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What colour is dun?

Dun Dexters in history

Summer Wine

How it all began

The Ladies’ Man

The Ladies themselves

What’s in a name?

Where to now?

Getting in touch

Knocker for Next

  Summer Wine Dun Dexters –
bos emblem

The Summer Wine Stud

The Summer Wine Stud

Summer Wine      Bev (Beverley McCulloch) and I (Michael Trotter) retired from work at Canterbury Museum at the end of 1995, and set up a ten-acre (about four-and-a-half hectares) smallholding of rather nice, easily managed, pasture land in North Canterbury, in the South Island of New Zealand.Celtic design by Howard Oliver We had both been brought up in the country so after half a lifetime working with historic objects indoors we looked forward to enjoying conserving historic animals outdoors – not all that much different really!!

      (If you don’t know where New Zealand is, it’s a small self-governing country in the South Pacific, lying on the eastern side of the Tasman sea nearly 2000 kilometres (1200 miles) south-east of Australia Map of World showing New Zealand – we’ve marked it clearly on the accompanying map – and no, we are not part of Australia – we’re the place they made Lord of the Rings.)

      We named our property “Summer Wine” to convey the idea that we were not in the autumn of our lives but the summer (even though it may be the last of the summer). Some people have taken the name too literally and thought we owned a vinyard!

Border Collie       We started off with some Dorset Horn sheep – a rare breed – which we eventually were able to register as the Summer Wine Stud. (As we grew older and sheep care became more difficult, our Dorsets were dispersed to Ashburton, Palmerston North and elsewhere.) We also kept Arapawa goats, Orpington chooks, an assortment of bantams, ducks, a dog or two and a farm cat.

      We got into Dexters in 1997 when Bev was writing a series of articles on rare breeds of livestock for a country magazine, Growing Today, and fell in love with some Dexters that she was writing about. Back then we had not heard of dun Dexters – our first animals were black.

      Besides running our smallholding, we did a lot of writing and editing, scads of computer and website work, a spot of playing the Celtic harp, and archaeological consulting – just to keep our hand in (and to keep the coffers topped up!). In our spare time we read (mostly fiction) and researched.

Prehistoric Aurochs cave painting

      Sadly, Bev died of cancer in March 2006, and although I have tried to keep all aspects of Summer Wine going, a lot of our plans had to be curtailed. A book that we were writing at the time, Rare Breeds of Heritage Livestock in New Zealand, was not published until several years after Bev’s death.

— Michael

[By the way, our Summer Wine emblem (as featured at top right on all these pages) is a representation of the prehistoric European cave painting of an Aurochs bull shown here on the right. The Aurochs was the progenitor of all our Western breeds of cattle, and the Dexter was a direct descendant. It represents our twin interests in archaeology and historical livestock.]

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