Dennises are set with Santas

Santa Gertrudis ties run deep for Dennises

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Herd improvers: Bulls the Dennis family purchased from the annual Strathmore Santa Gertrudis sale on property at Old Twin Hills, situated north west of Clermont.

Herd improvers: Bulls the Dennis family purchased from the annual Strathmore Santa Gertrudis sale on property at Old Twin Hills, situated north west of Clermont.

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With the legendary King Ranch stud close by at Elgin Downs, it was an obvious choice for Frank and Noela Dennis family to establish their commercial breeding program with Santa Gertrudis in 1963.

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With the legendary King Ranch stud close by at Elgin Downs, it was an obvious choice for Frank and Noela Dennis family to establish their commercial breeding program with Santa Gertrudis in 1963.

Since that time the family have predominantly carried on with producing pure bred Santa Gertrudis and Santa infused Brahmans with Frank and Noela's son Eddie, his wife Tricia and their five children, Cynthia, Edwin, Jill, Jessica, and Kimberley, now running the business under the banner of Mistake Creek Cattle Company.

Eddie and Tricia, purchased their first property, Waminda, from his parents in 1977, and have since purchased Old Twin Hills, Elgin Downs, Albinia and Doongmabulla, which are all situated in the Twin Hills area north west of Clermont.

Mr Dennis said the land across the five properties mainly consists of gidgee/brigalow and flood out country, with Doongmabulla lending itself well to being more of a breeder block as there is some rough but useful country on it.

"We've received, on average, 375mm of rain to date in 2020, which has been an improvement on 2019 when we had 265mm for the year," he said.

Mr Dennis said they've continued to favour the Santa Gertrudis in their operation as they grow into a good Jap Ox article and as their rich red colour makes them an easily saleable beast.

"We've always targeted the Jap Ox market, direct to the meatworks, with a two and half to three year-old beast at 360 to 370kg dressed, though due to the competitiveness for the heavier article we did also begin selling into the live export market a couple of years ago.

He said they join all year round and post preg-testing they usually achieve an 85 per cent fertility rate in the breeders. In their program all females, which don't produce a calf per year are culled as are older cows at nine to 10 years old.

To enhance the genetic strength of their herd the Dennis family have been purchasing Santa Gertrudis bulls from the Walker family, Strathmore Stud, at their annual on property sale on Ravensbourne, Blackall, for close to 30 years.

"Their bulls appeal to us as they're always ready to go to work, and have good length, muscle and temperament.

"We've always been very pleased with the results from our previous Strathmore purchases so we're keen to inspect the bulls on offer this year at the sale."

Mr Dennis said their family is heavily involved in the business with Edwin and his wife Laura at Elgin Downs and Cynthia and her husband Tim at Waminda.

"It will be up to our children to decide if they want to shift direction with our program when they eventually take the reins from us."

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