Charbray Association Australia


- July 2013

By Louise Golden

Incorporating a range of crosses into their breeding and fattening operation has proven a successful formula for the Stirling and Crocker families of Wirralie Station, Mt Coolon.

The families recently completed a 1500 kilometer round road trip to the Matilda Charolais and Charbray Sale in Winton, where, as first time supporters they stocked up on nine Hungtington Stud bulls for use over some of Wirralie's 1500 breeders.

"We aren't really diehards of any particular breed, but we long ago recognized the need to retain a significant Brahman content in our cows while also keeping a percentage of Bos Taurus in our herd," Barry 'Blue' Stirling said.

"Brahmans were introduced to Wirralie in the 1970s. Prior to that, the herd was predominately Shorthorn. In the mid1990s we started introducing Charbray and Brangus; some years however, we might sidestep and use, for instance, Simmentals, Murray Greys or Limousines.

"By introducing a mid-range flat back such as the Charbray, we have produced a more appealing and high yielding product which provides us with wider market options.

"We really like Charbray genetics and have benefited from the flexibility of the Brahman/Bos Taurus content offered within the breed rather than having to opt for total breed alternatives."

Blue said their rationale is based on spreading market risk and maximizing the potential and diversity of land types that make up the 20,000 hectare northern Central Highland's property.

First time buyers at the recent Matilda Charolais and Charbray Sale, Robyn Crocker,  Barry ‘Blue’ and Ikie Stirling discuss their Huntington bull purchases with co-vendors Bruce Godfrey (Boobi Charolois Stud, Winton) and Luke Welsh (Huntington Charolais and Charbray Stud, Taroom).
First time buyers at the recent Matilda Charolais and Charbray Sale, Robyn Crocker, Barry 'Blue' and Ikie Stirling
discuss their Huntington bull purchases with co-vendors Bruce Godfrey (Boobi Charolois Stud, Winton)
and Luke Welsh (Huntington Charolais and Charbray Stud, Taroom).

Situated 200 kilometers west of Mackay, 300 kilometers south of Charters Towers and 200 kilometers north of Clermont, Wirralie Station is as versatile as it is diverse. Its owners cast a careful eye over livestock production and marketing options at the best of time; this year, with drought looming over the region, they are on high alert.

"We are not too badly positioned here. We have had nine inches of rain for the year so far which is not great but enough to get us buy. Only 20 kilometers from here is much worse off.

"We have good ground cover and water in our dams, which is just as well as the meatworks are booked out two months ahead. We can't sell know but luckily we are in a position that we can hold on.

"We saw the Winton sale as an ideal opportunity to buy a few fresh bulls and upgrade our Charbray genetics. We like Charolais cattle too but we find the Charbrays hardier and more suited to our area."

With multiple belts of country, including Bendee and Brigalow, improved and sewn to buffel and euracloa, Ironbark and Bloodwood ridge country and Box timber creek flats, Wirralie cattle have available a range of grazing conditions which meet both breeding and fattening demands.

"Our diverse mix of country allows us to spread our cattle out according to their needs; we sell fat cattle to Borthwick's Meatworks in Mackay and cull cattle mainly through the Emerald store sales."

Owned by Joyce Crocker, her daughter Robyn Crocker and Blue (Robyn's partner), Wirralie was bought by Joyce's mother Agnes Boyd in the mid-1950s. Robyn and Blue's six year old son, Ikie, is the fourth generation cattleman to call the property home.

"Being family owned and operated, we are able to keep running costs down to some extent. Finding staff is not an issue as we do most of the work ourselves. We do get a helicopter in for mustering which works well with our yards and laneway set up."

Charbrays in 2012
- April 2013

Charbrays in 2012
By Paul Connor

A strong demand for the Charbray Breed has returned an increase right across the board.

Australian record price at National Charbray Sale. Sale topper at the February All Breeds Sale. Continuous headlines in the market reports are just a few of the highlights for a very productive year for the Charbray Breed.

The first bull sale of the year, February All Breeds, the Braylyn Stud owned and operated by George and Cathy Hoare of Bluff exceeded all expectations by going over the top of all other breeds with their entry Braylyn Ferdinard which sold for $9500 to the Shaw Family of Morinish, in Central Queensland.
Beef 2012 was another major event on the Charbray calendar. A very high standard of both stud and commercial cattle were exhibited. The Charbray Site was well attended with much enthusiasm and received enquiries on a local, national and overseas level.

