There’s something unique about the Speckle Park cattle breed that’s catching attention in Canada and around the world.
Canadian Western Agribition hosted the largest Canadian Speckle Park show in the breed’s history last week, according to the business manager for the Canadian Speckle Park Association. Over 70 head participated in the Canadian Speckle Park National Show in Regina on November 25.
In the video above, Rod Remin explains how the Speckle Park breed originated near Maidstone, Saskatchewan in the late ’50s when Angus cattle and Appaloosa horse breeders Eileen and Bill Lamont bought a speckled heifer from Mary Lindsay of Greenstreet, Saskatchewan. Interest in the novel-looking animals continued to grow, with Speckle Park receiving “distinct breed” status in 2006.
“4-H kids have been really great for promoting this breed. Grandpa buys the kid a Speckle steer and the next thing is they have a Speckle heifer and it’s only a few years before they start breeding more,” notes Remin.
While Speckle Park animals carry many of the efficiency and meat quality traits of Angus cattle, their distinct, eye-catching appearance makes them unique.
Both parts of the name chosen by
Bill and Eileen Lamont refer to the
animals’ colour pattern:
“Speckle” because of the spots and
“Park” because some Speckle Park
have the British “white park” colour
pattern — a white body with
coloured points on the ears, eyes,
muzzle, lower legs and teats.
“My personal opinion is if you did a DNA test to determine the breed it would come out Angus. That’s how important Angus are to us,” he explains.
Speckle Park genetics have spread to the U.S., England, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia: “Australia probably has more Speckle Park than Canada has,” notes Remin.
The breed is also moving beyond the purebred breeder and 4-H show level, with commercial producers appreciating Speckle Park characteristics, he says.
“We’re topping feeder sales. Not large numbers, but topping the sales because of the quality of the animals, their efficiency, and most importantly, the quality of the carcass.”