Champion Highland Bull, Crubach Of Redrullion
Sire: Lord Montagu of Old Greenlaw. Dam: Jean 5th of Rigg.
Male Breed Champion – East of England Show 2005
Breed Champion – East of England Show 2006 & 2007
Male Breed Champion – Great Yorkshire Show 2006 & 2007
Male Breed Champion – Royal Show 2004, 2005 & 2007
Breed Champion – Royal Show 2006
Another breed from my childhood is the Highland. Highland cattle were a common sight in the North of England, where I grew up, and I love to see them. They are a gift to any artist with their shaggy coats and characterful faces, so it was an easy decision to include at least one in British Champion Animals.
As soon as I started looking for a champion Highland, one bull stood out – Crubach of Redrullion. Crubach, or Cruby for short, has won over 30 championships, more than any other bull I know. Even better [from the point of view of someone living in Devon] I did not have to travel to Scotland to see him. Crubach was in Derbyshire, near my wife’s family; so the next time we visited my in-laws I went over to see him.Read more...
Although I originally intended to produce a large sculpture of Crubach in show condition for Champion Animals, this was not possible, because Cruby’s owner, John Price, had died at the end of 2007 and out of respect, his co-owner, Peter Edwards, chose not to show Crubach in 2008, which was when I saw him. During the 2009 show season Crubach went lame – so again, I was not able to catch him in championship form and he is now too old. However I had taken excellent photographs of Crubach during my 2008 visit and decided to produce a smaller study in wax showing him in his shaggy winter coat instead. It is a very different piece to the one originally planned, but the resulting bronze turned out very well; showing Cruby in more relaxed mood.
Highland cattle have a long and distinguished ancestry, stretching back as early as the 6th C in the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland. One of Britain’s most distinctive and best known breeds, with its long, thick coat of red-gold or black hair and sweeping horns, the Highlander has remained largely unchanged for centuries. As you would expect, they are a hardy breed, good natured and able to thrive under the toughest conditions.
I have now sculpted a second Highland – BBC Countryfile’s famous Highland bull, “Eric“, owned by Adam Henson.
This piece is dedicated to the memory of Mr J. S. Price, who took great pride in his beloved champion.