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'Droughtmaster' evolved from cross-breeding Bos taurus and Bos indicus breeds to overcome perennial problems of drought, cattle ticks, heat, eye cancer and many other ailments which occur in cattle in tropical and sub tropical Australia.


In 1926, R.L. (Monty) Atkinson, considered to be one of the foremost figures in the constructive breeding program of the Droughtmaster and former Droughtmaster Society Patron made an important observation when taking mares to a blood stallion in a region experiencing severe drought conditions at the time. At a station called Christmas Creek Station, Mr Atkinson had seen several Zebu-British cross-bred cattle, the descendants of the first bulls sent north in 1910. Included in this herd was a large Zebu bull, all the cattle being in good store to fat condition.


A grazier friend, Ernest White told him of his recent trip to the USA where he was introduced to the Santa Gertrudis. Mr White informed Monty that it was his intention to attempt to breed a similar breed to withstand the harsh Queensland environment and climate conditions. From here Monty set about attempting to develop what ultimately became the Droughtmaster. They were to have suitable attributes to withstand the severe environment of the tropics, as contained in the Zebu (Bos indicus), together with British breed (Bos taurus) bloodlines in sufficient proportions to take advantage of the best attributes of each.


In the early 1930's a consignment of Brahman cattle were imported into Queensland. Monty had access to three red half-bred Brahman bulls, which performed well in ticky country. The best progeny were selected for retention in the breeding herd. These were the progeny of Shorthorn and Shorthorn-Devon cross females. The process was carefully carried out over the years in a grading up programme, until later two red half-bred Brahman bulls were bought from Waverley Station at St Lawrence, the progeny of a purebred Brahman bull imported in the 1930's. Monty later selected another bull for its dominant colour, docility, tick resistance the fact that it produced progeny which were widely regarded as being good doers and made excellant breeders, this bull played an important role in the ultimate formation of the Droughtmaster breed.


With patient perseverance, the careful culling and selection of progeny from the mixing of bloodlines of Bos indicus and Bos taurus breeds, the new Droughtmaster breed was spawned.


In 1952, the Australian Zebu Cross Beef Cattle Breeders Association was formed to control the various developing breeds of Bos indicus/Bos taurus backgrounds, but in 1956, the Association was divided into three groups, these bring Brangus, Braford and Droughtmaster. They became registered separtely under one organisation, The Australian Tropical Beef Breeders Association. An autonomous Droughtmaster Stud Breeders Society commenced in 1962.




Sleek red coat and shows a moderate hump with deep even fleshing and shallow fat covering. Fully fleshed mature bulls may weigh over one tonne. They thrive in our tropical regions and is extremely tick resistant and show tremendous adaptability, making them also suitable for the more temperate areas such as SE Queensland and Northern New South Wales.They have a quiet temperament, and demonstrated ease of calving, no eye cancer and optimum bloat resistance.


Blue's Town & Country Magazine, February/March 1995 Edition Pg 20- 24

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