One of Limousin’s genuine characters in Terry Chappell passed away peacefully on 4 January after a long illness. His service was attended by over 600 people including a number of past and present Limousin breeders. Warrick James gave a moving eulogy of Terry’s involvement with the breed over 40 years.
Terry tried his hand at various forms of farming including sheep and crop (didn’t like either), dairy (Jersey), pig (Landrace), cattle (Limousin. Murray Grey, Piedmontese and Hereford), and goats (Angora & Boer). He was entrepreneurial and always prepared to try new ventures particularly in his younger days.
In 1973 the NZ Government allowed the live importation of 10 Limousin heifers from France. Terry & his wife Jenifer joined forces with John Tavendale and formed the Tuarua Partnership. They secured the right to purchase two heifers from this first shipment in ‘Irma’ and ‘Ideale’.
Irma was successfully flushed resulting in 24 ‘A’ grade embryos transferred surgically to recipients. The result was 16 calves which was a world record at the time for a single flush (see photo below). Many of these calves were sold to Australian interests.
When the Tuarua Partnership ceased Terry and Jenifer started their own stud, Killkerry. His two favourite cows were his beloved Mitchfield Sally and Killkerry Dolly who he successfully showed. Having shown Landrace pigs for many years Terry knew what was expected and his cattle were always well-prepared. At one point he took 17 adult cows to the Canterbury A&P Show which was a remarkable achievement! At the 1988 Canterbury Show he won the Interbreed Cow & Calf and was then placed second in the Meat and Wool Cup with Sally and Dolly as calf-at-foot.
The Killkerry cattle pens were always a place of great hospitality. They were known for their beer and great company. Returning home from one Show, Terry walked a young bull called “Barney” into the Dunsandel Hotel much to the surprise of the patrons!
When a visiting French Rugby Team was to play at Lancaster Park Terry lobbied the Rugby Union to lead the French team with Barney onto the field, but the politics within the organisation unfortunately wouldn’t allow it.
In the mid-1980s Terry partnered with a company called “Agricola” and exported a number of heifers to Benalla in Victoria. These were used as donors in an ET programme to capture the inexhaustible Australian demand for full French genetics. After flushing, three of these donors sold for a staggering $22,000 each and all progeny sold for top prices. It was a very successful venture.
Terry and Jenifer attended many National Conferences over the years. As the evening social events wore on Terry’s love of music always came to the fore and out would come the Bongo Drums and spoons much to everyone’s delight!
They attended many World Limousin Conferences together including New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, and Ireland. No prizes for guessing which was his favourite!
Terry received life membership of the Limousin Beef Breeders Society of New Zealand in 2011 after almost 40 years’ involvement with Limousin cattle.
Terry lived a full and exciting life. The Limousin World was fortunate and privileged to have been a part of it. Rest well old friend.