The Olford Stud is situated on the farm Cathcart's Gift in extent of Two Thousand Hectares in the Whittlesea farming district of Queenstown in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, 18 kilometers from the nearest town, Queenstown.
A beef cattle farm, Cathcart's Gift is the Hayes family farm who's family are direct descendants of the 1820 Settler, Samuel Robert Hayes I.
The farm comprises of a thousand breeding beef cows of which all are Beefmaster, a breed of cattle well suited to the type of cattle farming, and area in which the farm is situated.
Originally Merino sheep farmers the change to Beef cattle was necessitated due to exceptionally high stock theft of small stock.
Cathcart's gift is an entirely flat farm with no mountainous grazing, for cattle or horses, however grazing is semi-sweet and the stock do well in the Summer months. In the winter, cattle are moved to the farm Dartford, a largely Mountainous farm, on which the cattle are grazed and able to find shelter from harsh winters. Dartford is also home to a Boer goat breeding program which comprises of a hundred ewes.
Farming the two farms in conjunction works well as both are situated on the banks of rivers. Cathcarts Gift finding itself on the Swart Kei River, and Dartford on the banks of the Klipplaat river, which is fed by the Waterdown Dam, thus allowing for the growing of Lucerne or Alfalfa, for cattle and horses.
Although Cathcart's Gift also has lands and produces Lucerne/Alfalfa, water from the Swart Kei river is not constant thus leaving the farm unable to produce unlimited amounts of green feed.
The Olford mares graze on the veld all year round, on Cathcart's Gift, supplemented in winter with nutrient blocks, rock salt and Lucerne, while the stallions are kept in individual paddocks in front of the farmhouse. Fillies and colts are weaned, separated form each other and live out, until they are brought in to be backed.A farm with a rich family history has been home to the Olford Arabians since 1997 and is where the future generations of Olford horses will be bred.
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