World record Foveran deer stud farm for sale

Foveran

A renowned South Canterbury deer stud farm that recently bred the world record-holding stag has been placed on the market for sale.

Foveran is an expansive high-country station nestled on the eastern hills of the Hakataramea Valley, near Kurow.

It is located within a land known for its legends including All Black great Richie McCaw, who launched his spectacular rugby career playing for the local Kurow club.

Foveran continues to contribute to this legacy of worldwide success, having recently bred the largest red stag to enter the Safari Club International world record book.

Purchased as a 2-year old in 2015, Metaphor was later sold as a mature stag to a trophy hunting operation in Kaikoura. 

He was taken by a hunter last year and was recently confirmed as the largest red stag taken in the world with any weapon, gaining a score of 819'” 5/8.

Foveran was founded as a sheep station in the 1920s. Bob Robertson purchased the land from his grandfather in 1982 and established the deer breeding operation with his wife Jen in 1984. Bob’s legacy is now held via Infinity Farms Limited and run by an independent board for its shareholders.

Infinity Farms is now selling Foveran as a freehold going concern after almost four decades of operating the deer stud and mixed breeding and finishing farm.

Colliers International’s specialist Rural and Agribusiness team has been appointed to market the property for sale by negotiation.

Ruth Hodges, National Director of Rural and Agribusiness at Colliers, says it is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a unique property.

“This is your chance to write a new chapter in an already storied history, while benefitting from the extensive improvements in place.

“Foveran has been developed to very high standards with newly built irrigation storage ponds, centre pivot irrigation, new pastures, two woolsheds and well-positioned stock handling facilities.

“The station is renowned for its deer stud so the sales areas, surgical room and laboratory facilities for embryo transplants are all key improvements.

“The land itself provides an excellent balance of well-developed flats, easy rolling downlands and medium to steeper hill blocks.

“The offering is rounded out by a three-bedroom homestead with two bathrooms, a separate office, and event amenities.”

Foveran is currently run as a large-scale red deer stud operation together with cattle and merino sheep. It has some 11,000 stock units, but this could be expanded to 14,000 if the room needed for trophy stock was used more intensively.

The 2,645.9ha rural estate is comprised of two extensively developed properties at 860 McHenrys Road, Hakataramea Valley. Foveran Station provides 1,389.4ha of land while The Brothers provides 1,256.4ha.

There are currently three farm staff including the manager, plus an administration assistant.

The trophy estate on Foveran is one of New Zealand’s oldest and is recognised as a leading game park, producing many world record trophies.

It is a significant contributor to the farm revenue and profits, and also proves a high value outlet for stag production. Virtually all stags produced on the properties are sold as trophies.

Deer are also sold to New Zealand Trophy Hunting, which is a separate entity to the farming business.

As one of New Zealand’s oldest outfitting companies, New Zealand Trophy Hunting dominates world score books, having produced two former world records and over 100 world class trophies.

Foveran also offers a selection of its best genetics for sale by auction. The most recent sire stag sale was in January 2020, marking 37 years of annual sales.

The sales are well attended by commercial deer farms, stud deer farmers and trophy hunting outfitters all vying for some of the best animals in New Zealand.

A second sale in June each year gives farmers the opportunity to purchase outstanding hinds or weaner stags at very affordable prices.

As part of the breeding programme the stud also conducts an embryo transplant programme using the very best genetics available.

Foveran’s deer complex includes fully enclosed yards, selling pens and an auction arena set up for annual deer sales.

There is also a surgical room/laboratory specifically designed for the embryo transplants.

A separate events room is set up for catering with an adjoining fully enclosed workshop.

Another shed for deer handling, with crush and drafting facilities, was previously used for wintering.

Other farm facilities include an office, two wool sheds with covered yards, two sets of large co-joined cattle yards, and a range of implement, storage and haysheds.

A tidy character homestead of 243sq m has three large double bedrooms, including two with ensuites, plus a modernised kitchen, large living areas and a detached single garage.

Infinity’s Chairman Andrew Evans says Foveran is for genuine sale and there is flexibility in catering for various purchaser options including selling the property in two blocks.

Related Experts
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Ruth Hodges

National Co-Director

Queenstown

Ruth commenced her career in rural real estate in August 2009 before establishing the first Colliers International Rural and Agribusiness franchise in New Zealand with Shane O’Brien in September 2014. Ruth has been integral in setting up the new Rural and Agribusiness systems for Colliers International and has recently stepped in to lead the growth of this business in Otago and Southland. The Otago Southland Rural and Agribusiness team also partners with companies that have strongly established regional connections - Compass Agribusiness and Colliers Queenstown (Otago Realty Limited).

Growing up on a large scale high country farm in Central Otago set the foundation for Ruth’s desire to be involved in the rural industry throughout her working life. After achieving a first class honours degree from Otago University, Ruth commenced her career in rural finance that spanned nine years with the National Bank. Not content to sit still for long, she joined the progressive new dairy company Synlait as their Business Development Manager focusing on growing their farming assets via key acquisitions around the Canterbury region. Ruth has also been involved in the rural building industry with her husband Nigel, and the experience of the incredible highs and lows that this industry encountered over the past 12 years has honed her management and problem solving skills to the highest level.

As a rural real estate professional, Ruth's business is about people and their farming businesses - and focussing on this instead of just the physical assets is key to how she achieves positive outcomes regardless of market conditions. Her underlying principles of trust and integrity ensures she continue to form long lasting, genuine relationships and apply an open, honest approach to all situations. Furthermore, Ruth's comprehensive understanding of an often complex and evolving rural market together with her ever-present proactive attitude allows her to provide solutions that go beyond the traditional real estate model.

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Richard O'Sullivan

Director

Christchurch (Rural)

Richard brings to the Colliers Rural and Agribusiness team a strong agribusiness background and a quality network of relationships in the sector and as a director of the business works alongside an accomplished real estate team to offer clients local expertise, backed by the extensive national and global reach of the Colliers brand.


After graduating from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Agriculture, Richard has spent the past 20 years in technical, agribusiness and banking based rural roles gaining diverse experience across finance, operations, farm development and sales/syndications. His background has given him an extensive skill set in the fields of real estate, business planning, rural finance, governance, due diligence and project management. 

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