Jimmy The Swede, a history

DCC Ranch e-News #330 - 10-28-23

by Darol Dickinson

Jimmy The Swede, at DCC, in Colorado. We liked his specks, but had no clue this line of colors was a strong genetic factor originating from one animal of the 1920 African import to Europe.

Jimmy The Swede, at DCC, in Colorado. We liked his specks, but had no clue this line of colors was a strong genetic factor originating from one animal of the 1920 African import to Europe.

Jimmy The Swede was born in a Stockholm, Sweden zoo in 1977. Him and a solid red bull were purchased by Jimmy Tarbox of Oklahoma, brought to the USA and quarantined for months in the Harry S. Truman Import Center of Florida. This process cost many thousands of dollars and only for those with great appreciation of rare genetics could afford it. It was the regulation for all zoo animals and livestock coming into the USA breeding herds. Blood was drawn monthly, all kinds of tests were run. If a resident of HST flagged any positive test, the carcass would be burned immediately. In fact every day sanitary methods of scooping fecal material and burning it was standard process. To government inspectors capable of finding bones in animal crackers---there was an hourly hunt for any infectious organisms.

Jimmy Tarbox bought two bulls so in case one was government destroyed, he would have one survivor. When both bulls were clean as a meat axe, he had an extra bull. Knowing of this effort Dickinson Cattle Co (DCC) was able to lease one speckled bull for 2 years. Jimmy kept the red bull.

Prior to the influence of Jimmy The Swede most North American Watusi herds were totally red or only had a few white spots. This is the Rare Animal Survival Center, a major importer, in Ocala, Florida, 1979.

Prior to the influence of Jimmy The Swede most North American Watusi herds were totally red or only had a few white spots. This is the Rare Animal Survival Center, a major importer, in Ocala, Florida, 1979.

Once the speckled bull got to DCC in Colorado, semen was collected and he was introduced to his first Watusi and other horned cow herd. Jimmy was the first Watusi sire for frozen semen collection and was the first to sire calves by embryo transfer.

This age 4 Watusi cow in the DCC herd traces back to Jimmy 6 generations deep. This is now called the "Swede pattern." The word "Jimmy" came from Jimmy Tarbox and of course Sweden was the birth origin.

This age 4 Watusi cow in the DCC herd traces back to Jimmy 6 generations deep. This is now called the "Swede pattern." The word "Jimmy" came from Jimmy Tarbox and of course Sweden was the birth origin.

He sired more Watusi calves than any other Watusi sire in history. His name appears in more registered Watusi pedigrees than any other bull. His signature trait is a distinct line of separation on his progeny that goes from the center of the nose, to the jaw, to the middle of the neck to the middle of the ribs and on to the middle of the hip. This line generally is dark mahogany above the line and white below with mahogany spots. Due to his singular influence about 15% of the registered Watusi in the USA carry this popular color pattern. It is the strongest genetic factor in the USA Watusi herds.

Titan Wolf is an AI sire used for semen export who sires strong Swede color in 3 countries.

Titan Wolf is an AI sire used for semen export who sires strong Swede color in 3 countries.

In 1984 a group of excited Watusi enthusiasts comprised of Don Zavislan  (President) of Pueblo West, Colorado; Darol Dickinson (Vice President), Calhan, Colorado; Marlin Neidhardt, Hebron, North Dakota; Peter Lang, Santa Rosa, California; Bill Lowe, Canon City, Colorado; Emmett Jones, Dobbin, Texas; and Willard Moore, Columbus, Montana became the first Board of Directors of a new organization to become known as the World Watusi Association. The Association was formed to collect records and maintain a stud book of the pedigrees for this rare and unique breed of cattle, as well as to be a promotional force for all those who love these special animals.

This Watusi in Mexico, although not a perfect Swede pattern, sires many progeny with perfect Swedes.

This Watusi in Mexico, although not a perfect Swede pattern, sires many progeny with perfect Swedes.

Although many modern Watusi who don't have the Swede Pattern do in fact possess wild-design African white markings. The whiter spot patterns are commanding attention and top prices, many of which go back to this early foundation citizen of Sweden.

For semen from Jimmy The Swede and other well known Watusi sires check https://www.texaslonghorn.com/inventory/semen/index.cfm?con=watusi