Transformation from a Field to the Floor

By Hari Yellina
Speckle Park Cattle // Source: Wikipedia

John Ellis gets to spend his days admiring his black and white cattle roam in front of vineyards and the magnificent Hanging Rock. However, he isn’t the only one who gets to see the show. People are spending more and more time looking at Speckle Park hides on their floors. Mr Ellis and his wife Annie, who own Hanging Rock Speckle Park stud in Newham, Victoria, said the breed is not only great for meat but also for its exquisite hides, which are becoming popular in living rooms around the country. Mr Ellis confesses he was enthralled when he first saw Speckle Park cattle at the Melbourne Royal Show. Hanging Rock Wines’ long-time owner has been considering establishing a cow line to sell beef through their cellar door. Mr Ellis explained, “We were cultivating anything that ate grass.” “However, Ruth Malaspina, who has a marketing degree, proposed that we specialise in a breed.”

When Wattle Grove and Six Star Speckle Park studs were presenting cattle at the Melbourne Show in 2010, the family stepped into the cattle pavilion. And that was the end of it. He explained, “They just sold us on the breed.” “The most outstanding display was a stunning heifer.” His cousin David Ross found a Six Star stud bull named Go Hard in no time. They soon purchased five pure heifers from Six Star and integrated them into their herd using an AI technique. “The first year, we got five bull calves, and the second year, we got three,” Mr Ellis added. He decided to enter the show ring with this swag of bulls. Paul Hourn was the guy for the task. They went to Melbourne Royal in 2014 after attending cattle handling camps with the support of Mr Ellis’ grandson Jack. They were also voted most successful exhibitor and junior female champion with a team of six animals. They then won supreme exhibit with a bull calf in 2015. Today the Ellis family runs Hanging Rock Beef, as well as the winery and a cattle transport business, run by Mr Hourn.

Mr. Ellis has a lot of admiration for the breed. “They are an absolute pleasure to work with. They’re so submissive “he stated “Their beef is lovely and tender. We focus on developing two-year-old steers.” However, there is another benefit: the steers have gorgeous large hides. The Ellis family decided to have the Speckle hides tanned because of their distinctive black and white pattern. Hardwicks Meatworks processes two animals at a time, according to Mr Ellis. Mr Ellis said, “They are well-regarded in animal husbandry, and we have the option of keeping the hides.” “They are obviously wearing great coats.”

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