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Fairlight Station is an historic Southland high country property of 2000 hectares. The hub of the station is the homestead, built in the 1860’s by Captain John Howell who founded Riverton.  It is one of the oldest houses in Southland and is listed with the Historic Places Trust. Fairlight has extensive and rugged hill country and the Mataura River runs through the farm dividing the flats and hill. Typically we have hot dry summers and cold challenging winters.  The property faces north  and is exposed to the prevailing nor’ west wind. 

In 2002, Doug and Mari Harpur purchased Fairlight Station.  They had also recently purchased the neighbouring property of Cainard, as well as Forest Creek Station in the Rangitata Gorge.  The Harpurs are established red deer Farmers in North America and are involved with the forestry industry. 

The vision for Fairlight is to have a sustainable farming operation, integrating sheep, cattle and deer that contribute equally to farm profitability. All of Fairlight is deer fenced, so all stock are integrated throughout the farm. Priority for best pasture changes during the year between the stock classes. The MA hinds spend winter on the hill with no supplement.  

We are targeting high 12-month growth rates, and to achieve this we put emphasis on; Early Fawning,   
Culling dry and wet dry  hinds,No tolerance for poor temperament. We are killing more than 90% of the spikers before Christmas. The average carcass weight has lifted to 57kg, and we are aiming for 60kg+. 

Early finishing at Fairlight is crucial to profitability.  We hit peak schedules, spikers are not competing with lamb and cattle fattening, or with lactating hinds. It is an insurance against summer dry, or we can use the surplus DM for other income streams or supplement. 

Our MA commercial hinds average 110kg. Maintaining an efficient hind on hill country is  important. To achieve these goals we work closely with Deer Improvement and
have carried out AI consistently since 2004. This offers the added bonus of enabling us to run a closed herd.


Simon Wright Manager, Fairlight Station