Doherty 698 ~~ She is most famous for being the dam of two Texas Longhorn legendary sires, Phenomenon and Overwhelmer. Yet, there is a lot more to her story.
In the early seventies Memphis Zoo acquired a specimen group of Texas Longhorn cattle. In those days TL cattle could be found in most big zoos.
As the Ohio coal strip mining land was reclaimed, it was an experiment in land recovery to profitable use. The Consol Coal Co. of Cadiz, Ohio decided Texas Longhorns were the ideal critter to graze the Appalachian hills and harvest the lush grasses and wild brush. George Cobb was herd manager for Consol and read an ad about Memphis Zoo having 5 TL cows and calves for sale. George was accumulating a sizable herd for this huge coal company that owned over 60,000 acres. He had bought 4 adult herd sires from Frank Doherty of Fort Scott, Kansas. One bull from Doherty was Senor Mulege. One of the cows he added to the herd was Wright 480 from Memphis. Is a bell starting to ring?
Frank Doherty struggled with naming cattle. Him and Brownie dreaded naming their registered TL cattle. To shorten the turmoil time he would put an ID brand number on them and their name would be Doherty plus their number. One year he named them after states - Miss Arizona, Miss Kansas, etc. Then when he ran out of states, daughters were named Miss Phoenix, Miss Dodge City, etc.
As the Consol herd begin to grow Frank kept touch with George Cobb. Some of the Consol herd struck Frank's fancy and he bought several in the late seventies. A large part of his foundation herd came from the hills of Ohio. A heifer was born on 3-15-77 sired by Senor Mulege out of Wright 489 and he named her Doherty 698.
I tried every way possible to buy Doherty 698. It never happened. She had 44.5" T2T which was something like a record about 1979. At one time she weighed 1370 lbs which was very large for the TL breed back then, adding a lot of size to the breed. Her Wright bred dam was almost as large. She had a wild shaped shield in her upper forehead which was often a beauty mark on her progeny.
In the early eighties our family developed an extensive embryo transfer program in Colorado. In 1978 the first side squeeze horizontal chute was designed for Texas Longhorns to safely hold donor cows. (Since then several side squeeze chutes have been patterned from that original chute.) A specimen herd of donor cows was collected totaling 86 of the best of the best TL cows. I could not buy all these cows so most were on a 50/50 deal. I did all the embryo work, paid the vet bills, and the owners of the cows split the resulting pregnant recips with DCCI. To get Doherty 698 in the program Frank demanded 2/3 of the pregs and he also wanted several other cows in on the 50/50 deal that I did not want. I did it all for Doherty 698.
Doherty 698, Rose Red and Ranger's Measles produced the most valued pregnancies. Some of these were pre-sold for $10,000 to $12,000 each. Those 3 cows produced over 110 embryo calves. Although Frank got 2/3 of the pregnant recips, I got Phenomenon and Overwhelmer. I believe there were full brothers to both of these bulls that were possibly better, but were sold out to hands not experienced in breeding and marketing. They just melted into the vast TL world and went away.
Doherty 698 produced 44 embryo calves in a little over 2 years. We did not have the great bulls back then, nor was there any track record of her successful produce. She was flushed to 11 different bulls always hunting the right matings. She was so fertile all 44 were produced by the time her first flushes were weaned. They were by Texas Ranger, Don Abraham, Bold Ruler, Superior, Cowcatcher, Rangers Ranch Hand, Rural Delivery, Measles Super Ranger, King, Classic and Classic Mac. With few exceptions, she produced the best progeny ever for each of those bulls. She took the breed up to the next level almost totally a result of embryo transfer.
As it was obvious about the great production of Doherty 698, Frank and I decided to syndicate her. We offered interests for $20,000 each. Wayne Rumley, who was the main interest in Tri-W Ranch of Tulsa had bought a half dozen or so Doherty embryo calves. He loved this cow. The syndicate was promptly sold out to Wayne Rumley, Bill Atherton, Wes Hill and Lane Mayberry for $120,000.
Although many today did not get to see this wonderful influential cow nearly everyone owns TL cattle who trace back to her. She is found in the pedigrees of Phenomenon, Shadow Jubilee, RM Miss Kitty, Overwhelmer, Dixie Ruler, Emperor, Hunts Command Respect, Over Lynn, Respect Me, Top Caliber, Auze EOT, Working Woman, Clear Win, Rodeo Max, Tempter, Drag Iron, Lazy J Bowhunter, Over Kill, The Shadow, Eternal Diamond and a cast of thousands. This all started right next to the elephant pen at Memphis Zoo.