Semen from British-bred bull, Carmorn Copilot, sold to France

The e-commerce company Semenstore has announced the export sale to France of semen from the British-bred Limousin bull Carmorn Copilot. The sale is thought to be the first semen sold, from a UK-bred Limousin bull, back to France - the home of the Limousin breed. Details of the semen sale have followed hard on the heels of the first export sale to France of a British-bred Limousin bull, Grange Gervaise, just under a fortnight ago.

A quantity of 150 straws of Carmorn Copilot has been sold on behalf of the bull's owner, Mr Derek Hume, Maghereagh Road, Randalstown, Northern Ireland to KBS Genetic, Beauvalet, France. KBS now plans to market this semen to pedigree and commercial Limousin breeders within France.

Commenting on this export first, Jean-Luc Kress of KBS Genetic said: "I first saw Carmorn Copilot together with his calves and his dam in April 2011 and took the decision there and then to import semen. I like the shape of UK Limousin genetics and think they will work well on French cows. I'm delighted to be importing the first semen straws from a UK-bred Limousin bull back to France."

KBS Genetic was set up in 1998 and sells semen throughout Europe and Australia. It also exports livestock Europe-wide, having recently been responsible for the export of 700 head of pedigree cattle to Russia in 2011 with another shipment of 1,000 head planned to Kazakhstan in 2012.

The four-year-old Carmorn Copilot was bred by Francis McAuley, Toomebridge, N Ireland and has a wealth of breeding behind him. He is sired by the prolific 42,000gns Wilodge Vantastic and is out of the dam Carmorn Penny, whose sire is Pelletstown Ken. Penny has been a consistent breeding cow and has sold calves up to 10,500gns at auction.

Carmorn Copilot is owned by Derek Hume who farms in Randalstown, Co Antrim alongside his wife, Heather, and sons Graham, Gary, Ian and Ryan who all share an interest in the farm. Heather also works part-time as Secretary of the Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club. The Humes' Culnagechan pedigree herd has expanded to between 50 and 60 pedigree Limousin breeding cows over the last 9 years since its establishment in 2003.

Copilot was spied as an eleven month old calf during a "social call" to Francis McAuley which eventually led to his successful purchase in November 2008. "He has always had great shape, length, presence and style. The cherry on the top was that he was bred out of what I consider to be one of the best Limousin cows in the UK, Carmorn Penny," says Mr Hume.

At the dispersal sale of the Tyrone Herd on behalf of the late Mr Willie Wilson, held in April 2011 at Moira Mart, Heather Hume met with eventual purchaser Jean-Luc Kress who had been acting as guest auctioneer that day. Heather took M. Kress on some farm visits that afternoon and his last stop before boarding his flight was at Culnagechan. Jean-Luc was impressed by Carmorn Copilot and his progeny and asked if he could see his dam, Carmorn Penny, and this visit obviously left its mark. During 2011, semen was collected from the bull which has ultimately led to many domestic and now export sales.

Speaking on behalf of Semenstore.co.uk, Richard Saunders said: "We shook hands on this deal back in October 2011 when Semenstore was in attendance at the French National Show in Clermont Ferrand, France. Since then we have been working hard to get the required protocols and export certification paperwork in place. Following on from the recent live export first, this is another landmark moment for the bull's owner, Mr Hume, as well as the British Limousin breed as a whole."

The export delivery of the Semenstore order was facilitated by the Cheshire-based Cogent Breeding Services, in conjunction with UALC in Limoges.

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