The Sterling herd of Simmentals was founded by Stephen Hitchins in 1979 with the purchase of eight females from the Overbury herd, amongst which were Swiss, German and French lines.
The establishment of the pedigree herd followed the use of Heywood Esquire in the farm’s own commercial herd a year earlier and it was the quality of his crossbred calves that led to the foundation of a pedigree herd.
Three years later the decision was taken to concentrate solely on pedigree breeding; the commercial cattle were phased out and the entire Lindridge Simmental herd was purchased to provide enough females to ensure rapid genetic progress through hard selection of the best progeny.
In the intervening years the herd has been managed on the basis of developing strong maternal lines with the intention of producing long lasting cows and bulls suited to both pedigree and commercial buyers.
A consistent history of top show and sale success has ensured that the Sterling herd name is synonymous with consistent quality, exceptional breed character and type.
Notable show successes over the years include a trio of Burke Trophy wins, with the herd being the only Simmental herd to have won the Burke with two homebred animals, as well as breed and interbreed champions at the Royal Show, Royal Welsh and Royal Highland. Recent years have seen the herd pick up a number of titles at the Simmental National shows too, including reserve breed champion at the English National in 2013, breed champion in 2012 at the English and Scottish National shows and champion at the English National Show in 2010.
Today the herd is overseen by estate manager, Joe Edwards, and managed on a day to day basis by stockman Jimmy McMillan whose attention to detail ensures the herd continues to thrive and excel.
By combining the best available genetics, with excellent stockmanship and critical selection criteria, the Sterling herd aims to produce a modern, high performance Simmental suited to profitable UK beef production.