Bulls,  Church,  David,  Fry,  McDowall,  Rotokawa,  Shinn,  Thistle Hill Farm

Sad to report…

…the passing of legendary Devon breeder Ken McDowall of New Zealand. 

Ken McDowall
Photo by Sue Beal

Ken’s Rotokawa bulls were at the center of the great Devon resurgence at the turn of the century.  While there is some dispute over just who “discovered” Ken, there is no doubt it was Gearld Fry and Ridge Shinn who popularized the great Rotokawa bulls in America like 688, 982, 667 and many more.

Eventually Fry, Shinn and a partner brought the entire Rotokawa herd here to the States where they’ve settled in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

Ken was a great friend to Thistle Hill and he spent many days here freely dispensing his breeding wisdom.  I treasure those conversations as I do the many vacations we took together as we introduced he and Pru to the United States.

Grandson Church had gathered a tankful of semen of the Rotokawa stud and in that way Ken will continue to be a key member of the Thistle Hill team.

The Devon breed has lost one of its giants!


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