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Stud Profile

Cooinda Santa Gertrudis Stud,

Proston, QLD
Contact Details:
Chris and Elisa Fox
Cooinda Santa Gertrudis Stud
908 Speedwell Rd
Proston QLD 4613
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Stud Description

The Cooinda story began in the late 1990’s when a chance meeting between Stud Principal’s, Chris & Elisa Fox, occurred late one evening outside the Halls of Residence at Gatton College. Sounds simple enough really – country boy meets country girl, both share a passion for the beef industry, boy & girl get married etc etc. But the reality was far different and the obstacles at times seemed insurmountable. Chris grew up near Proston in the fertile South Burnett region of SE Qld, and was a steadfast Santa Gertrudis man. Elisa grew up on a remote station near Forsayth in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and on some level was probably barely aware that any breed beside Brahmans even existed.

During their first year of University, Elisa spent a fair bit of time ‘hanging out’ at Chris’ parent’s (Tom & Coralie) property, Cooinda, watching, learning, trying to help with husbandry practices that were both familiar & bizarrely alien to her. Heated ‘discussions’ ensued as she struggled to learn how intensive cattle breeding worked whilst Chris despaired of her ever learning where the right place to stand was whilst drafting, & was often quite mocking of how things were done ‘up north’. Towards the end of that first year, she got her revenge by taking Chris ‘up north’ with her & setting him free in her world. It didn’t take long for him to see for himself just how different the two breeding operations were & to his credit he adapted and on his return to College was even heard defending the ‘northern way’.

It shouldn’t really have been a surprise that he was able to ‘think big’ – one of his favourite stories to tell is how when he was about 10 years old he had great plans to one day fatten 10 000 one-brand bullocks off pasture. Ever the optimist, this plan is still in play, however a shorter term goal has had to be adopted. With bull breeding now his over-riding passion he’d like his impact on the beef industry to reflect that, and hence would love to see 10 000-plus bullocks by Cooinda bulls go over the hooks every year.

Back at College, the relationship flourished & finally, armed with their respective Degrees, the two joined-at-the-hip lovebirds finally had the chance to start making their mark on the industry. Elisa went back north & jillaroo’d for a while before accepting a job in the pig industry and trod a new, often disturbing career path collecting & processing pig semen and travelling extensively teaching farmers and industry workers the fine art of porcine artificial insemination. Chris returned to his parent’s property & dedicated the next couple of years to driving his Dad crazy with new ideas & not so quietly coveting Tom & Coralie’s high quality Santa Gertrudis females (Tom & Coralie first introduced Santa bulls into their herd in 1966, and from then on bred up to & maintained a line a purebred Santa Gertrudis). It was from this herd that Chris sourced the first of the Cooinda females after establishing Stud No. 1938, meaning that today our young stud is able to offer the benefits of 47 years of dedicated Santa Gertrudis breeding.

In a move she was destined to regret forever, Elisa organised their 2002 marriage to fall smack bang in the middle of the Spring bull sales, meaning that she is often the recipient of an extremely expensive, living, breathing anniversary present - no nagging required! 

Following their marriage she ‘retired’ from the pig industry and returned to Proston & the Stud where her tolerance of Santas has gradually increased to the point where only occasionally does she complain about the lack of her beloved Brahmans ‘down here’, and has even been heard defending Santas to family & friends ‘up north’.

Careful investment over the past decade in local grazing properties has allowed the Stud to expand to its current size. The breeders are run on a mixture of sandy forest country, and red scrub country. The bulls are weaned onto green panic, rhodes, and creeping blue grasses, as well as forage oats (season permitting). The cattle are mustered using horses, dogs & bikes, and are handled extensively throughout their herd life but more particularly around weaning. All breeders are pregnancy tested annually, and all empties are culled. This ‘ruthlessness’ has meant that the Stud can boast an efficient, fertile, easy-care dam line which has consistently achieved pregnancy rates of 90% or better, even during recent dry years.

After a number of years of being involved in several multi-vendor sales, the decision to hold their own sale was not taken lightly. Herd expansion meaning extra bulls were available for sale, and a change in their personal circumstances following a family tragedy were both major factors in the decision making process, as was the long-held desire to avoid grain feeding bulls. It is still early days yet, but so far the change has been a good one, and they are still enjoying themselves immensely.

Following through on their commitment to breeding, Chris & Elisa are attempting to populate the beef industry with a new generation of young graziers so be sure to keep an eye out for Mitchell, Hayley & Liam on Sale day.

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