Ross started Red Cactus Stud in 1970, with the puchase of two Red Poll calves. Ross had shown calves at his local Whittlesea Show in calf rearing competitions and from here came his desire to show Stud Red Poll cattle. The choice of breeding Red Polls was a natural as the Draper family had been breeding Red Poll cattle since the 1940's. The initial purchases came from Cypress Stud at Mansfield and Glen Logan Stud. The Stud slowly built up numbers and exhibited at local shows.
In 1981, Ross attended the Royal Adelaide Red Poll feature Show where he purchased Broomfield Super Seeder. In 1982, Ross returned to Adelaide to show his very first Royal with two animals, and returned for the next ten years. In 1984, Red Cactus See Nicole won Junior Champion Heifer at both Adelaide and Melbourne Royal shows. In 1990, Red Polls were again shown at Brisbane for the first time after a long absence, and Red Cactus exhibited five head.
The following four years saw Red Cactus return to Brisbane claiming champion female three years in a row. 1983 saw Red Cactus first exhibit at the Sydney Royal, an effort which has continued every year since. One of the most pleasing Royal Show successes was Junior and Grand Champion Female at 1988 Bi-Centenary Red Poll Feature with Red Cactus Julanne at 12 months old. With 100 exhibits this was the best showing in Sydney and Julanne has proved to be an excellent breeder. Red Cactus Woothang, and grand son, was judged Senior and Grand Champion Bull at the 1998 Royal Melboune Red Poll Feature Show.
Red Cactus stud actively supports Red Poll Sales. Red Cactus Claria was sold in 1990 at Wodonga Red Poll National Sale, for a then record auction price of $14,000.00 Claira had been champion as a yearling at Melbourne Royal in 1988. Ross has been actively involved with the Victorian Region since 1982 and has been a member of Federal Council since 1983 with only a two year break. He served as Federal President from 1998 - 2000.
The Whitlesea Annual Sale began as the Mernda Annual Sale of which Ross was the instigator. Red Cactus Stud has sold at all the Annual Lismore Sales bar the first.
Continuous showing has enabled Ross to meet many breeders and gauge the studs progress in the show ring. At the 2000 Melbourne Royal it was pleasing to note that six of the eight champions contained Red Cactus genetics. Red Cactus is now the longest continuous exhibitor or Red Poll cattle at the Royal Melbourne Show having commenced in 1982.
Red Poll Cattle Breeders Inc.
Page last updated: January 25th, 2002