Charbray Association Australia


National Charbray Sale provides quality Charbray genetics for buyers in the know….

National Charbray Sale provides quality Charbray genetics for buyers in the know….

by Louise Golden

Cliff and Kathleen White know a thing or two about cattle and in particular   Charbrays which have been integral to their Central Queensland breeder operation for close on two decades.

It’s not surprising then that the veteran cattle producers are looking forward to the upcoming National Charbray Bull and Female sale which they see as an opportunity to source the purest of generationally bred Charbray genetics which in turns assures them consistency at all levels of their breeding program.

Charbray Bulls in Sale Ring

“We are looking for quality and we also like to be able to talk to the other breeders and obtain as much information about the bulls we are interested in before the sale starts,” Cliff said.

According to Cliff, Charbray bulls are the exact ingredient required to produce the perfect offspring on his and Kathleen’s Glenroy district property Home Hill Station, 85 kilometers North West of Rockhampton.
The White’s breeding program originally involved the use of Charbray bulls over Brahman cows, a practice that allowed them to ensure the continuation of the short, clean coat, inherent in the Brahman breed.

“We have tried other breeds but we genuinely believe that Charbrays are the most suited to our country and conditions,” Cliff said.

“We have about ten kilometres of Fitzroy River/Brigalow country as well as some forest country and a small amount of irrigated fodder crop.”

Home Hill Station is run predominately as a weaner operation with the Whites having established strong, reliable private and saleyard markets for their progeny which consistently weigh in around 230 kg at 6-8 months old.

“I find the Charbray calves are a bit smaller at birth but they grow out at a much faster rate than,” Cliff said.
“Even as weaners, you can really notice their nice square rump. Being able to turn them off quickly is one of their many great attributes. Over the 20 years that we have been using Charbrays we have bought bulls from a variety of studs;  what I really look for in bulls is a nice straight back, a good temperament ,a good eye and good muscle depth. They are such a versatile breed.  I can’t see us changing from them.”

The Whites also retain a small proportion of offspring for fattening and as with their weaner stock, are met with strong and consistent demand.

“Bullocks fill out very quickly for us and the dress very well at the meatworks.”



Despite harsh economic and climatic conditions, The 36th National Bull and Female Sale has done the Charbray breed proud with Charbray Society of Australia President Paul Connor  describing the sale line-up as one of the best he has seen. 

Mr Connor said that while the September 25th CQLX sale results echoed the squeeze being felt throughout the cattle industry, buyers were able to secure superior sires at realistic prices.

Braylyn Hoodlum

“Given the tight conditions, it was possibly the best quality line-up the sale has had thus far. For the prices buyers paid and the quality they received, you could say it was a buyers’ market, but the returns will certainly be there for them in what they purchased,” Mr Connor said.

A number of repeat buyers as well as some new faces boosted the sale’s buoyancy to achieve a top price of $10, 000; an average of $3586; and a 72 per cent clearance. Bush Holdings was the volume buyer on the day, taking home 12 bulls for use in its Alpha operation while GL Campbell & Co was also on hand to purchase seven bulls.

Mr Connor congratulated George and Cathy Hoare of Rockview Cattle Company who topped the sale with a 22-month old bull, Braylyn Hoodlum which sold for $10,000 to PJ and EJ Campman of Calen, north of Mackay.  Hoodlum will be used over the Campman’s Brhaman and Charbray females on their coastal breeder property.

The Hoares, who had on offer four lots, also achieved the highest individual vendor average of $6000. Whilst this figure was down on the impressive $9750 average they notched up at last year’s sale, it was still an admirable amount given the overall selling environment. The Hoares’ success in the selling ring has not been confined to the National Sale – they also topped the 2012 Rocky All Breeds Sale with Braylyn Ferdinand selling to Jeff and Delrae Shaw of Commanche Cattle Co for $9500.

Bruce and Sue Mikkelsen, Wiluna Charbrays, Gin Gin were also stand-out vendors at the National Sale fetching second-top  price  of $8000 for their 29-month old entry Wiluna Gigolo, bought by fellow stud breeders PC & SC Nobbs, Cordelia Charbray Stud, Moura. 

The Mikkelsens have been breeding Charbray cattle for about 16 years; they established Wiluna in 2005 and run 130 head of commercial females and 350 stud females on their Bruce Highway property, 38 kilometers north of Gin Gin.  Although relatively new to the stud game, the Mikklesens have achieved strong and consistent sales results which include the sale in 2011 of the National Bull and Female Sale second-top priced bull to Les and Anne Marshall, Greenfields Stud, Jambin.

