One of Pembrokeshire’s best known Hereford herds has been named as the best in the UK for the second time, in a year when its owners mark 75 years of breeding Herefords at their farm.

The Studdolph herd, founded by George and Ionwy Thorne in the early 1990s and since run with support from their daughter, Non, captured the award after beating herds from seven other UK regions.

It was in 2008 that the herd was first named as the Hereford Cattle Society’s UK Herd of the Year – there were then 35 breeding cows in the herd and now there are 46 with 150 animals in total.

“The award is a great honour for us,’’ says Ionwy, after receiving it at the society’s annual dinner recently.

The judge, a Longhorn breeder, had scored the herd highly on uniformity and docility.

“She wasn’t judging us on a single animal but on the herd as a whole, she liked that the cattle were all looking so well and that they were so quiet,’’ says Ionwy.

That docility comes from regular handing.

So what are the characteristics that make the herd stand out against every other Hereford herd in the UK?

“We try to keep a bit of size, length and type,’’ George explains.

His father, Walter, started breeding Herefords at Studdolph in 1946 before that herd was dispersed in 1979; but the family has stayed loyal to the Hereford for 75 years.

“I don’t know of any better breed,’’ says George. “We hear a lot of praise for Continentals but you can’t handle them like you can the Hereford, we can go out into a field and fetch a cow and a calf with no bother.’’

The herd still has animals from one of the original cow families, Queen, as well as other notable families including Polly and Angela.

The herd has twice captured the top prices at society sales in Shrewsbury this year, with in-calf heifers selling for 5,200 guineas and 4,600 guineas.