Our objectives in breeding Shorthorn cattle remain as they were when we set out 30 years ago. We chose the Shorthorn because we thought there was a place for an attractive functional pure bred beef suckler cow that would produce the best quality beef from the farming environment without the need for expensive inputs of feed or labour.
The reason for chosing a breed rather than a cross breed or hybrid was to accept the challenge of developing a type of cow that was from the word go adapted to the farm environment. The whole point of pedigree breeding is to breed a degree of consistency and predictability into the herd whilst maintaining enough genetic diversity to avoid the dangers that inevitably arise from narrowing the genetic base too much The Shorthorn family of breeds is fortunate in that there remains a diversity of genetic types that may be used whilst retaining some Shorthorn characteristics. Thus we used Northern Dairy Shorthorns as foundation stock, we used a Maine Anjou bull 20 years ago and on occasions we have drawn on Australian and American breeding to supplement our bloodlines. We believe very strongly that breeds must continue to adapt to environmental and economic requirements and we were thus strong supporters of those breeders who saved the Beef Shorthorn in the 1980's by careful and considered use of the Maine Anjou, a French breed that was developed from importations of Durham Shorthorns into France in the 19th century.
Our cattle now retain he bone and ruggedness that Shorthorns of the 19th century were known for, and that was lost in the late 20th century. We have managed to maintain a degree of soft fleshing that is so important for beef quality and finishing. And we have a herd of cows that not only look attractive but perform the essentials without fuss or bother. They are docile, fertile, easy calving, milky and active grazers. In addition most are naturally polled. We intend to continue breeding and refining our cattle along the same basic lines as when we started out.