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All Creatures Great and Greater

November 7, 2006

In this the first installment of our occasional series on famous real-life critters, we begin with Old Hemp, the progenitor of the modern-day Border Collie.

Old Hemp was born way back in 1893 to Roy and Meg of Otterburn, Northumberland, and proved to be quite a sheep herding prodigy at the tender age of one. Old Hemp’s performances at the sheepdog trials* (whose own origins began two decades earlier) were so renowned he went on to sire hundreds of offspring.

The Border Collie work ethic of today owes much to Old Hemp.

(For more about Border Collies, we’d like to recommend this great Dutch website based in Dear Old Grandmum’s own Nieuwegein!)

* You might remember the movie Babe, in which a very brave pig tests his mettle at the sheepdog trial.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. truce permalink
    November 8, 2006 2:05 am

    I wonder whether, when Old Hemp was born in 1893, he was actually known as Young Hemp?

  2. November 8, 2006 4:13 pm

    This was hotly debated in dog circles, we believe. Celebrities, however, tend to control their image down to the minutest details. We may never know.

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