This famous herd was founded in 1854 at Nethertown of Almoress, Dalbeattie by Mr. John Sproat, and after a spell at High Creoch, Gatehouse of Fleet it moved to Boreland of Anwoth, Gatehouse of Fleet in 1903. Under the management of the late Mr. George G.B. Sproat the herd grew in numbers and stature, and was one of the founding herds of the Dun and Belted Galloway Cattle Breeders Association when it was formed in 1921.
By the 1940’s many cattle had been registered through the Society, but a cruel blow was just around the corner. With the campaign to eradicate T.B. in full swing the Boreland herd was tested and all 35 adult cattle had to be culled. Fortunately none of the young stock were affected and the herd was able to re-establish itself.
In 1953 the herd, now the charge of the third generation, Mr. John Faed Sproat, moved to Borness, near Borgue, Kirkudbright. After the death of John Faed in 1978 the reins were taken over by his son, George B. Sproat, who continued to develop the herd while producing some of the most well-known animals in the breed whose influence is still with us. Exporting began in 1947 with a consignment to New Zealand which was followed by 'Boreland Belties' travelling to U.S.A., Canada, Brazil, Germany, Holland and the rest of Europe. These cattle have often formed the basis of many new herds throughout the world.
One of the best known of these is Boreland James Bond, aptly named for his ear tag number, which ends in 007. A Lullenden Bruno son, James Bond’s influence is felt far and wide in the breed.
All good things must come to an end, however, and in 1998 George B. Sproat retired and the herd was dispersed. The breed’s association with the Sproat family did not end there however, and everyone reading this will be aware that once Belties get under your skin you never lose that affection for the breed.