Born: January 4, 1952; Died: January 31, 2014

Loading article content

Brian Graham Allan, who has died aged 62, was a renowned pedigree cattle farmer in the south-west of Scotland. With his father, he had massive success with Galloway and Simmental cattle, exporting Glenturk females to Australia, USA and Germany. He also judged all of the major shows in the UK and Ireland, including the interbreed championship at the last Royal Show.

He was born and brought up at Glenturk, Wigtown with his younger siblings Kate, David and Dilys. He was educated at Wigtown Primary School and Strathallan Public School where he developed a lifelong love of rugby. He regularly followed Scotland to Dublin, Twickenham, Rome and Paris as they played in the Six Nations tournaments.

He left school at 16 and returned home to Glenturk to his beloved cattle. In 1973 he accompanied a plane load of Galloway cattle to Kenya, travelling on an old twin prop plane that had to make an emergency landing in Khartoum and he spent all his time there trying to keep the hairy Galloway cattle alive in the excessive heat. He spent six months in Kenya and recalled, with relish overseeing staff selling watermelons on the beach at Knysna, South Africa. He also spent time working on a cattle ranch in Calgary, Canada.

In 1975, he met Lynn and they married in Penninghame Parish Church on 21st August 1979. They spent the next 13 years at Muirfad, Palnure, Newton Stewart before moving to Glenturk in 1992 with their children Carolynn and Graham.

In 1989 his father Willie dissolved the partnership of W. S. Allan & Sons and Brian branched out on his own, forming his Glenturk Pedigree Herds business, introducing Limousin to the pedigree mix. He imported a number of females from Southern Ireland and had great success, in the show ring, with Knockout and Madeleina. Unfortunately the family lost everything in a contiguous cull in April 2001. This, however, did not deter Brian, who, with the help of his son Graham, restocked the empty fields of Glenturk with Simmental, Limousin and commercial cattle.

His greatest achievement, with Simmentals, was when he won Supreme Champion at Perth Bull sales with Glenturk Nomad and Junior Supreme Champion at Carlisle with his Limousin bull Glenturk Ultrasolid who recorded his best price of 21,000 gns.

In the show ring, he had great successes, fulfilling a lifetime dream of lifting the Supreme Simmental Championship and reserve Interbreed Champion at the Royal Highland Show with Mermaid and Female and Supreme Junior Champion with Glenturk Rita. His last overall Simmental Championship was in 2009 with his stock bull Veron.

He judged all of the major shows in the UK and Ireland, including the Simmental World Congress at the Royal Norfolk Show and shared a joke with Prince Harry. He was held in high regard in the judging ring by his fellow breeders for his integrity and his amazing ability to place the cattle in the correct order. He believed that cattle should be judged on their conformation and breed character and it worried him greatly that computer-generated data was more important than how the animal looked, how it moved and its temperament.

Another of his great passions was rally driving. He and his friend David Reid competed together over 32 years, and they had many top 10 finishes and numerous class wins. One of their finest hours was finishing 4th overall in their favourite event The Galloway Hills Rally in 1994. Ending their rally adventure in 2005 with a well deserved win at Drumlanrig, his greatest achievement, however, was beating a very young Colin McRae in one stage on one of Colin's early rallies.

He was a family man who spent years transporting his daughter Carolynn and her pony/horse of the moment, in the Glenturk cattle float, to rallies and shows all over Scotland, Northern England and Ireland. He was in his element being surrounded by lovely ladies and having to reverse their horse boxes for them. He was also extremely proud of Graham's successes on the football and rugby fields and followed him avidly from the sidelines.

In 2007, following a mountain bike accident, his son Graham returned from five months in hospital in a wheelchair. Brian was determined Graham would continue to contribute greatly to the farming enterprise and converted machinery and built ramps etc. They had plans for restructuring, over the next few years, and Graham will hopefully honour his father's wishes.

The tributes to him from all corners of the UK, Ireland and abroad indicate the respect in which he was held both personally and professionally.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lynn (nee McCall), daughter Carolynn (now McIlwraith) and son Graham, son-in-law Paul, daughter-in-law Fiona and his beloved grandchildren Jack, Megan and baby Olivia.