Champion Traditional Hereford Bull, Street Talbot
Sire: Albany Lionel. Dam: Westwood Laura 307.
Breed & Interbreed Champion – 3 Counties Rare Breed Show 2004
The Hereford is one of the most important cattle breeds in British livestock history and one of the most widespread and respected breeds in the world; but the Traditional Hereford, parent to the modern Hereford, is now a minority breed.Read more...
The Traditional Hereford is a compact, beefy, short-legged animal. The coat is deep red in colour with white on the belly, brisket, legs, shoulder stripe and tail switch, just like his modern counterpart. Herefords are instantly recognisable by their white face, which has become their trademark. I resolved to track down a Traditional Hereford; so I contacted David Powell, Chairman of the Traditional Hereford Breeders Club, who invited me over to his farm near Much Marcle to see his champion bull, Street Talbot.
David no longer shows Talbot, but coming straight in from the field, I have never seen a more impressive bull! At more than 1¼ tons, his chest was so deep it almost reached the ground. His coat a deep, deep red, beautifully marked with white and the gentlest head, covered in soft creamy white curls. I immediately started taking photographs. Belying his gentle appearance, Talbot was quite a handful, being none too happy at having to stand while I measured and photographed him; he wanted to get back to his girls! As I worked, David casually mentioned that his family have kept Herefords since 1846, when the first herd book was published; I asked if it would be possible to trace Talbot’s ancestry. The herd books were duly consulted and remarkably – Street Talbot turns out to be a direct descendant, through his sire, Albany Lionel, of the Hereford bull sculpted by the famous sculptor, Herbert Haseltine, over 80 years ago, a bull by the name of “Twyford Fairy Boy” of all things!
Working in Clay, I took my time building up Talbot’s impressive bulk, paying particular attention to those deceptively gentle eyes, his wonderful curls, and that massive chest!
He cast beautifully and I gave Pangolin the difficult task of reproducing Talbot’s splendid colour for that first cast. They succeeded and the end result is pure, “Hereford”. I have produced subsequent casts with both that original patina and alternately with a lovely rich brown patina that really shows of his form. I really like them both.