Sarum’s “Duck” brand, registered in 1916 by Eaton Webster at Sarum, Kingaroy, Q.L.D to use over his commercial herd, is still being used today by present Sarum principal, Greg Webster, the youngest of Eaton’s four sons.
Sarum’s stud, registered in1933, went on to become on of the country’s leading Angus studs. After the accidental death of his son Barrie, in 1976, Eaton sold the property & dispersed the herd. Greg retained a portion of Sarum, continuing to run a line of cows until 1984, selling his Sarum country and moving to “Mount Lake”at Ramsay, near Toowoomba to continue his breeding programme.
Sarum today as a stud is a far cry from the “halcyon” days of Eaton Webster. Although we are infinitely proud of the stud’s history and past achievements, Sarum is very much a stud for today & we don’t wish to trade on the past, but we do firmly stick to our basic structural principles of the past and certainly have no time for fads or fashions which come and go in the industry today.
We believe we breed good honest cattle with wonderful temperaments, free of genetic diseases, put meat on bones and work anywhere.
Running approximately 50 head of select cows on undulating lantana, kikuyu & native grass country, with ticks and flies thrown in for good measure, Mt Lake sits 22kms South East of Toowoomba on the Northern escarpment of the Great Divide overlooking the Gatton Valley approximately 680m above sea level; summer temperatures soar to over 30c plus with high humidity, dropping down to minus with constant icy winds in winter. It is a challenging & tough enviroment for cattle, with constantly changing weather conditions. Rainfall is around 37 inches in a good year, but there have been very few “good years” in the last 15!
Our Cattle Genetics:
At Mt Lake, new female blood lines were brought in from Larkwood, Ythanbrae, Whitelakes, Brookfield Park & Millah Murrah; old Sarum Prefix cows were bought back. Hazeldean H58 , son of the great beef bull Hazeldean D56, was bought for equal top price at Hazeldean’s 1990 Cooma sale. Chosen for his muscling & bone, quiet temperament and overall activity. H58 went on to breed top progeny, with strong, milky daughters & meaty, muscled sons. Nairn Park K67, a Hazeldean G1 son, with equally strong Hazeldean bloodlines on his dam’s side, was bought in 1992, giving us more of the Hazeldean blood we were looking for.
Nairn Park U201, purchased at Nairn Park’s 2001 sale, combined the best of Tulagi and Sparta blood lines. These three bulls complimented each other in every way in our cow herd, leaving great genetic foot prints for us to work with.
Since then the stud has used A.I. Sires from Glenaroa, Sparta, & New Zealand studs Pinebank & Waimata, combined with our own home bred bulls to give us the fertile,easy doing, meaty animals we produce today.
2005 N.Z & The U.K….Searching For Genetics:
We visited New Zealand’s North Island and the U.K in 2005 searching for fresh genetics to fit our breeding criteria; low birthweights, plenty of meat, good feet, agility & no American genetics.
We also wanted to catch up with Pamela’s Macpherson family in Scotland and to visit Mercaston Hall in Derbyshire, the home of William Webster, Greg’s grandfather, where the the Websters had lived and farmed for over 500 years.
North Island, New Zealand:
Unfortunately, Pinebank and Waimata were the only studs we visited not using American genetics! At Pinebank, we were very fortunate to see legendary bull Pinebank 41/97 in the flesh. At Waimata we were very impressed with Pat Watson’s big robust herd, doing well under tough hilly conditions, just what we needed for Q.L.D
Travelling through England to the top of Scotland, we saw some beautiful Angus herds, but all were heavily infused with American genetics and not for us. The one exception being Dunlouise Angus at Forfar where Geordie Soutar is undertaking, with great dedication, the huge task of preserving the last remaining families of pure Native Angus cattle which have almost disappeared from Scotland.
A very much looked forward to visit, was to the Macphersons at Mulben,near Keith, the birth place of Mulben Embassy, one of the greatest bulls ever to come out of Scotland; imported into N.Z. by Donald Grant of Mangatoro in 1938 & then into Australia by Eaton Webster in 1945 rocketing Sarum to fame. Mulben is now all farming; the cattle have long gone from this once great Scottish stud. The huge stone cattle barns house farm machinery, iron bull rings hanging from the stone walls are the the only reminder of it’s famous past. George Macpherson vividly remembered, as a very young lad, putting Embassy on the boat for N.Z. in 1938 & was thrilled to hear of the bull’s impact on the angus herds of N.Z & Australia.
A very special time was spent with Sir William Macpherson at Newton Castle, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, catching up & sorting out “secret family business” before flying home to the never ending drought in Australia. Not having found what we wanted in the U.K, we inseminated our cows to Pinebank 41/97 and Waimata E230 with very happy results!
About The Principals:
Greg: Recalcitrant, walks his own path, wastes a lot of time in a fruitless attempt to teach Pamela to obey !!…. sadly under the mistaken impression that he is boss !! continually nicks off to play tennis; is a harsh cattle judge! Greg jackeroo'd in the Kimberly and Roma before joining Sir William Gunn’s 'Gunn Rural Management' team as manager for an American cattle
company on Cape York for 15 years. Responsible for setting up a farming enterprise and Brahman stud to supply bulls for the company and Cape York region. Greg’s interest in Agri-Politics has been long standing; foundation member and president of Cape York Cattleman’s Union, Nothern NSW & QLD field officer for the Cattleman’s Union, Councillor for The Australian Beef Association. Cattle judge Brisbane Royal, Regional and Northern shows.
Pamela: Chief tantrum thrower, foot stamper, head kicker & Greg’s hand brake!…genetic organizer & definitely Boss! Pamela grew up in a Central QLD grazing family, on one of five properties owned by her family company, headed by her grandfather, iconic pastoralist,cattleman and innovator, Crowther Williams. The company ran Herefords until the advent of the Brahmans which
replaced their Hereford herds in the late “fifties” Her family’s involvement in the horse breeding and racing industry has given Pam a special interest in bloodlines, genetics and performance which she applies to Sarum’s breeding programme today.
"We operate an Angus, Angus/cross beef herd 150 miles west of Melbourne, breeding vealers to sell directly to the abattoir at weaning which is at, or about 10 months of age. We have been using
Sarum Boss for two years, & Sarum Freddie for one year in our A.I. Programmes,….the calves to date from both bulls have been outstanding , head and shoulders over any other Angus genetics we have ever used. We would highly recommend either of these bulls for depth, width and most importantly weight !!"
Birregurra. Victoria. 3242