A SUCCESSFUL 16-year involvement with the Bylong Valley is drawing to a close for stud cattle and equestrian identities Jim and Sue Gunn, whose “Wigelmar” property has just hit the market to wind up their local interests.
The Gunns, well known for their Sevenbardot Poll Hereford stud, burst onto the Upper Hunter scene in 2000 with the purchase post-auction of nearby “Murrumbo”, to which they relocated their stud from its previous longtime base at Goondiwindi (Qld).
Some years later they bought “Wigelmar”, and ran it at first as a fattening depot in conjunction with “Murrumbo”, but since 2013 it has been the home to the Sevenbardot stud, carrying 250 breeders and replacements, and 120 sale bulls.
“Murrumbo” was sold in early 2014, and now “Wigelmar” has been listed for on-line auction with Peter Druitt and Company of Mudgee, as the Gunns prepare to semi-retire on acres close to their former home at Goondiwindi.
The offering of the 1138 hectare (2814ac) “Wigelmar” puts into play one of the Bylong Valley’s choicest and most historic grazing properties, with an ownership line stretching back to one of the valley’s founding settler families, the Tindales. Owned for much of the last century by the Traill family, “Wigelmar” today is a substantial property combining fertile soils, secure water, diversity of enterprise options and lifestyle appeal with its spectacular setting and heritage homestead.
Comprising mostly gently undulating country of red basalt-based loam soils interspersed with alluvial valleys and 80ha of retained timber, “Wigelmar” is situated nine kilometres south of Bylong village, at the valley’s favoured western end.
About half the total area has been previously farmed, and currently about 155ha is sown to improved pastures or fodder crop (oats and lucerne), leaving a balance of native pastures which have been conservatively managed.
Before it became the home to the Poll Hereford stud, “Wigelmar” was used to grow out and fatten young cattle, consistently carrying 600 yearlings in an age band from 12 to 20 months.
Average rainfall is 650mm and the property is watered by nine dams and two equipped wells piping to tanks and reticulating to 24 paddock troughs.
One of these wells, sourcing water from a depth of just 3.2 metres, also underpins an irrigation system (with a 180ML licence) that consists of underground PVC mains servicing an established area of 57ha, and offering scope for further expansion.
The property is well fenced into 24 main paddocks and has sound working improvements including two sets of cattle yards (one new, all steel, with 400-head capacity), machinery sheds, concrete-floored workshop, stable, hayshed and silos.
A feature of the property is the homestead, built in 1912 of local sandstone and extensively renovated by the present owners in the past two years.
Flanked on three sides by wide verandahs, the four-bedroom homestead incorporates a large, modern kitchen and family living area opening to a northeast-facing sunroom. There is also a formal dining-room.
“Wigelmar” will be auctioned online from July 6 to July 9 via the auctionWORKSonline website.