Recognised worldwide for their valuable contribution to beef industry profitability, progressive commercial cattle breeders across Australia have picked up the Charolais advantage. Charolais are one of the most important beef breeds in Australia today, famous for their ability to add profit to beef production.
Charolais were the first European breed to enter Australia. The initial introduction was with semen imports from the United Kingdom. In March 1969 the first batch of semen was released. The sire was Sucre who to this day has the most number of progeny registered in our Herd book. The first Charolais sired calf was born on 7th January 1970 at “King River” Albany Western Australia. The breeder was NS Hyde and Son. In the early 1970’s live Charolais cattle were imported from New Zealand who had access to British genetics.
The first Charolais organisation was formed in September 1967 when the Charolais Society of Western Australia was formed. In 1968 on the east coast the Charolais Cattle Breeders Association of Australia was established in New South Wales along with the Charolais Society of Australia in Victoria. In 1969 a single governing body “The Charolais Society of Australasia” was formed with Mr. Anthony Hordern Jnr the inaugural President. Mr Frank Hodder was appointed the Chief Executive Officer. The inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Society was held on March 23rd 1970.
The first auction sale of Charolais genetics was conducted in Western Australia in March 1970 followed by a sale at Mandalong stud, St Marys NSW on the 6th June 1970. The cattle on offer had been shipped live from New Zealand. These cattle were percentage animals.
In just three short years the Society had 1026 members join. In 1976 the first Australian purebred heifer was bred by Bill Wignall, Oorama Stud, Western Australia. He heifer Oorams Marie (WN*M50D) was born on the 5/3/1796. Since then the breed has achieved impressive growth and now ranks as the number 1 European breed in Australia.
Australian Charolais continued to develop with the introduction of Charolais semen from Canada, as well as the continuing use of French/UK bulls. New Zealand also was ahead of Australia in numbers of purebred animals and many animals were imported to Australia.