“I try and breed cattle that buyers want; some have different needs and preferences so I try and achieve a degree of versatility. You don’t get too many like Gigalo though! He was great, even from a calf he stood out – a good all-rounder,” Bruce said.

As testimony to a growing confidence and respect between stud producers, it is noted that George and Cathy Hoare’s sale topper Braylyn Hoodlum was sired by a Wiluna bull purchased by the Hoares several years earlier;  Wiluna’s top-seling bull Gigolo, in turn, was sired by a Cordelia bull.

“It’s a bit of a milestone within a breed when established and respected studs show such support for each other’s genetics. It is also pleasing to note that increasingly, Charbrays are being recognized for their place in the traditional Bos Indicus northern cattle herds,” Mr Connor said.

The Hoare family knows a thing or two about breeding cattle and the results from the recent National Charbray Bull and Female Sale are a direct reflection of the respect their cattle have earned from fellow stud and commercial breeders alike.

George and Cathy Hoare and their two children Brayden (20) and Ashlyn (18) are Rockview’s current custodians and the third and fourth generation of Hoare family members to call Rockview home.  George’s late grandfather (also George) purchased Walton in 1940. Rockview homestead block was purchased in 1948. The now 17,500-acre holding was also home to George (junior’s) parents Tom and Philomena with George and Cathy taking on the reins in 1988, upon Tom’s passing.

Despite Rockview’s 73-year-long history, its owners are not content to rest on their laurels when it comes to perfecting their stud and breeding herd.  George and Cathy’s Braylyn Charbray Stud was registered in 2006, with Charolais Brahman cross cows used initially in their stud’s foundation stock.  They acquired their first registered Charbray sires, Huntington Backdraft and Colinta Basil in 2008 and have been selling at the National Bull and Female Sale ever since.

Situated just three kilometers east of the Bluff township and 25 kilometers from Blackwater,  Rockview provides a versatile mix of breeder and fattening country with George and Cathy running in excess of 900 head of commercial and stud females, predominantly Charbray and Brahman cross, grazed on a mix of lighter forest country and fully-developed Brigalow.  Seasons pending, Rockview also carries several hundred head of agistment stock.

George first became interested in Charbrays after his father purchased a pen of store heifers at a Gracemere store sale in 1984. These heifers contained a percentage of Charbray types.  The family bought their first Charolais bull in 1992 with the resultant progeny showing exceptional weight advantages compared to their straight Brahman calves.  

“Traditionally we ran Brahman-cross type cattle on Rockview, however, over the years we recognized the value in the weight gains of the European cross; the main features we look  for in our bulls are a masculine head and a long, growthy, moderate frame with a tidy underline,” George said.

Despite the challenges facing vendors at this year’s National Bull and Female Sale, George and Cathy were pleased with their results, particularly that of their top performer Braylyn Hoodlum.
“Everything was right about him. He was growthy and he stood well.”

John and Margie Speed have been sourcing Braylyn bloodline steers from George and Cathy Hoare for about six years for use in their fattening operation and home property Redrock, between Rolleston and Blackwater. The long-term Charbray advocates and grazing identities are not surprised by Braylyn’s success at the recent National Bull and Female Sale, having long held George and Cathy Hoare’s cattle - and the Charbray breed in general - in the highest regard.

“George and Cathy’s cattle are among the best I buy,” John enthused.

Charbrays have featured in the Speed’s finishing operation for many years.  As well as buying sale yards’ cattle, in more recent years they have adopted a more targeted approach to selecting stock which includes a rolling deal struck about six years ago with George and Cathy.  This arrangement sees John and Margie hand pick a quantity of steers from Rockview annually for finishing on predominately grass country on Redrock and in readiness for direct sale to meatworks in Rockhampton.

John said he particularly likes the big-boned, fleshy structure inherent in Rockview’s steers; he also puts a high value on the consistent line of cattle he is able to present for sale as a result of his on-going investment.  

“I have found Charbrays in general to be very saleable across a range of markets. Unlike some other breeds that I have observed, Charbrays have the ability to continue to grow. By that, I mean they don’t reach a peak and then either over-fatten or go backwards; if you have protein in your grass, they will continue to convert into kilos until the day they go on the truck!”

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Charbray Association Australia