Maungahina Stud marks 115 years

Quality Hereford and Speckle Park bulls fetch top prices

Steve Carle





Maungahina Stud celebrated 115 years of breeding with an outstanding bull sale recently. For the Herefords they averaged 29/30 Herefords at $9086 and the Speckle Parks 12/15 for $18,500, lot 36 $65,000 and lot 50 $60,000. “It was a very strong commercial sale for the Herefords, we were delighted to get the prices we got,” said Mark McKenzie. “It was all commercially focused, which is what we strive for. “The buyers of the lot 36 and 50 Speckle Park bulls were from Australia. “The second buyer was a syndicate with a New Zealand breeder, Grant Bennett, in it. They wanted them and paid the two highest prices we’ve ever sold through our auction ring. — I was rapt,” he said. Maungahina is a Hereford and Speckle Park stud, farmed by Bruce McKenzie, a fourth-generation member and Mark and Melissa McKenzie, fifth-generation members of the founding McKenzie family near Masterton. “It has always been the management policy to raise and sell the bulls under natural conditions, and owing to this policy, over the years Maungahina bulls have proven to be outstanding in stamina and constitution,” said Mark. “We use genetics to up fertility, muscling, size and outcross of the genetic base to improve our breed and introduce new bloodlines to New Zealand. “We want bulls that will perform extremely well in New Zealand and structural soundness is the key to our conditions.” Maungahina consists of three properties. Maungahina being 600ha of rolling hilly lime stone country 8km east of Masterton, in a low-rainfall area of about 30 inches. Papariki is 50ha 3km east of Masterton, all under K-line irrigation, and the Miki Miki block is 200ha 18km northwest of Masterton in a high-rainfall area. It is here in competition with sheep and commercial cattle that Maungahina Hereford and Speckle Park bulls are bred and raised for an annual on-farm auction that has been running for 76 years. It has always been the management policy to raise and sell the bulls under natural conditions and owing to this policy, over the years Maungahina bulls have proved to be outstanding in stamina and constitution. At present Maungahina have 350 registered cows consisting of Herefords and Speckle Parks, wintering over 1000 stud cattle, all performance recorded. At present they are selling up to 120 bulls with two auction sales throughout the year. Following the recent sale, there is a yearling sale at the end of September. The stud consistently keeps a top standard of cows that are retained in the herd, giving them one chance, if they don’t breed they are culled. Maungahina also runs 900 commercial ewes and 200 hoggets. “We treat our stud stock as a commercial operator would. From a commercial breeder’s viewpoint they need to be good producers, fertile, sound and durable,” said Mark. Maungahina buys the best genetics and where possible, try to see the bull in the flesh first. It uses only a limited amount of artificial insemination.