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The Swede Pattern -- Famous Ancient Watusi Color Pattern
by Darol Dickinson, Dickinson Cattle Co, LLC Barnesville, Ohio USA
Jimmie the Swede was a full blood Watusi imported to the USA from the Stockholm Zoo in Sweden by Jimmy Tarbox of Oklahoma. He was the first Watusi available in North America in frozen semen, the first to sire a Watusi embryo transfer and appears in the most pedigrees of any Watusi sire this side of Africa. Although he has been replaced by modern bulls with more horn, he left his "Swedish Pattern" color in Mexico, Canada and in between.
The famous unique "Swedish Pattern" was unlike all other Watusi imported to the USA. One can draw a line from the center of the nose to the center of the neck, on back down the middle of the side and to the center of the hip. The Swede Pattern will be dark above that line and white with variations of spots below the line. When he first arrived at Dickinson Cattle Co in Colorado none had any idea of the strength of this pattern, nor the fact it did not appear on any other cattle breed, unless it came from Jimmy The Swede or out of Swedish Watusi.
Keezena traces to Jimmy The Swede 4 generations back and the Swede Pattern line runs right down her middle. I have traced this pattern through cattle breeds in Africa and only found one African source of this pattern. Obviously Jimmy The Swede's ancestors came from that one lineage. The pattern came through Sweden. Reliable sources say other Watusi from the Sweden blood beside JTS also have had some USA influence perpetuating this color. Some call it a "paint drip" color.
The first embryo transfer full blood Watusi, sired by JTS had the horizontal spot pattern line with the solid upper body color.
Don't be surprised to see this color on bucking bulls in PBR. Some of the JTS down-line progeny have exhibited some determined athletic abilities to buck high as a kite and be nasty as a lame-duck politician.
This cow from Liars Lake is a grand daughter of JTS with the Swede line and so is her calf. The calf line is lower than the average JTS pattern, but unmistakable.
Afro traces 4 generations back to JTS. She sports the family stamp slightly higher than most.
Of all wild cattle colors of a zillion different tones and patterns the Swede Pattern is unmistakable. It has never been identified on any critter that did not trace back to JTS. It is African in origin, a minority color carried by a tiny genetic family of cattle who rode out of Africa in crates nearly 100 years ago, came across the Atlantic and now can be seen in 3 North American countries. When you see it you will know it.