When professional Rugby player Alex Gibbon, and his fiancee Paige Hodkinson decided to venture into the cattle business two years ago it was the Droughtmaster breed they chose.
Alex said he was initially attracted to the Droughtmaster breed due to their low maintenance and easy of calving.
“Basically, because I am away playing Rugby a lot of the time I know they can fend for themselves,” he said.
Two years ago the couple registered the Stonebridge Droughtmaster prefix, and these day run 185 head including 35 registered stud cows on 340 hectares near Mallanganee, in northern NSW.
Alex who lives in Brisbane, has just finished playing for Australia in the Rugby Sevens, and previously played for the Queensland Reds, but the couple regularly travel to Stonebridge Farm whenever they can.
To get established the couple have selected bloodlines based heavily on the Glenlands and Billabong bloodlines.
They have bought cows and calves from the Rocky View Droughtmaster Dispersal at the Cream of the Crop sale, and at the Gympie Droughtmaster Female Sale.
As well, they were active buying heifers at the Joppa Dispersal sale at Gympie which carried a heavy Glenlands bloodline influence through their bloodlines.
However it is this year’s calf drop that the couple is eagerly awaiting.
“This drop will be own matings, and already we have had 15 calves born, and are expecting another 140 to be born,” Alex said.
“Our goal is to breed quality Droughtmaster bulls backed by good estimated breeding values (EBV’s).
“We have been looking heavily at the EBV’s when selecting and buying cattle,”
Alex and Paige also showed two bulls at the Brisbane Royal show for the first time this year, which were presented by Nudgee College on their behalf with pleasing results. They claimed a second and third ribbon under judge Renee Rutherford.
The couple sell their commercial steers finished for the domestic market through both Casino and Beaudesert saleyards.
Next year will mark the start of sale bulls with two bulls by Billabong Yukon, and three by Craiglea Henry coming through the ranks.
We will aim to sell our bulls at the Droughtmaster National Sale, and the Bunya Bull Sale- Alex Gibbon