Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


A breed of their ownA breed of their own

Next year marks the centenary of the birth of Australia’s only “local” breed of cattle, the famous Murray Greys, and the families that developed the breed still live in Upper Murray Valley region of Victoria.

Story Sue Neales photos Stephan Miechel

Peter Sutherland is riding his trusty stockhorse along the wending banks of the Upper Murray River. His sheepdogs scramble at foot, but are hardly needed to muster the amiable grey giants that plod ahead of him across Thologolong Station, trampling the scented penneroyal herb that grows wild on the river flats. History is also in the air. For these green river flats, ringed by high snow-capped mountains, are the birthplace of Australia’s only own, unique cattle breed, the Murray Grey.

A breed of their ownNext year, 2005, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first curiously-grey calf born on Thologolong, then owned by Peter’s grandparents, Peter Alexander and Ena Sutherland. That calf, or more accurately, its mother-cow, was the start of what has become the famous Murray Grey cattle breed, now known throughout the world for its tender tasty meat, docile temperament and rapid muscle growth.

“These very flats are the home of Australia’s only own beef breed,” says Peter Sutherland dramatically, a quiet, unassuming man not given to overstatement. “We still live on the original property where the first Murray Greys were born, and the cattle that I run are directly descended from the only foundation herd of Murray Greys in the world. It’s a great thrill to be connected with something as significant and historic as that.” Story end

Full story OUTBACK Issue 35 June/July 2004

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