Mt William Charolais was founded in 1969 by the late RM Barr Smith. During trips to Britain, France and Mexico RM was impressed with the Charolais breed. In particular he witnessed their ability to handle the dryer climatic conditions in Mexico, where cattle were required to walk long distances to water and survive in harsh conditions. With this in mind RM thought Charolais would adapt well to Australian conditions, and be a great asset to the Australian beef industry.

At this Stage the Mt William Heard was predominantly shorthorn with a small amount of dairy. In November 1969 A Local Willaura transport driver Harry Lister picked up a small heard(30 or so) of Friesian cows from a Station in the Little Desert area called Why Worry. This group of cows along with some shorthorn cows was to form the basis of the Heard.

RM along with a Mr Bonfield of Queensland and Mr Yenken of Victoria acquired the first shipment of semen from France. They selected one of the top Sires of the time, the French bull Sucre. The semen arrived in ampules and was split into halves and inseminated into the predominantly Friesian cows. By repeating this process annually with the progeny and using French and British Genetics the breed went from ½ to ¾ Charolais then 7/8th to 15/16th to 31/32nds or Pure bread. It took around 16 years by selling off the ½ and ¾ cows for the heard to reach pure status.

A number of Charolais bulls had been imported from New Zealand around this time but most likely some of the first Australian Born Pure Bread Charolais Cattle dropped out of Mt William females in the late 1970s. In 1979 Charolais Steers won either Champion or Reserve Champion carcass at every major Australian Royal Show. The Breed had begun to make its mark on the Australian Beef industry.

One advantage of using Friesians is the excellent milking ability which is still evident in the Mt William Female heard today.

The heard was built on the following Bloodlines:
Sires Such as Full French Sucre and Salomon, British Sires Oaktree Eris, Cadet and Canadian HTA Sky lighter were all used in the early days.
RM remained very passionate about Charolais throughout his life. This seemed to rub off on his Daughter Anne Abbott who took over the Stud in 1987 and it has since gone from strength to strength.

Anne is responsible for making the Stud what it is today. A continued extensive AI programme during the 80’s and 90’s helped the stud to expand its genetic base. For a period, all of the stud cows were Artificially Inseminated and back up bulls used. During this time, Large numbers of Mt William Bulls were sold to Stations in the Northern Territory where they were used over Bosindicus Cattle like Brahman.

Anne along with Former Manager and now Stud Advisor Bryce Galvin continued to refine the heard and focused more on natural mating purchasing many top sires from Australian Studs Including Palgrove QLD, Rosedale, Talgoona NSW, and Kadlunga SA.

Testament to the work of Anne and Bryce in selecting the correct cattle to bred from is in 2011 the ARBI advising Mt William is in the top 5% of the Charolais Breed for Genetic improvement.

A continued selection process and using AI and Embryo programs Mount William has sold bulls all over Australia as well as exporting bulls to China and the UAE.

In 1999 Anne and Bryce conducted the first on property sale. 2017 will see the 18th Annual Sale with 50 Bulls and 25 Females on Offer.
We currently have around 250 Breeding females.

Mount William continues to invest heavily in our genetics recently acquiring Palgrove Hannibul (P) R/F for $20,000 from the Bonfield’s Palgrove Stud in Queensland. In addition, we purchased the Top Price Bull at Rangan Charolais 2016 Sale Rangan Roundup K36E for $14,000.

Our recent acquisition and use of the UK Calving Ease Sire Blelack Digger produced record results for the Mount William Stud. In the 2016 Sale, we set a new Victorian Auction Record selling one of Diggers son’s to our longstanding client Narweena Station for $17,000.

We know that RM Barr Smith would have seen it as a proud moment given he was such a pioneer of the Charolais breed.