As told by: Hugh Miller/Thistle Ha’.
Photo credit: Argentine Shorthorn Breeders Association.

Tarquinos cattle

Tarquinos cattle

While showing Shorthorns at the International Livestock Show in Chicago one year, Hugh Miller/Thistle Ha’ was introduced to Pedro Laco, Secretary of the Argentine Shorthorn Breeders Association. He remarked that the Miller name was famous in Argentina. Laco said that another John Miller, who “must have been a relative of yours” [debatable, sources differ whether this John Miller came from Scotland or England], sailed up the Río de la Plata in the 1820s with the first pedigreed bull imported into Argentina – a Shorthorn bull named Tarquin. It was at “The Caledonia” ranch near Cañuelas, Buenos Aires that John Miller began crossbreeding Tarquin with native Spanish cattle, resulting in such a remarkable improvement in the quality of the beef that he is considered the founder of the modern beef industry in Argentina.

Laco added that Tarquin had white feet. This proved to be a bad trait on the pampas, since the white hair attracted ticks. Tarquin proved to be so prepotent that it took ten generations to completely eliminate white feet from his “Tarquinos” offspring.