Eidsvold Station’s lavish Santa Gertrudis sale history

Greenup Eidsvold Station celebrates it's jubilee bull sale


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Eidsvold Station will hold its 60th on-property Santa Gertrudis sale in September, so we thought it would be great to explore the property’s rich history.

Eidsvold Station will hold its 60th on-property Santa Gertrudis sale in September, so we thought it would be great to explore the property’s rich history.

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Having seen Santa Gertrudis cattle at the King Ranch in Texas, United States of America, Errol Blair ‘Barney’ Joyce thought the cattle would suit the Eidsvold environment. Barney and Raoul Joyce, trading as Joyce & Joyce, were the volume buyers at the second King Ranch sale held on November 13, 1953.

John Cooper, King Ranch Australia, Elgin Down manager, Barney Joyce and Robin Hart.

John Cooper, King Ranch Australia, Elgin Down manager, Barney Joyce and Robin Hart.

The brothers established studs numbers 2 and 3 respectively. Eidsvold Station was run by Barney and Gyranda at Cracow was run by Raoul. In 1954 Barney visited Texas USA and purchased an additional 10 yearling purebred females from Armstrong Ranch. They arrived in Newstead, Brisbane in April 1955 and became the nucleus of the Eidsvold Station herd.

On November 30, 1957 at the Mactaggarts annual bull sale in Eidsvold, in the new specially built bull ring, Eidsvold Station offered their 40 Santa Gertrudis first cross bulls for the first time.

QCL's coverage of the Eidsvold bull sale.

QCL's coverage of the Eidsvold bull sale.

Mr Joyce said the cattle were “adapted to the environment, would produce heavy calves at weaning, stock with ability to fatten on grass and produce plenty of milk for their calves, a combination of beefiness and hardiness, resistance to tick and insect pests, cutting dipping costs and solving the cancer eye problem and younger cattle ready for market and better profits”.

Research into the cattle live weight performance drove the focus and commercial relevance of the herd and the stud thrived with the demand for the cherry red cattle.

A QCL paper advertisement of the Eidsvold bull sale.

A QCL paper advertisement of the Eidsvold bull sale.

The Eidsvold Station sales recorded top prices and a carnival atmosphere created by Barney. The music was piped all over the grounds as the 1000 prospective owners strolled in a carnival type setting.

Anthony Coates, nephew of “Barney” Joyce commenced work at Eidsvold Station in 1962.

The Eidsvold Saleyards during a sale.

The Eidsvold Saleyards during a sale.

Barney died on January 21, 1983 and Anthony and Sally Coates continued the legacy. Mr Coates was a firm believer in functional efficiency and soundness in cattle and continued the breeding focus on fertility and commercial relevance.

In 1989 Stud Number 1, King Ranch Australia sold its Australian properties and held its final sale on August 8, 1989 making Eidsvold Station the oldest Santa Gertrudis stud in Australia.

Anthony and Sally Coates’ children had decided to build lives away from Eidsvold Station. With the Eidsvold Station legacy in jeopardy, Anthony and Sally Coates and Rick and Alice Greenup began discussions on the future of the Eidsvold Station herd in August 2004.

Eidsvold Station’s breeding philosophy, objective herd recording through the use of Breedplan and breeder management, complemented that of Greenup Santa Gertrudis and it was a desirable union that continues. 

E.B. “Barney” Joyce and R.F. Raoul Joyce.

E.B. “Barney” Joyce and R.F. Raoul Joyce.

In 2006, Rick and Alice procured the 1500-strong female stud herd and 300 commercial females of Eidsvold Station with four-year, lease-to- buy arrangement.

Between 2012 and 2016 Greenup Pty Ltd purchased the land holdings that comprise the Eidsvold Station aggregate; Eidsvold Station – the headquarters; – Belvedere – the bull depot; Barrule and Boolgal – the breeding blocks.

The acquisition has resulted in the formation of one of Australia’s largest Classified Santa Gertrudis herds, underpinned by six decades of selection and the longest running objectively performance recorded herds.

Currently, the Greenup Eidsvold Station herd has approximately 6000 head of which around two thirds are registered stud cattle.

Six decades later, and some things have remained as core values. Rick Greenup says he has a straightforward approach to breeding bulls - he wants “bulls done right”.

“At first I was surprised to see how little our objectives for breeding cattle have changed in 60 years. But then I thought – it makes sense - as the things that make money for cattle breeders haven’t changed – number of calves weaned, prices and markets and handling Australian conditions,” Mr Greenup said.

“My focus is on breeding cattle that are reliable, profitable and consistent, and perform in all environments, and targeting major markets.

“This means they need weight for age, fertility, soundness and easy-doing constitution.

Doug Mactaggart, Raoul Joyce, Jim Heading at first Eidsvold Station annual sale.

Doug Mactaggart, Raoul Joyce, Jim Heading at first Eidsvold Station annual sale.

“Our recent results in the RNA Paddock to Palate 70-day grain fed competition with Champion Pen of Carcases and Overall Third, was pleasing and confirms we are breeding cattle that work for the breeder, the feedlot and the consumer - and that is what it’s all about – getting beef on the plate for the most profit for each part of the supply chain.”

In line with his philosophy of “bulls done right” the Greenup Eidsvold Station herds are accredited JBAS 8, Breedplan recorded, oats prepared, semen morphology tested, scanned for Eye Muscle Area, P8 and Rib fat and vaccinated for 7 in 1, BEF, vibrio, pesti virus, and Tick Fever.

In 2017 the Greenup Eidsvold Station sale will be held on Friday September 22 at the original Eidsvold Saleyards commencing at 11 am, with a celebration of the sale’s founders.

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