Maree Duncombe, Conondale Station
A regular at the winner’s circle at Gympie’s annual weaner sales, Maree Duncombe attributes the success of her Charbray cattle firmly back to the Charolais genetics she sources from Ascot stud.
Each year the young breeder travels from her 930 Ha Conondale Station to Warwick & returns with at least 2 Charolais bulls from the Wedge family’s annual Ascot Bull sale.
These are used over her herd of 350 Brahman females to produce about 300 Charbrays annually Ms Duncombe has switched the focus from growing out steers to producing top quality weaners that are primarily sold to commercial breeders.
Managing cattle on her own, makes temperament and the homozygous poll gene the key traits she looks for in Ascot bulls & she said the sires from the stud deliver every time. “At a bull sale I don’t really look at the objective measurements, because I know Ascot is breeding for the key things I am looking for” she said.
“The Ascot bulls acclimatise very well to my high rainfall environment – I can put them to work straight away. Ms Duncombe said the ‘proof was in the pudding’ & she would keep using Ascot’s Charolais genetics in the future, without changing her breeding direction. It’s working for me & I am getting success in the market”
Conondale has won the champion pen of heifers for the past 3 years at the annual Gympie weaner sale, and this year received a top price of almost $1300/head – The best average she has ever achieved. A line of heifers weaned during the 2019 winter drought reached a top price of $1400.
“I am finding that my Charbrays are highly saleable, competitive with other breeds & ‘on-trend’ – always getting above market value.”
Ms Duncombe plans to travel to Ascot for the Spring sale on September 18.