to herds from throughout the UK, to be conducted by Aberdeen and Northern Marts at Thainstone Centre on Saturday, October 6.

The tour coincides with the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first Aberdeen-Angus Herd Book in 1862 and this will be marked by the unveiling of a plaque on Friday, October 5, at the site of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s first office in Banff.

A civic reception to welcome delegates is being hosted by Aberdeenshire Council on the first day and the final dinner on the Sunday night will be hosted by the society as part of the 150th anniversary.

“The organising committee has planned an exciting, if hectic, programme which has captured the imagination of breeders from throughout the UK and Ireland as well as overseas who are keen to visit herds in the area where the breed was founded,” said club chairman, Wendy Willox, Home Farm of Druminnor, Rhynie.

Similar tours organised by the club in the past – the Aberdeen-Angus Heritage tour in 1995 and the Thousand Cow tour in 2002 – attracted more than 200 visitors and the club hope to a similar number will join this year’s tour, along with local members of the club.

“Bookings are already trickling in and enquiries have been received from interested breeders in several continental countries and also Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,” said Mrs Willox.

The club is greatly indebted to both Keenan and the breed society, and a number of other sponsors, for their generous support which will enable the club to organise a first class promotional event for the Aberdeen-Angus breed in the North-east.

“The breed is continuing to expand and there is world-wide interest in UK Aberdeen-Angus genetics again,” said Ms Willox. “Some of the leading herds in the country are in the North-east and the Ruby Tour will provide a great shop window for the breed.”

Keenan managing director, Gerard Keenan, said he was delighted to sponsor such an important event for the Aberdeen-Angus breed which would give Keenan an opportunity of demonstrating the company’s latest technology – the iKeenan – to a large and influential international audience.

“Many of the herds to be visited have already invested in Keenan technology and we are delighted to reciprocate their support for Keenan by becoming main sponsor of the Ruby Tour,” said Mr Keenan.

The tour will conclude on the Monday morning with a visit to Ballindalloch Castle to view the Ballindalloch herd owned by Banffshire Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Claire Russell, and her husband, Oliver. The Ballindalloch herd was founded by an ancestor of Mrs Russell, Sir George Macpherson-Grant, in 1860 and is the oldest herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus in continuous existence anywhere in the world.

Further information available from the club secretary, Eddie Gillanders, on 01330 811616/07801186303