You are visiting the "Kit Reid" page.
The links in the box to the right will take you to sub-pages within the
"Scotland" section. The links with asterisks in front
will return you to either the parent or "Home" pages.
Kit Reid was interviewed several times via
telephone prior to his passing in May of 2003. What appears
below is some of what Kit was willing to share.
Kit started breeding Beardies prior to, or
around, World War II. He discussed his fondness for the breed.
Kit said he once owned many pictures, but no longer knew where
they were. He was honored to be asked to share his memories.
In one phone conversation, Kit related that his brother,
Archie Reid, bred Scott, who became the sire of Blue who later
became known as Turnbull's Blue. Morland bred his
bitch, Nan, to Archie's Scott. Kit said that Archie
subsequently loaned Scott to G. Howieson.
Though Kit was quite modest, it seems that he was well regarded
by Matt Mundell.
When visiting the "History:Timeline:1950-2000s," you will note
Matt Mundell made mention of Kit in his book, Country Diary, published in 1981
by Gordon Wright Publishing, Edinburgh, Scotland. (See 1981 entry.) Mundell wrote 23 chapters wherein he put forth some of his
experiences and recollections from his 14 years of gathering material for articles in
The Scottish Farmer.
In his fourth chapter entitled "The Long Gather," page 35, Mundell
wrote about one of the gathers he attended.:
"Ernie MacPherson and Archie Campbell
had cleaned the tops of sheep at the back of the mountains. Old hand
Jimmy Waddell and Donald Beaton had taken some of the weight of the
ever-enlarging flock along the bottom. Between them, coming from
either side, seven others with brown dog, blue merle, beardie and
hunter had tidied up the face and the rocks, leaving Lechdain's
three mile stretch denuded of stock. Well, almost."
On page 36, he further wrote about the "hunter." One was descibed as
That worthy, Kit Reid on his own ground, fitted in below Ernie,
combing the high pads with one of the country's most colourful dog
squads including blue-merles Cora and Corrie and the grey Rock on
his first-ever gather and A.W.O.L. at the end of it. He would come
back no doubt later that day. Kit had with him too, as well as these
Skye-blooded rarities, the tough red beardie collie Rhuardh with the
blood of Mull. The hunters have value untold on days like that on
the upper rims of rock, scree and gully.
The adjective "worthy" was considered a great compliment.
Paul, another shepherd from Scotland who also contributed to this website,
shared some words about two of Kit's Beardies, which came to him after
"Meg was bred by the late Kit Reid, a
shepherd from Scotland. Meg was a very fast learner. She was
working her first lambing at six months of age. Lambing is a
subject that would require a lot of writing about. It includes
holding ewes and lambs together for mothering up (on the hills),
catching ewes with pregnancy problems, taking ewes and newly born
lambs to new pastures (leaving their flockmates behind), etc.
I am not particularly anxious to start Beardies working on stock
at such a young age. But again, you must judge dogs
individually. This particular dog was exceptional at almost
any chore I gave her at this very early age. Do not be misled.
Generally, my feelings are that a dog that
starts early does not always end up being the best at work. A
slow starter, on the other hand, usually ends up being the
Meg today does whatever task she is
asked. I have one bitch puppy out of Meg that I am hopeful will
work into a nice working dog.
Oscar is the littermate to Meg. He
came to me at the same time as Meg. Oscar was a slow starter.
What this means is that although he WANTED to work early on, he did
not have the maturity to do so. Dogs mature in different ways. In
Oscar’s case, he could not handle “pressure.” Often when certain
situations arise, shepherds know which dogs can handle pressure.
Just because a young dog cannot handle such a situation does not
mean that he will not be able to do so fully mature. Oscar was left
alone until approximately two years of age, and then, he just
developed quickly in leaps and bounds.
I think the Meg-Oscar siblings prove
what I’ve learned as a shepherd. Each dog is different. Just
because Oscar was slower to develop did not lessen his worth to me
in any way. Patience can be a virtue. I have a hard time
remembering this, and reminding myself has paid off on more than one
Paul and Carol also shared two images of Meg and Oscar.