All records were surpassed at the National Charbray Sale, when Huntington Forrester, a 30 month old polled bull entered the selling ring. The mountain of beef was bred at the Huntington Stud Taroom, operated by the Welsh Family. The fall of the hammer saw an Australian Record Price of $28 000. The successful buyers were S. Kidman & Co who once again have shown their enormous confidence in the breed by being a volume buyer throughout the year. A half share in Huntington Forrester has since been purchased by Kerod and Claire Lindley of Spring-Villa Charbrays, so we can expect to see Huntington Forrester's genetics along with other sort after pedigrees emerge in the rapidly growing Charbray database. This result for the Welsh Family was seen by many as a well deserved reward for outgoing president, Matt Welsh. The dedication and passion that Matt has given the Charbray breed for the duration of his presidency has seen it rise to the forefront and raise the profile of the breed within the industry.

A strong demand for the Charbray Breed has returned an increase right across the board, in sale averages, sale toppers and sale clearances. This combination has made for a successful year. I believe from Societies prospective these results couldn't be more rewarding, with the increased demand for Charbrays carrying real breed pedigrees it goes a long way towards justifying the initial direction taken back at Beef 2009 with the launch of our new breeding plan. On behalf of myself and fellow councillors I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who continually support and promote our breed.

Paul Connor
Charbray Society of Australia Ltd

New High for Charbrays in 2012
- Jan 2013

New High for Charbrays in 2012
By Claire Mactaggart

Strong sales and a record auction price of $28,000 for Huntington Forester at the National Sale confirmed growing interest in the Charbray breed in 2012. Pastoral giant S.Kidman and Co purchased Forester at the 35th National Sale in September to boost their bull breeding operation at Windorah.

Australian Record Sale

Matt & Rachael Welsh, centre, Huntington Charbray's, sold the top-priced bull, Huntington Forester, for
$28 000 at the 35th National Charbray Sale on the 19th of September 2012. They have created a new record for the highest-price Charbray Bull sold at auction in Australia. Forester was purchased by pastoral company S. Kidman & Co. which was represented by station manager Chris Towne, left, Helen Springs, Tennant Creek NT and Elders Katherine Agent, Peter Kelly, right

With thanks to QCL for the photograph and caption.

"The support of companies such as Kidman & Co is very good for the breed," says Matt Welsh, Huntington Charbrays, Taroom. "I would go as far as saying the advancement of the Charbray Breed has definitely been bolstered by their support as well as by a number of other year in, year out supporters of the National Sale."

"Not unlike ourselves as seed stock operators, these producers have recognised the added value the breed has been able to offer their individual operations," adds Mr Welsh. "In the end this is what drives any successful business."

Breeding sires of the calibre of Forester is not something that happens overnight. "We at Huntington as with plenty of other vendors at the National Sale, have been early to recognise the benefits of the breed and remain committed to producing the stock that will cement Charbrays future in our industry," Mr Welsh says.
Kerod Lindley of Spring-Villa Charbrays has since obtained a half share in Huntington Forester and recently collected 350 semen straws from the sire. "He is a good easy doing bull that should produce good sires to go into commercial and stud herds," he says.

Mr Lindley believes Charbrays give an extra 20-60kgs in the paddock. "They do better in all sorts of country," he adds. "They produce more beef, quicker."

Twenty-four vendors presented a quality line up of cattle at the National Sale and yielded an average of $5,273, up on last year's average of $4,211.

Peter Kelly, Territory Livestock Sales Manager with Elders, Katherine attended the National Sale and considers Charbrays the ideal breed to use on the Barkly. "We have bought 280 Charbrays this year and they are getting good results," he says. "It was fantastic to come over and see so many good cattle. People are really seeing the benefits and it's a credit to the breed that they are improving."

Geoff Shaw secured bulls at the sale for his property at Comanche, Glenroy. "We are getting good weights with our Charbrays," he says. "There were bulls there for every type of buyer."

Ian and Sharon Bush, Maytoe, Alpha purchase Charbray bulls each year to join with Brahmans in their commercial herd. "It's a tremendous cross and works really well," says Sharon. "They give plenty of bone, meat and great weight for age."

Growing interest in the breed this year saw sires moving into new country and a return of many buyers who had tried the breed early on.

"Better bulls are being sold and sales were stronger this year," says Paul Connor of Rosewood Charbrays, Morinish and newly elected President of the Charbray Society of Australia. "Charbrays are a lot more versatile than they used to be and you can find one to suit any type of country. It's still evolving but we are on the right track with our Breeding plan."

The adoption of the Charbray Grading System - introduced in 2009 - has been a positive step for the industry. Outgoing President Matt Welsh, Huntington Charbrays adds, "There is a premium for Charbray genetics that have a history in breeding. From a breeding perspective, there has been an increase in recognizing superior pedigrees as well as the adoption of tools such as Breedplan and DNA testing to identify better lines of Charbray cattle."

"The data is growing, performance wise but the real practical data is how they perform in the paddock," Mr Welsh says. "Charbrays have taken over as a major influence in our whole operation and have done that by sheer performance."

"We have gone ahead in leaps and bounds. You can't get these results in the sale ring just on talk alone. The opportunity is there for people to secure consistent lines now."


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Charbray Association Australia