The Ardlea and Elite Limousin herds are based in Mountrath in County Laois. The pedigree herd consists of 110 females, Ardlea Herd, while running in parallel is the Elite herd which consists of 90 females which is an embryo herd. An outstanding herd of 100 Limousin X commercial cows make up the remaining breeding females. Our herd is grazed over 780 acres of lush Laois farmland in the townlands of Ardlea, Colt and Aughaboo.
Father and son team Dan and Edward Tynan are the founders of these great herds. Their vision combined with the tremendous drive and enthusiasm of their staff lead by Kevin Bohan, Paddy Fitzpatrick and Keith Murphy have built the Ardlea/Elite herds into the dynamic success they are in the Irish cattle breeding arena.
Dan saw great potential in the breed and therefore in 1994 the Ardlea/Elite Herds were founded with the importation of 12 females from France. Later that year Seamus Cody and Mac Murphy returned to France and purchased 12 more females. In 1995 Irish bloodlines were also secured including a Grange Balerno heifer from Ray Carolan – Carwin Isabel and some Filsdaida heifers from the Luttrellstown herd. A return trip later to France later that year resulted in the purchase of 11 more heifers along with a visit to the Lanaud Test station where two stock bulls were acquired. These two bulls – Justicer (S019) a Guignol son and Junior (S018) a Domino son, left an enduring legacy on the herd.
The herd commenced showing in summer of 1995 and enjoyed considerable success including Luttrellstown Helena taking the Reserve Champion crown at the Ploughing Championships in Ballacolla and Justicer taking the Reserve Male Champion. In 1996 Luttrellstown Hazel and her heifer calf Ardlea Lucia were shown at Balmoral where they won the Junior Cow class.
The homebred Lino daughter Ardlea Tammy is regarded as one of the herd’s outstanding success stories. At the 17th National Limousin show she was crowned Limousin Champion. This win added to her other successes in her illustrious show career including Senior Female of the Year 2005, Junior Female Champion at European Show in Paris 2005, Female Champion & Reserve Overall Limousin Champion at National Livestock Show in Tullamore 2005. Tammy was sold for €40,000 in 2006 to the Ironstone herd. Also in 2006 a young heifer Ardlea Anable was crowned Overall Limousin Champion at the National Livestock show.
In 2009 Reserve Junior Female Champion at the National Limousin show went to Ardlea Danna.
In 2010 the Reserve Male Champion was won by Casimir a French bred bull imported by the Ardlea herd. Also this year at the All Ireland Heifer Derby top spot went to Ardlea Electra.
In 2010 Ardlea Donna won the Limousin Senior Heifer Championship at the National Livestock show.
In 2011 also at the National Livestock show the Overall and Reserve champion awards went two homebred heifers Ardlea Electra and Elite Forever Free ET.
In 2012 National Livestock Show Limousin Female Reserve Champion: Ardlea Enebelle.
National Limousin Heifer born between 01.07.2010 and 31.03.2011: Elite Forever 1 ET.
National All Ireland Limousin Heifer born on/between 15.08.2011 and 31.10.2011: Elite Gisele ET.
Also in 2012 at the National Limousin Heifer Championships held at Virginia show the National Senior heifer class born on/between 01/01/2010 and 31/08/2010 went to Clonmack Fleur (a heifer purchased by Dan) took first place, while in the Intermediate Heifer class born on/between 01/09/10 and 31/12/2010 first place went to Elite Forever Free ET.
2012 All Ireland Derby – Heifers Born on or after the 1st of July 2011 – first Elite Gisele ET.
In 2013 Elite Hope ET took the plaudits of Reserve Supreme Champion.
2014 Reserve Supreme Champion was Elite Hostess ET.
2015 Reserve Overall Limousin Female Champion went to another heifer acquired by the herd – Whitehall Iris.
Junior Limousin Female Champion was Elite Jeanette ET.
National Limousin Junior Cow in calf or in milk. Born on/after 01/01/2012 Elite Hostess ET.
To-date cattle born into the herd and purchased by the team at Ardlea continue to enjoy success in both the sale and show rings. Aside from those listed above: Carwin Hillery, Elite Forever 1 ET, Elite Forever Free ET, Elite Galway ET, Elite Hostess ET, Elite Hazel ET and Ardlea Grace along with many others have been triumphant in Show rings the length and breadth of the country.
In 2012 the decision was made to commence breeding a commercial herd to produce homebred females for the recipient’s, while also illustrating the type of cattle that can be bred using Limousin genetics. These cattle are the showcase for our herd in the commercial scene. A number of these animals have gone on to be shown very successfully in the commercial arena.
The herd has left a huge footprint on the Irish Limousin genetic landscape by sourcing top genetics and allowing these bulls to be used in AI to the huge benefit of other breeders. These bulls include Ferry, Lino, Vison, Emerson, Tistou, Aultside Hulk, Goldies Informer, Bouffy, Henzo and Casimir.
Several homebred bulls are available through AI stations, these include Ardlea UBoy, Ardlea Dan, Elite Popsi Et, Elite Abel Et, Elite Erasmus Et, Elite Flag ET and most recently Elite Ice Cream Et.
Down through the years the farm has held some very successful production sales. For many these sales were the venue for their foundation Limousin stock. Many of the cattle produced here have been exported to Northern Ireland and the UK to such herds as the Brontemoor, Greeba, Ironstone, Andjo, Cresswell, Moorhead, Tullymoyle, Lismoyle, Sloughpool and Briarfield to name but a few.
The herd plans to keep developing the breed, breeding sustainable cattle that are cost productive, profitable and manageable.