Rick Carter’s love of farming, the veld and his passion for animals ensured that some form of livestock be farmed at Elands. It was Russell Darlow, Elands farm Manager, who suggested cattle and motivated a pilot project with a commercial mixed breed herd leading to the first cattle arrived at Elands in 2011. In 2015, Rick decided that his interest lay with cattle stud breeding and he started exploring the merits of a stud herd.
With an affectionate commitment towards his grandfather, Fred Carter, who had farmed Red Poll cattle in the area in the 1970’s, he investigated the option of continuing with this British breed. Sadly this beautiful strain of cattle, with its polled genes and gentle nature, had very woolly pelts that did not suit the hard Eastern Cape bush and climate. They seemed to be more susceptible to ticks and infections and were not performing as he hoped and a new decision needed to be made. Rick then investigated the option of the Inguni breed that was lighter on the veld but also on the hoof, they suited his conditions well and did not require much care and attention, they however did not have the demand or price that made them a viable stud option. After much contemplation and investigation of numerous other breeds he turned his attention to one of South Africa’s leading class of cattle, Bonsmara .Not only did the breed have an active society with an excellent support system but it was in huge demand and had been bred to suit the South African climate and conditions.
With the strong Bonsmara association backing such a proven successful breed, Rick joined the Bonsmara society and was registered as a stud breeder on 28 November 2017. Elands Bonsmara are also registered with SA stud book under the prefix Elands Nursery with the designation ELA .
Elands Bonsmara are nurtured in the Elands Valley, Eastern Cape on approximately 60 hectors of cultivated and uncultivated lands. They are in the care of exceptionally capable cowhands, Alfred Nangu, Reuben Nyamande, Richard Kiswa and Tinashe Muchongwe.
The area has a strong presence of red water and heart water ensuring that Elands Bonsmara, after being exposed to these diseases, have a degree of immunity against them. Ethical veterinary health practices and advise from the doctors at Walmer veterinary services are followed ensuring the animals remain strong and vigorous.
Elands Bonsmara aim to breed animals that are polled, medium framed and that have excellent fertility characteristics. Special emphasis is placed on well adapted, veld hardy animals. Currently AI mating and registered Bonsmara bulls are used to enhance the stud breeding program.