A Word of Praise
"Belties are without any doubt the finest breed in the world."
~ Sir Winston Churchhill, Breeder and Member of the Belted Galloway Society from 1939.
"The Beltie had a sweetness which marked it down as almost perfect beef..."
~Giles MacDonogh., London Financial Times, September 10, 2000
"A great shout was heard coming from the direction of the manor (Chartwell Manor in Kent, Sir Winston Churchill's home). This was from Mr. Churchill...he said it was all right, he was only shouting a welcome to the newly arrived Belties!"
~John Kincaid, Belted Galloway News, January 1964.
"The Galloway undoubtedly has many great qualifications. On poor land they are unrivaled...there is no other breed worth more the pound weight than a first-class Galloway."
~William McCombie - pioneer breeder.
"An ancient breed...A promising future."
~Beltie 2006 Magazine.
"In this colorful world, birds and animals banded with the sharp contrast of black and white always attract attention. The beautiful symmetry of a herd of Belted cattle does more - it commands admiration... And as I draw nearer to the end of the pilgrimage of life...not least among my blessings I count the pleasure I derive from the great love my daughter has for (the herd) and the knowledge I have that she will hold on to her Belties for as long as she is able."
~From: An Illustrated History of Belted Cattle - Lord David Stuart, Former President of the Belted Galloway Cattle Society, 1970.
"Belted Galloways are rare, productive and possess quiet, intelligent dispositions in addition to being 'cute.' They regularly come out on top in carcass competitions.'
~Sandra Keatley (in Cascade Cattleman).
"We've enjoyed sharing the Beltie story with our community and friends...they're known as 'Oreo cattle,' 'Police-car calltle,' 'Texas zebras,' or 'Moonbeam cows' - the last a reference to a beautifully illustrated children's book about Belties."
~Bill and Wilma Craig, CRaigland Farm. N. Carolina (Breeders since 1969).
"So the Gauls who lend their name to the breed (Galloway) may have brought these cattle to Scotland as they fled the Roman invasion (of England) or the Romans themselves may have imported the breed from conquered Gaul. If the Roman army enjoyed the tasty beef of Gaul this would make perfect sense."
Punctuating a ridge of Vermont’s Green Mountains, some eight to eight and one half miles south of Rutland, there’s a nearly vertical upthrust that wears the name of Susie’s Peak.
And wrapped around the entire slope of that mountain, from its base to its summit, are something like 700 undulating acres of meadow, pasture, and woodland that constitute the unfolding dream of Richard C. Anderson.
Its name: Anderson Hill Farm – a piece of rugged yet rich Vermont land that the Andersons have been reclaiming from a state of gradual benign neglect in which they found it 20 years ago.
“Like so much American farm land,” explains Anderson, “our farm had been left to decline over the years. And along with bringing it back, I’ve always loved cows, so I set out to find the right cattle to suit the terrain, and I know we’ve found them.”
Enter The Belted Galloways
Belted Galloways are one of the oldest improved breeds of beef cattle. They originated in the mountainous areas of Southwestern Scotland in the province of Galloway which except for the lack of woods, resembles the hilly Vermont terrain. A hardy breed, they are naturally polled and are distinguished by their thick heavy coats with white belts around the middle. Their heavy coat, consisting of a short undercoat and a shaggy overcoat, not only provides heavy protection in cold and wet weather, but eliminated the need for a thick coat of uneconomic fat under their hides. Galloways, when properly finished, will dress out at 60%-65% of live weight.
Because they are range bred, they are expert foragers, even in severe climates, and require no indoor housing. They are long living, highly resistant to diseases, and have powerful survival instincts. They are also regular breeders and calve easily. And because of the rich milk they produce, their calves do very well. Unlike some breeds which have suffered from outbreeding, the Belted Galloways of today maintain the same pure blood lines of those original cattle which grazed the steep hill pastures of Scotland years ago. They are quiet, docile, and easily handled.
One more thing: “They are really beautiful out there, grazing. And helping me restore the land at the same time,” says Anderson. “I love them.”
And Well He Might. They’re Special
The Anderson Hill herd has impeccable blood lines. The herd started in 1977 when Anderson purchased a bull and several heifers from the Aldermere herd of Mr. A.H. Chafield, Jr., of Rockport, Maine. His second source of original stock were three brood cows that came from the Homestead line in Ohio, one of the country’s oldest.
Then in 1988, Anderson brought over several animals to add to his steadily growing herd. His major purchase was Bolebec Dun Controller, from Mr. Christopher Marler’s Bolbec farm, one of the most prize-winning line of bulls in the British Isles. This bull won the junior championship of the Royal Highland Fair in Edinburgh in June 1988, the only show in which he participated.
His father, Bolebec Dun Champion, was undefeated three-time grand champion of the three most important fairs in the British Isles – the Royal Highland, the Royal, and the Yorkshire.
Bolebec Dun Controller should be particularly noted for his outstanding conformation and type and powerful back quarters, a very important feature of Galloways, sought after by breeders around the world.
Not To Forget The Ladies
In addition, Anderson brought in four heifers from the Boreland herd of Mr. George Sproat of Kirkcudbright, Scotland. This is most likely the oldest foundation herd in Scotland. These animals, all told – and particularly Bolebec Dun Controller – represent an outstanding new infusion of purebred Belted Galloway stock in the United States.
One Final Point
The first calves of Bolebec Dun Controller were dropped in the fall of 1989. The herd now has had numerous crops of offspring form Bolebec Dun Controller and the results have been most favorable: better conformation, powerful and wide hindquarters, better overall balance, and nice heads. Many of Controller’s progeny have won first class awards and now reside in CO, CT, GA, IL, KY, MA, ME, MI, MD, NY, PA, VT, WV, WY, and Alberta, Canada. Semen has been all over the US and even South America.
We welcome inquires from anyone interested in more details about this remarkable herd and will be glad to put you in touch with any of these breeders.
Better still, come over and visit us and see our outstanding herd of Belted Galloways, and see how they’re helping us return the hilly acres of Anderson Hill Farm to their original wild beauty.