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 Our Fold probably started at least in my head several years before the society was formed. Whilst travelling back to Meningie Hospital where I worked saw my first highland. At that time I had no idea of what the breed was and people I worked with had no idea what I was talking about. Jump to 1988 and Country Wide (now land Line) had a segment about Allister Stewart of the Ardvorlich Fold and how he had graded his Jersey Dairy to a Highland Fold using imported semen and grading up cattle to pure Highland cattle. I finally found out what the name of the breed was and quickly searched for Allister's phone number. A quick call and a wealth of information lead me to a owner of Highland cattle from the Old cattle in the Adelaide Hills.

Two weeks later I purchased my first two unregisters highlands. The person I purchased from was not interested in the breed and was scared of the cattle. One animal was fully grown the other was young but had no idea of her dates of birth. Looking back the younger one may have been maybe 6 - 9 months old at best. Sadly the older cow turned out to be barren and never produced a calf but sometime later the younger heifer was put into a ET program and produced 2 bulls (Drochaid and Lochinvar). We then purchased a A grade cow from Arvdorlich with a bull calf at foot and despite asking for a show quality cow a tipped horn and not suitable for show but a breeder all the same came Sadie 8th of Ardvorlich.

I wasn't able to attend the first meeting in Melbourne to form the society but joined as soon as they opportunity arose being Fold 34 of the herd book. With no real knowledge and little information available in the library I tried to source information on the internet which was in its infancy in Australia. Using a dial in modem a page of information could take an hour or more if you didn't get cut off. So with what information I had and no experience and not knowing who to ask I started breaking in our two bulls we had bred and the bull of Sadie's.
The decision was made to put the breed out into the public eye, so we invited ourselves to display the cattle at various country shows. Many firsts were part of the early years with many country shows around the state of South Australia having Highland Cattle as a display.

We decided to enter the Indoor Winter Show in Melbourne and took Lochinvar to Melbourne. We stayed in the small lockers and Robyn brought along Douglas our youngest son as he was still being breast fed. Well the IWS was a huge learning curve and we learnt a lot including the need to feed up the cattle months before hand and rope halters was not the choice to show. Lochinvar was fairly quiet and there was a news crew filming so I grabbed Douglas and sat him on Lochinvar's back. Lochinvar squirmed a little but tolerated it. That bull was the best ambassador for the breed any breeder could have hoped for. Due to his quiet nature he had and I do not exaggerate a thousand or more children sit on his back whilst being shown and displayed, as well as TV reporters, Cattle judges, and the likes of Mark Bickley the Crows Captain at the time and Doctor Harry Cooper who rode him 3 days in a row from the Goodwood Road entrance to the animal nursery about half a kilometre at the Royal Adelaide Show Grounds for the Talk to the Animal Expo.
I mentioned earlier how we tried ET for the beginning of the fold. We purchase straws of Jock of Cullerne and were successful with the embryos. As the cow was from the old cattle breeding the dam had to be inspected and Lochinvar was able to be registered as pure. (For those who do not know of the term old cattle, they were progeny ancestors of cattle imported into Mount Barker via a ship in the 50's. But that's another story).

Our first show on our own of any meaning was the Royal Adelaide Show. The decision on the society name had not been decided and I entered as Scottish Highland Cattle instead of Highland Cattle and have a unique broad ribbon because of that time. As for the show again dirty rope halters untrimmed pizzels and no experience. The then President of the AHCS was Ray Atchison who flew over to help.When it was our breeds turn (I had two bulls Lochinvar and the Ardvolich bull). To say the judge was not professional was an understatement and as I took the first bull in the judge over the PA said the sheep pavilion was behind us and these were in the wrong class. Ray then went and read the riot act to the judge and as the two bulls were in different classes Ray took one and I the other. Ray said which one did I want to win and I said Lochinvar to which Ray replied I will take the other as I won't get put up. True to his word Lochinvar was Champion. Over the many years have had several champions and have collected two bulls for export to New Zealand being Gusgurlach of MacLadanae and Flash Gordon of MacLadanae.

We as the number of animals grew in our fold it allowed us to send our sons and heifers to the Heifer and handler competition at the Royal Show Grounds were despite many rude comments from junior exhibitors about our YAKS and Buffalos started to educate many young people of the breed. Jumping to recent times and as many will know the breed is accepted as a beef breed if more as a boutique beef producer. Our whole family have been part of MacLadanae from a early age. The Fold name came from three of our sons being Mac meaning son of, LA for Lance, DA for Daniel and NA for Nathan. Douglas came along after we registered our fold name otherwise it may of looked slightly different.
The breed has taken me places and made contacts and friends from around Australia and around the World. I was fortunate to go to the UK and Scotland and have seen many folds with some very well known names in Scotland, and seen some fantastic Cattle some of whom were later collected as sires and sent to Australia. My wife and I also went to the Highland Gathering in Glasgow giving me the opportunity to catch up with the now retired Head Herdsman Malcolm Moy of Pollok Park. Were we were fortunate to stay as his guests at Pollok Park in the Stable courtyard.
Iin the early days spent of promotion, we would spend 40 plus days at shows and displays around the state and at Nationals I personally have slowed down considerably preferring to display mainly at Medieval Fairs without the dramas and hassles of showing and still enjoy it. As for other promotion I was the original designer of the first all though very amateurish web site for the AHCS as well as founder of the AHCS Facebook page. I along with several folds (sadly no longer involved with the breed) began the first Highland breeders group in Australia to promote and showcase the breed. My biggest commitment to the breed however would be the Virtual Show. The first virtual show was held in the UK when the last epidemic of foot and mouth had many cattle including some highland lines completely destroyed. Following its success various countries from around the globe including Australia hosted a virtual show. For several years no society wanted to put a virtual show on line and as I was running the Highland Breeders Group on FB I decided to host the show. I registered a domain name and set about putting the pages together. I since learnt many things running the Virtual show and have been supported by breeders from all around the World, Judges to have given freely their time and again so well known names have judged over the years. The virtual show will be on line again this year and another International Name will judge the twenty two classes of various ages for Bulls. Cows, Heifers and Steers as well as funny and scenic photos. If interested in entering please see the Highland Breeders group (International).

So what of the future for MacLadanae. Locally I still intend trying to go to displays although my health has slowed me down. I and am thankful to my son's here in South Australia who help with setting up and getting my carrot addicted heifers to various events. My son Nathan and his Wife Jessica took several Highland Cattle in 2016 across the Nullarbor having decided to carry the MacLadanae name over in the West. Nathan has been a very active promoter of the Highland Breed in Western Australia. He has hosted a number of events to help breeders and non breeders alike to network showing them the way to prepare, groom and show Highland Cattle. He was the first to show Highlands at the Perth Royal Show and if all goes to plan will have six or more first time breeders showing. He also has started a business called Heritage Livestock Australia and will be selling genetics and assisting future Highland Owners in the West with cattle registered under the MacLadanae Fold Name.

In finishing I have to thank my wife Robyn without her ongoing support the years of promotion would likely not occurred, thanks also to my sons who I dragged from show to show and still support the breed, and finally to my friends and contacts over the years who have encouraged me and still do. Thank You

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