The Irish Charolais Cattle Society nominee for the 2016 National Hall of Fame award is Basil Bothwell, Dereskit, Killeshandra, Co. Cavan.

Basil’s introduction to Charolais began in 1971 when he along with his late father, Fred bought their first Charolais bull to use with their suckler herd. The qualities of the Charolais X calves from that bull were top quality and within a few years the decision was made to purchase a purebred female. The Dereskit Charolais herd was set up in 1976 with the purchase of a heifer called Moyglare Joyeuse by the famous Shamrock Ambassador. She remained in the herd until she was 17 years old having produced 14 naturally born calves. The die was cast; both Basil and his father were hooked on Charolais cattle.

Over the following years Basil and his late dad, Fred grew the Dereskit Herd to its present size of approximately 90 animals.  Along the way they enjoyed many successes in the show ring, at the RDS, at Shows and sales, and at the National Charolais Shows where they received recognition and prizes with National Champions. In particular, at the Christmas Cracker Show and Sale in 2011, Basil won the Overall Male championship with Dereskit Fernando.  On the day he was purchased by a top Scottish Breeder as a stock bull for his pedigree Falleninch Herd in Stirling. Dereskit Fernando has continued his winning ways in Scotland, winning Overall Inter-breed Champion at Stirling Show in 2013.  A daughter by him, Falleninch Isabella, won Inter-breed Female Champion at ‘Stars of the Future Show’ in Scotland in 2013. In 2015, one son won Junior Champion and one son won Senior Champion at the ‘Stars of the Future Show’, again in Scotland.

Another notable Champion bred in the herd is Dereskit Ulanda who won the Overall Senior Heifer Calf Championship at the Irish Charolais National Show in 2004, and later sold at the Christmas cracker sale for €11,000 to Philip Marron in Carrickmacross. A son of Ulanda’s was National Champion at the National Charolais Show in 2015 and later sold at the Christmas cracker for €11,000. At the same sale a second son sold for €5,500 and a grandson sold for €5,800.  Another son made €9,200 at the 2014 Christmas Cracker Sale.

Basil has a great love for good cattle of all breeds but Charolais will always be the ‘superior one’.   Basil is regarded as one of the top judges in Ireland and is one of a small number of people to have also judged at major events in France and Scotland.    He served on the Irish Charolais Council for a number of years and he is an active member of the North Eastern Charolais Club where he served as Chairman for 4 years and is the current Vice Chairman of the club.

He worked as a linear scorer for the Charolais Society for two and half years until linear scoring was taken over by the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation whom he has been working with since.

Basil’s hope for the future is that he will continue to be blessed with good health for many years to come and can continue doing what he loves best – breeding Charolais and promoting the breed through the many contacts he has made throughout the years.

Basil long involvement and commitment to the breed and his willingness to share his knowledge with others makes him a very worthy recipient of the Charolais National Hall of Fame Award.

BASIL BOTHWELL, Dereskit, Killeshandra, Co. Cavan receives the Charolais Hall of Fame Award for 2016 from Mairead Lavery, Editor Country Living Magazine