Our Stud History

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About Swan Hill Cattle Company

Swan Hill Cattle Co is situated between Tambo and Blackall in Central Western Queensland.

The Santa Gertrudis Stud is run from Swan Hill with approximately 800 Stud breeders in the herd. In addition to this, 1500 commercial cows are run at Ghenm and Stanton Downs, both in the Blackall-Tambo district. Terry Russell’s father settled at Swan Hill in the early 1900s. Terry and his father, William Russell worked hard to expand their land holdings. 

The existing Swan Hill Cattle Co business was established by Terry Russell and is now operated by Terry, his son Cam and Cam’s wife Fiona

Cam and Fiona’s children take an active interest in the business.

Swan Hill Santa Gertrudis Stud Highlights:

  • The arrival of the first cross bred Santa cows from Elgin Downs on Melbourne Cup Day 1960
  • The purchase of the stud's foundation sire King Ranch Fame at the Sydney Show sale in March 1961 for 1500 guineas.
  • The development of a poll Santa Gertrudis line within the stud. Swan Hill Bachelor made an early mark with broad ribbon wins across the eastern states, including the Sydney Royal. Swan Hill Banker sold in 1970 for $10,000 - an Australian record price for a poll Santa bull.
  • The first on-property auction Sale in June 1969. 59 head, including 20 heifers, sold for $61,405. Terry is especially proud of the track record of sales since then – Swan Hill has held an on-property auction every year since 1969, meeting the market through the tough times as well as the good.
  • The importation of first Santa bull (Cherokee Vulcan) from the USA after the lifting of the embargo in the early 1980s.
  • Terry said he was proud to be able to look back over 50 years of involvement with the Santa Gertrudis breed and appreciate the many friendships, the many loyal clients and the opportunity to have been part of the progress of the cattle industry in northern Australia.