The History of the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig – Part II

The Beginning of the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig

In 1976 Mr Andrew Sheppy purchased two gilts from Derek Dunstan in Doncaster one called Sarah (a name choosen out of family tradition) and the other Susie, who produced the Cobthorn Alexander.

There was no serious recognition of the breed at the time. Finding a boar to breed from in these early days was, as Mr Sheppy described as “being near to impossible”. So pigs were bred within that family group. Therefore, Cobthorn Alexander was put back to his mother (Susie) and his sister (Sarah) and after several generations and careful selection the famous Cobthorn Alexander Brigadier III was born.

The next steps was to try and grow the herd and bring in new blood. Breeding of the Oxford Sandy and Black pigs continued at Cobthorn with the original bloodlines until 1982. However, in the September of 1982 Mr Sheppy purchased six sows from Bob Brickell’s Chasewoods herd, which were in Oxfordshire. The lines were Chasewoods Princess, Chasewoods Duchess and Chasewoods Lovely Lady. Chasewoods Princess had litter sizes of 20 and 22. After awhile the Princess line could not be put back into pig, which was a great shame for the breed.

As the years rolled on Mr Sheppy needed to get the breed recognised as with no Herdbook (recording the bloodlines and breeding) the RBST and other Associations would not give the recognition that the breed deserved so with the help of Steve Kimmins, Geoffrey Cloak, and Kath Blackwell the first herdbook Volume One was produced in 1985.

Tomorrow we will discuss the Breeding programme

Footnote: On the 26 March 2016 the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig Group was very honoured to have Mr Andrew Sheppy FLS .entertaining us with his knowledge of the breed that stemmed some 40 years! Mr Sheppy, together with volunteers, ran The Cobthorn Trust, which was a charity dedicated to critical genetic and biodiversity conservation work. Cobthorn Farm was Mr Sheppy home which had been in his family for over 200 years.

All information on the series of The History of The Oxford Sandy and Black Pig was directly shared and given to Kim Brook by Mr Sheppy. This information was also shared at a talk Mr Sheppy attended by invitation of the #OSBPigGroup in March 2016.

Photos: at source Front Cover of Volume 1 Official Herdbook. Drawing depicting breed standard conformation of an #OSBPig


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