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  • Writer's pictureWill Barzu


The Shorthorn is red, red-and-white or white-and-roan. This particular roan colour is a mixture of red and white and is found in no other cattle breed. They are horned and polled.

The shorthorn has evolved over 200 years from the Durham and Teeswater cattle of north-east England. In the late 1700s, the Colling brothers improved these two breeds using the techniques which Robert Bakewell developed.

In 1783, Charles Colling acquired four cows and at this time became aware of superior calves at a local market. these calves were bred from a bull called Hubback which Colling bought for £8. This shrewd move led to the birth of a bull named Comet in 1804 which Colling sold six years later for 1,000 guineas. This was the first recorded 1,000 guinea bull.

In the early 20th century the Shorthorn was a dual-purpose breed, but specialisation for milk and beef led to the breeders starting separate societies for milk and beef herds.

Native to

The north-east of England

Now found

Throughout the British Isles and most major continents

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