A SMALL but choice Central West property needing no introduction to anyone associated with the mohair industry has been listed for sale at Cudal, to end three generations of innovative occupation by the Stapleton family.
The 122 hectare (303ac) property, “Gundamain”, is owned today by Doug and Rosemary Stapleton and is home to the Cudal Mohair stud founded in the 1970s by Doug’s well-known father, the late Max Stapleton.
During the Angora goat boom of the 1970s and ‘80s, the property became the de facto national headquarters of the industry, home to the breed society (of which Max was president) and also to the National Mohair Pool.
Angora breeders from around Australia sent their mohair fibre to “Gundamain” for objective measurement, classing and sale by auction, with up to 1000 bales a year leaving the big classing shed for consignment to global destinations.
Meanwhile the stud was at the cutting edge of breed development, introducing new genetics from Texas and South Africa and exporting live animals and frozen semen to buyers from South America to Madagascar.
The mohair pool closed in 2009 and national fibre marketing is now conducted by the Australian Mohair Marketing Organisation from a base at Narrandera, but the Stapletons have remained active Angora breeders and mohair producers.
All that is about to end this month, however, when “Gundamain” will go under the hammer to wind up 75 years of one-family ownership.
Stephen Townsend of Townsend Real Estate in Orange has been engaged to sell the historic property, and it will be submitted to on-site auction on October 29 with price expectations of around $1.3 million.
The price estimate might yet prove conservative, given the property’s “dress circle” location in prime basalt mixed farming country fronting the main Escort Way linking Orange and Forbes, and its suitability for a range of intensive enterprises.
During its three generations of Stapleton ownership, beginning with Doug’s grandfather Horace, the property has been variously managed for wheat and prime lamb production, poultry for egg production, turkeys, cattle, and Angoras.
Situated just to the east of Cudal and 35 kilometres from Orange, “Gundamain” is described as about 80 per cent arable, with soils predominantly of red basalt over limestone and areas of heavy black alluvial.
Timbered originally by yellow and white box, the property has frontage to the permanent Boree Creek, where a bore supplies stock water to a 50,000 litre tank for reticulation to paddock troughs. Average rainfall is 650 millimetres.
Most of the property is sown to lucerne and winter oats, now supporting a flock of 600 Angora goats, although with estimated 12.5 DSE/ha carrying capacity the country is equally well suited to other livestock enterprises, both stud and commercial.
Working infrastructure includes seven main sheds (one with concrete floor, power connected previously used for mohair preparation) plus a hayshed, a shearing shed and silos.