PERTH — Shane Reid was especially delighted at the performance of an American-born Black Angus yearling — Buchanan’s Bruno — in the ring at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto this past November.
Reid — Bruno’s co-owner — watched as the animal, which he purchased stateside several months earlier, was recognized as Supreme Bull in the Royal’s post-pandemic return.
It was Reid’s first time having a winner at the Royal — in this case shown by co-owner Billy Elmhirst of Indian River on his behalf.
A Perth-area home builder when not pursuing his passion as an Angus breeder, Reid, 42, said he bought the bull as a five-hundred-pounder in November 2021 from his friend Scott Buchanan in Virginia. The promising young animal grew up quickly once brought back to Reid’s Lanark County farm — Rolling Meadows Cattle Co. — at the end of 2021.
“This bull was … a once-in-lifetime kind of deal,” Reid said, declining to disclose how much he paid for Bruno, though he credited his “good friend” Buchanan for giving him a bargain. “I didn’t pay near enough for him, I’ll tell you that,” he said.
The bull is likely worth much more money today after winning the Royal and could be valued at $50,000 to $60,000 or more.
Reid noted that Bruno’s ultimate worth will depend on how well he produces adequate semen that survives freezing. A promising bull that falls down on that duty could quickly become a $2,000 animal, he pointed out. But a big star could make hundreds of thousands of dollars on semen sales.
Bruno has since returned to the U.S. and competed Jan. 4 at the Cattlemen’s Congress show in Oklahoma City, where he finished second in the Angus yearling bull class. A follow-up appearance is possible in Denver. His Canadian owners are watching the American show results with great interest.
Reid grew up on a beef farm and briefly left the industry as a young man to pursue training as a carpenter. Once established in that trade, he returned to raising Angus cattle as a secondary pursuit at age 25 and bought his own farm. Today he keeps a herd of 75, mostly females, with sales divided between commercial buyers and buyers looking for show cattle.
“This is what I grew up doing before I entered the workforce,” he said, explaining what drew him back to raising cattle while working as a contractor.
“I wish I could make $100,000 or $200,000 farming every year. I would probably sell my carpentry business,” he quipped. “The cattle are where my heart is.”
He also showed a couple of cattle under his own name at the Royal in 2022. Though he didn’t show regularly in Toronto before, expect to see entries from Rolling Meadows Cattle Co every year from now on, he said.