A limited edition lithographic print. 23 x 15 inches approximately.
The mist hangs in the valley on a late winter's morning as Robert Wales strolls across the meadow to check his herd of Longhorn Cattle. Two cock pheasants are so intent on proving their prowess to each other that they have only just noticed the curious onlookers.
The English Longhorn is a breed anciently associated with the Romans and became the first breed in the mid 1700s to be used by the famous breeder Robert Bakewell. The breed nearly died out in the 1950s, having only two licensed bulls, but was saved by Robert Wales and a few fellow dedicated farmers. The Longhorns are hardy animals who are often kept out all year round and calve in the open without any trouble. They are red-grey-brown or brindled and all animals are white backed.
Mr Robert Wales was a great character and had a fondness for the old, hardy English breeds. He was President of the Longhorn Cattle Society in 1972 and Chairman for much of the 1960s. After his death in 1979, aged 93 he left his farm to the National Conservancy Council as the Robert Wales Memorial Reserve. The farm is situated at Shrewton, near Salisbury Plain, is now run by English Nature (who replaced the National Conservancy Council) and is known as Cherry Lodge Farm – which is where I painted this scene.