An Enthusiastic Crowd Inspects Millhills Comet

An Enthusiastic Crowd Inspects Millhills Comet


An event of unusual interest took place at the farm of J. J. Elliot, Guelph on Wednesday June 9, when upwards of six hundred farmers and city people gathered to inspect Millhills Comet, the $34,000 Shorthorn bull and to do honour to his owner who showed faith in the livestock industry of Canada by paying this record price for a herd sire and taking the risk of bringing him across the Atlantic. It marked a new epoch in the livestock industry of Canada, especially in the Shorthorn fraternity. After seeing this thirteen-months-old calf, we do not wonder at there being a keen bidding contest at the Millhills sale, and Canadian Shorthorn breeders are rejoicing that it was a Colonial who was able to outbid the Argentine and British breeders and secure this richly-bred, ideal type of animal to use on Canadian herds. It is the first time that a Canadian Shorthorn breeder has felt justified in paying such a price for a herd sire; in fact, the price has not been equalled in the Old Land. He is a roan calf of very pleasing appearance, and with wonderful character shown throughout. His top line is straight and his underline runs parallel with it. Seldom does one see a calf with the spread and depth or rib and the let-down at both flanks, as is Millhills Comet. There is indication of great constitution, splendid capacity and outstanding beefing qualities. If he stamps his individuality upon his offspring, the good which his blood will do in the Shorthorn herds of Canada will be inestimable. Along with this calf, Mr. Elliott imported a herd of choice breeding females of excellent quality and conformation, rich in the blood of famous Old Country herds. These females, mated with the imported herd sire, should leave progeny which will be in great demand by breeders from Coast to Coast. Mr. Elliott was assisted in the selection of these animals by his herdsman, Alex Bruce.

The celebration on Wednesday afternoon was arranged for by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Guelph Fat Stock Club, and the Guelph U.F.O. Club. After the herd had been inspected, the large crowd gathered in the orchard and listened with interest to addresses from several prominent live-stock men. C. L. Nelles, President of the Guelph Fat Stock Club, presided over the meeting, and after a few words of an introductory nature called on Dr. Tolmie, Minister of Agriculture for Canada. Dr. Tolmie congratulated Mr. Elliott on the evidence he had shown of his confidence in the future of the live stock industry of Canada, and contended that the paying of this record price for an animal or record quality had done more to advertise the Canadian live stock industry than any previous event. The Minister felt confident that the progeny of this bull going to herds throughout Canada would mean a good deal to the industry. Reference was made to the commercial cattle trade, and Dr. Tolmie regretted that after years of breeding quite a percentage of cattle going on to our markets were unfit for export trade. If these animals had been conditioned they would have weighed a good deal more and have brought a higher price on the market. It was believed that improving the quality of the stock would immensely increase the revenue to agriculture. It was by using outstanding sires that the quality of commercial cattle would eventually be improved. The stockmen were assured by Dr. Tolmie that he would do his utmost to secure the best markets available and to get a removal of the embargo against cattle going to England, as it has been plainly demonstrated that Canadian stock is freer from such troubles as foot and mouth disease and pleuropneumonia than stock in any other part of the world. The Ontario Veterinary College was eulogized for the work it is doing in training men to help control the animal diseases in this country.The Ontario Agricultural College and the Guelph Fat Stock Club were referred to as valuable institutions for the building up of the live stock industry. With its vast resources, Canada is no place for the pessimist, said Dr. Tolmie.

Honourable Hugh Guthrie, member for South Wellington, was the next speaker and made reference to the place which Wellington County occupied as a producer of high-class live stock, and though it very fitting that it should be a Wellington County breeder who would bring the highest priced Shorthorn to the Dominion. The Fat Stock Club of Guelph was given credit for stimulating an interest in better stock in the country. At this stage in the program the speaker presented Mr. Elliott with a gold watch as a token of the appreciation of those present in the gathering for the interest he had taken in the improvement of the breeding stock of the country.

Dr. Grisdale, in a brief address, referred to what the pioneer breeders of Canada had done in building up an industry second to none in the country. Breeders of both pure-bred and commercial cattle were advised to so that our cattle might take first place on any market. H. S. Arkell, Live Stock Commissioner, made reference to the fact that Millhills Comet sold for the highest price ever paid for a Shorthorn in Great Britain, and that Mr. Duthie--that famous, world-wide known breeder of Shorthorns--had not received nor yet paid a price equal to this. The best breeding stock of Great Britain has been eagerly sought after by Argentine breeders, but in this case one of the best was secured by a Canadian.

The purchase of this bull by Mr. Elliott is of particular interest to Shorthorn breeders. Millhills comet was calved on April 20, 1919, and is sired by Cupbearer of Collynie. He was bred by Mrs. Stewart, of Millhills. The following gives an idea of his breeding.

Dam Sire Breeder
Clipper Princess Aldbro Scottish Prince T. B. Earle
Clipper Hope Winning Hope R. Bruce
Christabel Crystal Star A. M. Gordon
Christina Touchstone A. Cruickshank
Zoe Dr. A. Duff J. Williamson
Mercy Lord Mayor A. Longmore
Charity 2nd Scotland’s Pride A. Cruickshank
Chastity Lord Raglan M. S. Stewart
Charlotte The Baron R. Chaloner
Clipper Billy Captain Barclay

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture