ATTENDING cattle shows with his grandfather from a young age stirred enough interest in stud breeding for Caleb Croker to begin the foundations of his Talumbi stud when aged 14.
Caleb's interest in Hereford cattle and their breeding continues a line of Croker family studmasters that started with his great-grandfather, Russell Croker, founder of the noted Bolong Hereford stud at Golspie, then continued by his son and Caleb's grandfather, Peter.
Now 18, Caleb has a herd boasting 11 females with the addition of the $10,500 top-priced 13 month-old heifer of the 59th Dubbo Herefords Australia National sale last week, JTR Cherry Ripe Q006.
His herd was founded on Bolong blood with a Bolong heifer from his grandfather, plus some other substantial Poll Hereford matrons including recently purchased cows from Morfield stud of Terry and Leanne Moreing, Bibbenluke, and JTR Cherry Ripe Q006 is definitely one of those and the latest addition.
As a coincidence, one of Caleb's aunties is Caroline McLauchlan, who with husband, Andrew, of Valma stud, Whitemore, Tasmania, are the breeders of Cherry Ripe's sire, Valma Landslide.
Caleb Croker said Cherry Ripe Q006 was one of those substantially attractive females that took his eye at Crookwell show earlier this year for her overall type, length and a "beautiful" front end along with a set of very good figures.
JTR stud principals Jemma and Tim Reid, Roslyn, said the heifer was out of one of their best cows, JWR Cherry Ripe L17, by Wynella Alliance, and a family line they really liked.
"She's a really feminine heifer, long, and deep," Tim. Reid said.
The Reids also sold a bull, JTR Payrise sired by EFBeef U208 Fortune Y848 (Imp USA) and from Sevenbardot Coral G15, purchased by the Rumble family for their Supple stud, Guyra.
Stud heifers were reintroduced to the 2020 catalogue as sale prospects due to limited sale access of stud females during the coronavirus lockdown.
Dubbo National committee chair, Andrew Rayner, said heifers added prestige to the fixture and offered quality females with a lifetime of breeding ahead of them.