The Enterprising Mr MacGregor: stockbreeder and pioneer pastoralistBy Fay Woodhouse
The enterprising Mr MacGregor was an ambitious and talented Scottish Highlander who tried his luck as a shepherd in a new country and made good. He quickly realised the pedigree required for cattle, sheep and horses in the harsh Australian climate and led the industry in breeding programs. In 1869 MacGregor established his famous studs of pure Booth Shorthorns, Clydesdale horses, and Border Leicester sheep at Riddells Creek. MacGregor’s life was one of extremes. He was highly successful in his venture draining the Kooweerup Swamp in Victoria and as a pastoral pioneer in the Channel Country of western Queensland. At his peak of power in the 1880s the family holdings totalled thousands of square miles of rich cattle country. The Federation Drought dealt MacGregor’s pastoral empire a drastic blow. His major losses were exacerbated by his ill-advised attempts at money-lending and property speculation. This biography of Duncan MacGregor is an exciting and highly readable account of how he survived the ordeal and lived to tell the tale. It is a compelling story of his remarkable life.