The Founding Six: The Cows That Launched the BRC Dynasty

September 29, 2023

When we share the origins of the BRC story, we often refer to the time when we got married in 2010 when we owned zero acres and roughly 6 cows between the two of us. Little did we know, these six precious cows would go on to shape the destiny of the ranch and establish a legacy known worldwide as the BRC championship program.

From Mississippi to Texas in an Old Red Trailer: Brandon’s Two Head

The week before we married, Brandon moved from Mississippi to Texas, carrying with him two freshly weaned heifers and all his personal belongings. These two heifers were full sisters, created in a partnership between Brandon and his former employer, Jeff Smith of J-S Genetics. At our wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Smith gave us their half of one of those heifers as our wedding present.

This heifer was exceptional. Brandon arrived, unloaded her at Dadaw’s ranch in the pasture with all the other calves of comparable age, and branded her right alongside all the other calves at that time: Miss V8 382/7. Everyone knows that legendary story. 382 won Houston, and then produced the greatest Brahman female of the modern era: Boom Shaka Laka.

Pictured below is 382 as a baby, still unbranded, when she first arrived to Texas.

The Early Cattle Carrying the “R” Brand: Rachel’s Cattle

I was 31 years old when we married, and so through the help of my father and grandfather I had built a small show-focused herd of cattle that I actually enjoyed showing at the open shows and competing and breeding at a small level as part of my granddad’s operation.

Among this select group was Miss V8 645/6, a cow that would sow the seeds of greatness. At the time of our marriage, she had been part of our show string, including winning her class at the 2008 World Brahman Congress and several other. She was a direct daughter of one of my other cows, Pittman 730, and a very promising young heifer. Although Brandon did want to sell her early on in our marriage, we kept her, and she would go on to become the mother of Captain, one of BRC’s most celebrated Brahman bulls, a true legend in the making. The bloodline established by Miss V8 645/6 would carry the torch of excellence for generations to come.

Here is 645/6 pictured at the 2007 Washington County Fair, with Aubrey Daniel showing her and me and Nana celebrating the success.

Miss V8 797/6 was also a member of the “original six.” Back in those early days, 797 was a rising star on the Brahman show circuit, winning her class at the 2009 Houston Open Show and other jackpot Brahman open shows like the Kickoff. Little did anyone know that she would evolve into the #1 most successful polled Brahman female, etching her name in the annals of Brahman history. Her journey was a testament to the ranch’s commitment to perfection. She was a direct daughter of Miss V8 98/6, who was probably the best cow I owned at the time.

Also when we married, we had a little scamp of a heifer, Miss V8 100/7. She showed in the class with my dad’s favorite of that age group, 99/7. 100/7 was not easy to show, but since she was the underdog of the group – and owned by me vs. the ranch – I had to show her while the paid ranch staff showed 99. And 100 always won. I actually sent her with Margo Kahla’s fitting service during that time, because I thought she deserved to be shown. She racked up wins as a calf at all the major shows, even though she did drag me around the dirt at San Antonio in 2010. I was very thankful when Brandon and I started dating and got married, because he took over the showing duties, and he successfully led her to the 2010 National Championship title. 100/7 is the mother of Noble. Here she is pictured with me showing her at the 2010 Fort Worth Stock Show.

JDH Pittman Manso 730/7, another member of this exclusive group, brought with her a legacy of her own. Purchased from the JDH sale pens for somewhere around $4,000, she was the mother of the legendary 341, a donor that would go on to achieve iconic status within the BRC legacy. Because we liked Pittman so much, we later sought out her mother from the JDH Locke Division – JDH Jennessa. Jennessa is now one of the main cow families of our program.

These foundational cows, with their unique stories and incredible genetics, laid the foundation for what would become the world-famous BRC championship program. Their roles, humble as it may have been, marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey that would shape the face of modern Brahman breeding.

Through trials and triumphs, setbacks and successes, the legacy of these original cows continues to thrive. Their legacy lives on in every champion that proudly carries the BRC name, a testament to the enduring spirit of these remarkable cattle and the visionaries who believed in them.

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