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New Zealand Salers Society - Newsletter Autumn 2016

Autumn has provided the usual mixed bag of weather patterns - so in the north we have all had warm weather with great, regular rain (thus, a battle to get the kikuyu eaten before frosts damage it…).  Gisborne districts have also had a great season; further South the dry has wasted the potential benefits of warm soils.
We caught up with the Pacey/Woolley/McCracken team at the Easter Show – with a team of 22 red cattle, this was a slick operation, with cattle flowing in and out of the show ring right on time!  Great wins and placing’s were spread across all age groups and Michaela had a great show, heading the Junior Handler section and getting the Champion ribbon for her hand-reared Salers xHereford heifer.
Forbes and Angus have had another great season for awards, winning a section of the Glammies plus just last weekend, taking out first and third placing’s in the British Breed steak of Origin with an Angus steak.

Our annual Tour and AGM.16 Society members converged on Scenic Suites, Queenstown, for our two days of touring - most of us managing to squeeze in a couple of extra days/nights to explore this fantastic area further.  The first impression is the sheer number of tourists thronging the area – with a population of 20,000, it is estimated that up to 60,000 tourists can be accommodated in the area… so plenty of shopping, activities and adventure tourism opportunities plus eateries providing for every taste in food…  We were blessed with mostly clear sunny weather, warmer than average for the time of year, so all the layers of woollies not required!  Festivities began with a dinner on the evening of the 2nd; 8.30 next morning saw everyone on time for loading onto the bus .We were introduced to our bus driver, Peter, and tour guide, Neville Bryant.  Neville’s’ family had settled and been involved in farming and tourism from the early days of settlement around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, so we were treated to plenty of sound local knowledge from Queenstown, through to Glenorchy, Routeburn and Kinloch.
The team, with tour guide Neville
The missing – Doug and Jenny Harrington, collecting Forbes and Christine Cameron (delayed flights)
With the manager of Routeburn Station unable to lead us on a visit, due to a family member’s acute illness, we drove through to the start of the Fiordland National Park and Routeburn track-spotting a Salers bull at Routeburn Station, on the way through the farmed river flats.  Ken Bain explained that he had been supplying Salers bulls to Routeburn Station - one of a cluster of Ngai Tahu farmed stations in the area.  In a story almost identical to the one we heard at Tangihanga Station last year, problems with first calving heifers lead Routeburn to Ken Bain and Longview Salers for his bull purchases - problem solved.  The first calving heifers are now performing well, calving in the sheltered valleys.  Just like Forbes last year, Ken is finding the bulls are surviving really well, reducing opportunities for new sales!

The drive through beech forests, with clearings providing gorgeous views of bush clad hillsides and high rocky tops.  Back to Glenorchy for a most enjoyable pub style lunch, then on to Kinloch, where the Bryant family settled - the original 1860s cottage still stands, now the hub of an accommodation venture.  On again, this time to Paradise, with Arcadia Station farming Simmentals on the easy flat country right to the boundary of the Aspiring National Park, with tracks leading from the last clearing - once again, beech forest lined the road.  Back to Queenstown with a hard decision to make -where to dine?  Neville and Margaret Bryant joined us for dinner at the Speights Tavern, very handy to Scenic Suites…

Day two saw us farewell Brett and Lucy Teutenberg, Neville and Margaret took their places on the bus.  We headed to Cromwell, once past Lake Hayes, it was dry rocky gullies, with wild roses and thyme the dominant vegetation and old gold mining sites dotting the valleys.  We passed the Kawerau River bungy jumping site - no volunteers to try this out, so we kept on driving…first stop, Murray Shepherd’s wood carving/turning workshop.  A Dannevirke native and retired stock agent, Murray knows many of our farmers.  Retirement has given Murray the opportunity to revisit creative endeavours - we were treated to viewing hand carved works, our pick being a detailed carving, using lime wood, recreating the scene of Murray’s family arriving to settle their first farm, with a bullock team carting the household effects…
Murray Shepherd’s carving, Cromwell
Morning tea and catch up completed, we headed for the Highlands Motor Racing Park and Museum.  Plenty of vehicles to see plus an informative Hall of Fame of motorsport stars.  A few braver souls went go cart racing (Ken, Doug, Ian, John H. and Bev) and four completed a couple of laps in a Porsche saloon (top speed 170km/hour) -John G, Bev, Gwen, John H..  Those with a bigger cheque book can lap in a Lamborghini or the latest imported racer…
Ken piped us into our lunch date at Carrick vineyard, Bannockburn, with perfect weather for an Italian style outdoor meal - a huge thanks to John and Tricia Harvie of Nenthorn Salers for sponsoring this!
Ken and pipes at Carrick vineyard, Bannockburn
The AGM was held here, but with breezes making life difficult, we completed the proceedings on the bus – road noise meant this was also difficult, but was completed… (See minutes attached).

Locharburn Station, a balance of irrigated flats and hard hills, was our last stop, visiting
Geoff and Joyce Browns’ Locharburn Horned Hereford Stud.  The bulls, selling in the top 10% of Herefords in NZ, were handy for us to view - good long rich coloured bulls, bred for pigment.  Going “polled” is on the discussion list every year…but Locharburn will stay horned, albeit de-horned, meantime.  Our driver took a detour through bustling Arrowtown before leaving us at Queenstown - Peter of Go Bus was thanked for great driving, ditto our guide Neville Bryant.  Another successful Salers tour wound down…thanks to Ken for all his time setting up our Tour.

NEXT YEAR we are focusing on TARANAKI, with the suggested dates-8-9-10 MAY.
PLEASE contact me if you have any other suggestions for dates…
ALSO IN 2017 International Salers Tour, France.  Starting at the major Show, Sommet de l’Elevage, Clermont Ferrand/October 2017.  Dates and full itinerary TBC.  Some of you are already saving up for this – let’s see a good crowd of Kiwis heading for France, birthplace of our cattle!
Michaela winning Junior Handler Championship
with purebred 2yr old and below Champion Salers/Hereford weaner
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