Ken Mackay hit Hereford heights

Poll Herefords mourn breed stalwart Ken Mackay


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HIGH FLYER: Ken Mackay helped  keep the Merawah stud near Boggabilla at the top of the Poll Hereford stud industry. He has died aged 93.

HIGH FLYER: Ken Mackay helped keep the Merawah stud near Boggabilla at the top of the Poll Hereford stud industry. He has died aged 93.

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Ken Mackay from the Merawah Poll Hereford stud has died, aged 93.

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The whiteface breed has lost one of its most respected elder statesmen with the death of Ken Mackay, Merawah Poll Hereford stud, Boggabilla.

Mr Mackay, who was 93, passed away peacefully in a Goondiwindi nursing home on January 15.

His wife, Judy, a legendary horsewoman and a former patron of the Australian Poll Hereford Society, died in 2011.

They took over the running of the Merawah stud from Judy’s father, Hilton Doyle, one of the founding fathers of the Poll Hereford breed in Australia.

Mr Doyle, who died in 1954 aged 73, had been one of the most respected cattle and sheep producers in the country. He established the Merawah stud in 1936. 

Ken and Judy Mackay maintained Merawah stud’s top position in the beef industry and sold cattle to all states of the country and several countries overseas.

Mr Mackay was a renowned cattleman, horseman and pilot whose flying career began as a fighter pilot in the Second World War and continued with his Cessna with Merawah Poll Herefords emblazoned on the fuselage until his sixties.

He traded thousands of cattle during the 1960s and 1970s throughout south-west Queensland and northern NSW which underpinned his desire to keep the Merawah stud commercially focused and relevant.

He was a keen rodeo man and operated a bucking bull and horse string with the late Wally Gunn (Sevenbardot Poll Herefords, Goondiwindi) who married Judy’s older sister, Margaret.

Mr Mackay was also a highly regarded polo player and later a prominent campdrafter. He was also the driving force behind the Goondiwindi show for many years. 

The Merawah stud is now managed by Andrew and Carolyn Mackay and their children, Serena and Gus.

Mr Mackay maintained his keen interest in the cattle industry, particularly Herefords, and was still active at Merawah’s 2018 sale.

He is survived by his sons, Andrew and Robert, and their wives, Carolyn and Lori, and grandchildren,  Serena, Angus, Jade and Greg.

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