The Blonde D'Aquitaine is a heavily-muscled breed that emerged in the south west of France in a region known as Aquitaine. The Garonnais, Quercy and Blonde des Pyrenees are the three strains that constitute the Blonde d'Aquitaine, and origins of the breed can be traced back to stock from the Middle Ages that served as draught cattle (until the end of World War Two), but were also used for their meat and milk.
Blondes are known for their lean muscling, easy calving, high growth rates, and large pelvic region. Coats are made up of short hairs, and colour can vary from shades of red to white, however a golden wheat colour is common. Depending on breeding programs, the breed is either horned or polled. Adult bulls can weigh up to 3000 pounds, while cows can reach up to 1800 pounds.
Blondes are recognised for their hardiness, foraging abilities, easy calving and fertility. Easy calving is facilitated by the large pelvic area and high tail setting in cows, and the light bone structure and muscling of calves at birth. Blondes are often crossed with other breeds to serve this purpose. Blondes are particularly suited to hybrids containing Angus, Muray Grey, Shorthorn and Hereford bloodlines. The breed is known to be particularly heat tolerant and can acclimatise to a wide range of temperatures and conditions.
Another notable trait is a high return carcase. Blondes generally exhibit superior feed efficiency, while their meat marbles well and is tasty, yet lean (does not carry excess external fat). Their impressive feed efficiency is the product of their well-developed muscles, light-weight bones structure and minimum external fat. They exhibit a superior performance in the feedlot. Both the well developed hindquarter and lengthy body of this breed allow for a high availability of valuable steak and roast cuts.
Blondes were first introduced into Australia in 1976 via a semen and embryo transfer. The Blonde d'Aquitaine Society of Australia and New Zealand continues to preserve and promote the breed.
Today, Blondes are distributed throughout Europe, America, Canada and Australia.