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  Summer Wine Dun Dexters –
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How it all began

How it all began

The first dun

It all began with a red cow and a black bull. That may sound odd, but dun Dexters often pop up unexpectedly from such matings. Red Cow (she had a registered name but we always called her simply “Red Cow”), arrived on our property in calf to a black bull – both carrying a goodly share of imported Dexter genes. Because black is dominant over red, we confidently expected a nice purebred black calf.

The expected calving date came and went with no action – Red Cow just got huger and huger – and experienced breeders all told us confidently that it would be a bull – a black bull of course. Well, they were half right!!

Bushmills at four months

With all the perversity (and downright orneriness) of the pregnant female, Red Cow waited until we were out for the day and duly produced the predicted bull – neither black nor red – but a totally unexpected dun. There he was when we arrived home – a gloriously perfect calf, sporting a damp curly coat in a rich shade of brown, tucked safely under his mother’s chin (see photo above). Summer Wine Bushmills had arrived – and we were firmly hooked!!

Celtic designIt was at that moment, that we began to plan for New Zealand’s first dun Dexter herd – not just to have something a bit different, but also to complement our historical and scientific interests. When we told experienced Dexter breeders what we planned, they laughed (perhaps even condescendingly) – a dun Dexter was an anomaly, not something you could produce to order. But this made Bev all the more determined. We persevered.

The rest, as that very clichéd saying goes, is history.   (It wasn’t all smooth going – see Dun and Dunnage).

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