Founded by Alex's grandfather in 1903, Aynho is the second oldest herd in England which has been bred and cared for by The McLaren family for over a hundred years. The herd is part of a traditional mixed farm run by Alex, his brother Charles, and his son James. Alex's other son Alistair has recently emigrated with his family to begin his own herd in Australia.
Alex starting working with his father Ivor in 1962, taking over full responsibility for the cattle in the early 1980's. He embarked on his showing career in 1983, and has been doing so consistently since that time, exhibiting at up to eleven summer shows a year.
He commenced his judging career at Devon County Show in 1991. Since then, he has judged almost thirty shows covering the length and breadth of the British Isles, from Kirriemuir, the Highland Show, Balmoral and the Perth bull sales twice, to the All Ireland Ploughing Match in County Laois, to Cornwall as the most southerly.
Alex has sold most of his stock directly from the farm to both pedigree and commercial customers. There have been many repeat customers in bulls sales, which reflects the consistent quality and standard of the cattle.
In February 2004, the farm achieved their highest ever price for a stock bull at Perth Sales, Aynho Rossiter Eric B125. The bull was sold at auction to Wedderlie and Idvies where his progeny have had some notable influence.
Aynho Aberdeen Angus cattle have been exported to two pedigree breeders in France, Yves Morault in Normandy, and Natalie and Fabrice Lorot
In July 2014, Aynho Pilgrim M792 was judged champion male at the Livestock Event at the NEC Birmingham, continuing to trail blaze the excellent traits of his predecessors.
After almost 15 years working on the family farm in 2014 Alistair left The Aynho Herd and moved out to Australia with his family. He has imported embryos and semen from The Aynho Herd and intends to start an Angus stud in the near future at Dunedoo, New South Wales.
Alistair was actively involved within the Aberdeen-Angus Society in the UK. He was a council member from 2011 – 2014 and an adjudicator for the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme in 2014. In 2004 Alistair won the Society’s Youth Development Programme. Alistair has judged cattle classes at numerous agricultural shows and herd competitions across the UK.
Alistair is looking forward to using the genetics he has from The Aynho Herd as a basis for starting his own herd and becoming involved with the Angus community in Australia.
James has worked on the family farm for the last 11 years. Mainly focusing on the arable side of the business James also takes care of the cattle day to day. James's wife Sarah is now actively invoved with the office work, and their son Joe loves being around the farm.