In 2003 Simon and Wendy brought their first female Charolais after breeding Romagnola cattle for 12 years. They had a passion to breed pedigree cattle and made a decision that Charolais offered the best potential for future breeding. At that stage they were farming on Simon’s family farm, ‘Rauriki’ in Crownthorpe, west of Hastings on a summer dry property.
In 2008 they decided to make the move to an area where they could expand their farming operation with some strong soils and reliable rainfall. In 2009 they purchased ‘Waikopiro’ in Whetukura, which was 420 hectares. After 9 years of farming at ‘Waikopiro’ they decided to grow the farming operations again and purchased ‘Pukerua’. ‘Pukerua offered them more scope and scale and some easier contoured land with good reliable natural water on a limestone base soil structure.
The Charolais herd has and will continue to add value to their farming system. In 2018, their son George returned from overseas and now runs the day to day operations. He is also very keen to farm in the future and continue growing the Charolais operation.
The Rauriki Charolais team have always been supportive of local A&P shows and regularly takes cattle to participate in showing competitions. They are also fortunate that their daughter Lucy is passionate about showing cattle. She has enjoyed success with showing cattle representing the RAS of New Zealand in Australia in the Australasian junior judging finals.
In 2004, Rauriki Charolais purchased their first females from Pouriwai Stud in Gisborne. They picked twelve 'R2 Heifers' that were in calf to Pouriwai S335 and the newly imported French bull, Laurel. Since this first purchase of heifers from Pouriwai, cows and heifers have been purchased from six other Charolais studs throughout the country, paying particular regard to obtaining cattle that have a ''red factor" background or are in calf to "red factor" bulls.
In 2005, we purchased a further thirty-two cows and twelve yearling bulls from Simca Hills Charolais Stud, in Northland. Simca Hills has been breeding Charolais for over thirty years and have a good reputation for breeding quality Charolais cattle, especially with regards to structural soundness, growth rate and milking ability in females.
In recent times, our objective of having a sole ''red factor'' cattle herd has been changed to incorporate the more traditional "white'' or ''cream'' colour. Rauriki's primary objective is to breed moderate, sound and functional bulls with an exceptional temperament.
In 2018, Rauriki brought females from three different studs, primarily buying twenty-six females from Pouriwai Stud in Gisborne. The females from Pouriwai have an impressive and proven pedigree from a long-standing Charolais Stud.
Recently, genetics have also been brought from Kaitoke, Stonehenge and Novuelle Studs. Rauriki has also undertaken an artificial insemination program from mainly North American genetics. The North American genetics offer some outcross pedigrees along with added performance in lower birth weight, growth and carcass figures.