Eagleridge Dexter Herd

About Eagleridge Dexter Herd.

Hello my name is Ann Gates and live on a small holding in North Yorkshire. As a farmers daughter although I moved away from farming I had always kept horses and in 1988 I purchased my first Dexter’s to join my two horses as alternative field grazers.

Anyone who keeps horses will know they are selective graziers and eventually the grazing deteriorates, if its not rotated with other livestock. My original purchase of a cow and calf hooked me on the breed and my love affair with Dexters began.

Sadly the horses have gone to the big place in the sky and I have not replaced them.

My main interest is with the non-short Dexter’s and I have a particular interest in promoting the Red Dexter’s. When I first decided to buy a Dexter the red colour was very rare as many of the original herds preferred the Black Dexters. I’m not sure what the percentage of red to black is but black is still the dominant colour.

The herd now varies between 35 – 45 head at any one time. I am interested in breeding animals with good conformation and a good mothering instinct with a plentiful supply of milk for her calf. I have both red and black Dexter’s and currently have bulls of both colours.

When I began with Dexter’s, because my foundation cows all came from good milk producing lines I double suckled my dexter calves with a commercial calf. Which I then finished, and sold as either beef animals or if heifers as replacements to beef herds.


Sadly the BSE scare made this no longer profitable as my calves came from diary cows and as there was never a case of BSE in the Dexter population it seemed inadvisable to purchase calves, with the possibility that they may inadvertently introduced the problem onto my farm. It is also very time consuming initially as although some cows accept an additional calf without any problems, most take some time to accept them. None of the cows I used ever seem to have a problem producing enough milk for both calves and the end results where often comical.


My male calves are run on to supply quality beef and most of my females, which are not required as replacements, are sold on to other herds.

I only use non short bulls these days although I did start in the 80’s with a short legged bull, but I found that you never knew what kind of size of animal your cow would produce, so although I still have a few short legged cows and heifers from my original foundation animals my main herd is non short with the challenge of trying to breed a level herd of animals.

Most of my females are halter trained as this makes them much easier to handle and I do like to support Dexter classes at our local shows.

I often have stock and beef for sale so check out my Sales Page. Visitors are always welcome by appointment.