The Ardno Hereford Stud was founded by Ralph McEachern in 1937 due to a passion and a ‘desire to breed functional’ Hereford cattle. Glentevor, Coliban Park and Golf Hill bloodlines were used early on to set a solid foundation. Ardno enjoyed moderate success in the 1940’s where Ralph and Gwen achieved their long cherished aim of winning a champion ribbon in 1948 with Ardno Dictator 2 at Melbourne Royal. In the early 1950’s the late Mrs Biddlecombe of Golf Hill dispersed her herd, Ralph purchased 10 females for 10,000 guineas. The McEachern’s regally showed and sold bulls at the Royal Sydney show, where the cattle would spend more than a week travelling from Strathdownie (SA/Vic Border) to Sydney via train. Buyers would pay from 90-250 guineas for each beast.
1956 proved to be the turning point of the herd as Ralph ventured to England and purchased Vern Imperious, Vern Impetuous and a six week old bull calf called Marlo Emphasis for 1000 guineas, which set a new record for the Hereford world. The Vern bulls were undoubtedly influential with Imperious siring 42 Sydney and Melbourne Royal Champions and Marlo Emphasis proved to be a potent sire for producing quality females. The English genetics took the market by storm as prior to their introduction Ardno had been receiving 200 guineas but at the 1960 Sydney Royal the bulls made between 2000-4000 guineas each.
In the 1960’s-70’s the show ring was the ultimate test of an animal. 90 Bulls would contest a single class, of which Ardno won the most successful exhibitor award at Sydney Royal Show 9 times in 20 years. On average Ardno would take a team of 20 animals to various royal shows. In 1960 Ardno Gladiola 41st by Vern Imperious won the Grand Champion Female 3 consecutive times and went on to win the Lord Hereford Trophy outright. Ardno was awarded the Senior Champion Female in 1985 at Sydney Royal and went on to win the Interbreed Championship Ribbon for pair of animals with Devon Court Emperor.
In 2015 the Ardno Hereford stud was sold to the Cleves Family of Mount Gambier with the stud returning near to its birth place of Strathdownie. The Cleves family are passionate about Herefords and look forward to supplying their clients with quality Ardno Bloodlines in the future.
1. Ardno Nester at the Sydney Royal show in 1970.
2. 1981 Ardno bull sale.