Monday, August 21, 2017

Dunlouise Herd

Drive 10 minutes from Glamis Castle, the home of the late Queen Mother, and you will come across a farm set just outside the county of Forfar in Angus, Scotland. On this property are a herd of 50 Black Aberdeen Angus cattle, and they look a little different. They’re smaller, stockier, and with a deeper build than you would see in any Canadian herd. Take the time to knock on the door of the farm house and sit down for a cup of tea with Geordie and Julia Soutar, and you’d find out exactly how different this herd is.
In 1995, Geordie started collecting a very specific type of Aberdeen-Angus. Having worked with cattle previously while being employed by an auctioneering company, Geordie took a keen interest in the animals and their long connection to Scotland and his home in Angus. So he and his wife Julia decided to start searching for the few animals left that were of true Scottish heritage, cattle that had never been crossed with their North American counterparts.
In his research, Geordie determined that of 110 original bloodlines, only nine were left that would be of pure stock. Through extensive negotiations and travel throughout the United Kingdom, the Soutars finally managed to create a herd of bona fide Scottish Angus. The lineage of these animals can be traced directly back to iconic names such as Old Jip, Pride of Aberdeen, and Queen Mother. Many of the original sires and dams were bred by Hugh Watson and William McCombie themselves. To this day, all cows are only sired with native bulls, some semen dating as far back as 50 years, and subsequently have created a herd that is as close to the original Aberdeen-Angus cattle in appearance as we will ever get to see. The Dunlouise herd, as the Soutars call it, is named after their two children, Duncan and Louise.
But just because they’re old doesn’t mean they don’t measure up to the cattle we see today. The animals produced from this herd have been praised throughout the world, with many seeing new homes in Germany and North America. Dunlouise Jipsey Earl E161 is one of the most famous, having been inducted into the American Angus Hall of Fame in 2016 with the Pathfinder Award, which is awarded to a bull that has consistently produced heifers that meet the rigid requirements of the breed. A producer in Australia will testify to this, as he has over 900 heifers sired by Jipsey Earl’s sons.
On June 26th 2017, during the World Angus Forum in Scotland, the Soutars had a sale commemorating their 22 years with the herd. There had not been a sale of native Angus cattle like this for more than half a century. The event was highlighted by the sale of Dunlouise Newman S615, who sold to Harrison O’Conner of Montana for $16,000 gns, or more than $26,000 Canadian.
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Post by Kiani Evans