NZFarmer : December 16th 2009
10 Straight Furrow • December 15, 2009 DeerFocus AFTER almost 30 years in the deer industry Hamilton stud breeders John and Paula Kempthorne have decided to call it a day. Windermere Red Deer Stud will be having its 38th and final public auction on January 8, 2010. Windermere Red Deer Stud has supplied quality Warnham Park and Woburn Abbey deer to the New Zealand market by pub- lic auctions for the past 19 years. John bought the basis of his deer herd in 1981 and has been breeding stud animals for 20 years. He bought his first imported bloodlines in 1988. He has concentrated on Warnham Park and Woburn Abbey genet- ics, although for a brief time experimented with some Eastern European bloodlines from Yugoslavia and Hungary. Windermere Red Deer Stud uses highly selective breeding and extensive embryo transfer programs to breed the highest level of Warnham Park and Woburn Abbey genetics. Windermere's main focus has been on velvet produc- tion and to a lesser extent, trophy antler. They believe their highly selected purebred Warnham Park hinds and complementary stags pro- duce the best style of antler for the velvet industry. The Woburn genetics produce large heads for the trophy indus- try. John and Paula decided to fine tune their antler genetics with Warnham Park and Woburn Abbey genetics because they have been bred in England for 150 years and there is guaran- teed repeatability of genetics. "We believe that new is not always better so instead of try- ing something new all the time we've tried to perfect the blood- lines we knew were performing." John said venison and velvet have had their ups and downs over the years and recently tro- phy animals have played a larg- er role in the industry. "Many breeders have gone solely towards trophy because they've had good returns, but I feel you can lose good velvet genetics quickly that way. "As a farmer you have to decide what you're breeding for: venison, velvet, or trophy. There is some degree of overlap, but to get the best results you can only do justice to one," he said. The velvet market has changed recently with velvet prices going up as marketing improves and tonnage decreas- es.Last year in the National Velvet Competition Windermere stags won the heaviest red vel- vet in three and four year class and also won the five year, the open red, and supreme champi- on classes; Windermere bred stags also placed second and fifth in the trophy antler section. Windermere bred stag Austin cut 9.9kg at four years old and has won the National Velvet Competition three times at four, six, and eight years old, cutting 14.65kg velvet at eight years. firstname.lastname@example.org The industry "Deer farming always has been, and still is, the realm of businessman and farmers who are totally passionate about their deer," John said. "You can take all the eco- nomics out of deer farming whether profitable or not there'd still be deer farmers." He said it has been an "absolutely fantastic" experi- ence to be involved in the deer industry for almost 30 years "We want to thank every- body from the bottom of our hearts for their loyal support in what has been an incredi- ble journey." The 38th and final public auction will be held on January 8 at the Hamilton property near Temple view. Visit www.windermere- deer.com for more details. A Windermere pure Warnham stag, Windsor, at six years old. JOHN and Paula are hoping to sell the stud as one complete entity. "We have a herd of very high quality hinds and stags that have been highly selected over 20 years, we feel to sell in the animals in a normal dispersal sale would be a shame." The Kempthornes have decided the time is right to hand the herd over to a new owner who has the desire and ability to take it to a new level. "There's huge potential to carry on what we've started." They will begin marketing the stud in New Zealand and internationally in the new year and hope to have the sale process underway sometime in 2010. Depending on the situation John would be willing to stay on in advi- sory capacity, and either way he will keep in touch with how the stud pro- gresses, and the deer industry as a whole. "There's some exciting young bloodlines coming through, and although we're selling I'm still as pas- sionate about it as I ever was." John said the time was right to sell and he and Paula were happy to fin- ish up on a high note. "We're not selling for financial rea- sons but we have to be realistic we can't do these things forever." The Kempthornes' property is 36ha and John said there would be huge potential for a farmer with a larger property to take the stud to the next step "Someone who had more land would have more options." Some of Windermere's trophy stags have fetched $100,000 in sec- ondary sales. "Somebody with a bigger property could keep those animals on longer and sell them themselves." He said there was also potential for more artificial insemination and embryo transfer work to advance the genetics and increase herd num- ber quickly and effectively. --- Bronwyn Savage Selling as one entity Kempthornes set to move on after Windermere By BRONWYN SAVAG E John and Paula Kempthorne are selling their stud after a long history in the deer industry. Aztec, a pure Woburn stag at seven years.
December 9th 2009