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The Beginning
The Present
The Future

Hampton Downs is not just a prefix; it definitely is a programme, a programme born out of necessity and desperation.
For a number of years we used Simmental bulls for producing weaners for the weaner fairs, always topping the sales, no matter where we sold.
The Hampton Downs Simmental stud was established in 1987 with the acquisition of a small herd of purebred in calf cows. Calving those cows down that first spring was not much short of a disaster, with dead cows, dead calves, paralysed cows, caesarean sections, vet pulls that we couldn't pull and just two cows calving down unassisted. Some of the calves were big, too big.
This was long before the days of Breedplan or the Internet, and in the days when "anything went".
We concluded that if this was what breeding seed stock was all about then there must have been many breeders that had got it wrong. We concluded that someone had to get it right. It could have been so easy to have simply given it all away.
What was the problem?
We had been around calving cows for years and so were not without experience. What did we have to do? Where could we turn for advice?
We turned to North America. We very quickly tuned into genetic trait recording as undertaken by the Americans and learned of the genetic inheritance of the traits that they recorded at that time. We especially tuned into the birth weight trait, this trait we learned was highly heritable.
We obtained semen of a low birthweight bull that season, used him over what was left of the cows we acquired, and we were away. All of those cows calved the next season sight unseen. That the bull was also homozygous polled was a "bonus".
Our mission was then defined, "To breed bulls that would ensure as many live calves born as possible, without losing sight of the maternal strengths and the growth potential that the breed offered".
We would also concentrate on breeding polled cattle.