About us

A Proud Tradition

The Journey

The Beginning

The Whishaw family purchase Armidale Stud, a beautiful property nestled between the junction of the Liffey and Meander Rivers.

1919

A Birthday to remember

The late David Whishaw's interest in breeding began after he was given a broodmare as a birthday present. David then converted part of Armidale into a thoroughbred stud.

1960’s

The first of many

Armidale celebrated their first winner with a horse called Paladale.

1964

Stallions

David and local businessman Robert Fergusson imported the farm’s first stallion. That stallion was Swallowtail II, the first of many stallions to stand at Armidale from Ireland and England.

1971

The next generation

David's third son Denis and his wife Robyn took over the management of Armidale.

Late 1980’s

Ascent into Victoria

Armidale began to sell their yearlings in Victoria.

1990's

David at the helm

Denis’s eldest son David took over the management of Armidale Stud.

2005

Needs Further

Armidale revives their stallion operation with the acquisition of Group winning stallion Needs Further.

2013

The Dawn of a new era

G2 MRC Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle joins Armidale Stud’s stallion roster.

2017

A Queen Emerges

Armidale raised filly Mystic Journey (Needs Further) wins the G1 Australian Guineas. She would go on to win a total of 7 stakes races and more than $4 million in prizemoney.

2019

A lasting legacy

Run by David and Rhiannon Whishaw, the farm continues to forge a legacy with top tier winners performing at the highest level throughout Australasia.

Present

The Whishaw family
Our Values

The Armidale Way

At Armidale, we have a clear mission: to produce quality products that harvest positive outcomes for every stakeholder. Each day, we come to work to create these positive results, ensuring the best experience for all who invest themselves into Armidale – and we do it all in a sustainable way.

Respect

Respect is displayed by all at Armidale when we treat others in the same manner that we know we thrive when treated in kind. Likewise, our environment thrives when we share our similarities and celebrate our differences.

Resilience

As much as our team's talent counts in their ability to work efficiently, effort counts twice and resilience is the ability to adapt to new circumstances when farm life presents the unpredictable.

Sustainability

Like generations of farmers before us, we are committed to putting back into the soil what we take out. Like past custodians of Armidale, we are also committed to leaving the soils, livestock and people better than we found them. That's a focus we have with everything we do every time, from everyone.

Teamwork

It's all about doing more than what is expected. If you take out the 'team' in the word teamwork, it's just work. Work is endured, and teamwork is enjoyed! It is the ultimate acknowledgement that 'no one' can get there unless 'everyone' gets there!

Integrity

Doing what is right when no one else is watching is how we define integrity here at Armidale. To add real value to our farm, our team must add something that cannot be bought or measured: reliability.

Our Story

About Us

Armidale consists of 1,000 acres of prime country in the central north of Tasmania. Owned and farmed by the Whishaw family since 1919, Armidale is nestled between the junction of the Liffey and Meander Rivers near Launceston.

With almost 11 kilometres of river frontage, the farm boasts some magnificent alluvial river soils and an abundant supply of water from the Meander Valley Irrigation Scheme.

With a firm commitment to sustainability and improving soils and pastures, Armidale grows its own lucerne/pasture hay and seed crops such as barley, lupins, peas, beans, onions, shallots and poppies.

More recently, further development of the farm has been undertaken to allow irrigation to all paddocks to provide green pastures year-round.

Armidale has been in the Whishaw family since the early 1900’s, however, the farm didn’t become a thoroughbred operation until the 1960’s which is when the late David Whishaw’s interest in breeding thoroughbreds began.

In anticipation of the introduction of the TAB to Tasmania and the belief that it would lead to a revival in Tasmanian racing, David decided to convert part of Armidale into a thoroughbred stud. Armidale’s first winner came in 1964 with Paladale.

David leased a stallion called Sailor’s Reward, he was a useful sire, but the breakthrough came when he leased Sandastre. On the strength and success of Sandastre, David was able to build a band of broodmares.

In 1971 David approached local businessman and family friend Robert Fergusson to join with him in financing an imported stallion for Armidale. That stallion was Swallowtail II, the first of many stallions to stand at Armidale from Ireland and England.

Successful sires to follow included Poacher’s Moon, St Briavels, Aliocha and Ladoni, Tough Speed and Savoire Vivre.

In the late 1980′s, David’s third son Denis and his wife Robyn took over the management of Armidale. They worked hard to upgrade pastures, fences and the bloodlines of the Armidale broodmare band, and in the 1990′s, Armidale began to market yearlings in Victoria.

Sadly, Denis died prematurely in late 2004, leaving his wife Robyn and their three young children with what had become Tasmania’s leading stud. Robyn remains active in the operation of the farm and is also a board member of Tasracing.

Now in the hands of the third generation of Whishaw’s, David is starting to make his mark on Armidale, with stallions Needs Further and Alpine Eagle carrying on the legacy.

David, the eldest son of Denis and Robyn, completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Hobart before coming home to implement his ideas and take on the future management of Armidale, along with his wife Rhiannon.

Committed to investing in the best bloodstock, Armidale has a long and proud history of standing the state’s Leading Sires and on numerous occasions, resident mares have also been awarded the Broodmare of the Year title.

Sustainable farming methods are valued at Armidale, which set the highest standard to ensure each horse on the property has the best chance of success.

Tasmania’s climate is perfect for breeding thoroughbreds and allows for natural development which results in sound, well-grown horses that go on to forge successful careers on the racetrack.