St Leger began as part of a large land parcel taken up by Ralph St Leger - an Irishman in the late 1800s. He called his 5650 acre property Hangaroa Station.
On Ralph's death his brother, the Honourable Hugh St Leger (Barrister), came out to NZ wind up his estate. However, when Hugh arrived he decided to stay on, marrying Mary Morice from Patutahi. At the end of WW2 Hugh inherited his family title Viscount Doneraille and he and Lady Mary returned to Ireland. Hangaroa Station was bought by the NZ Government and divided into four farms for ballot for returned soldiers.
Rick's father, Don Spence drew the homestead block and named it St Leger. Rick took over St Leger in 1976 and by 1979 had started screening in ewes from the high performing Romney flock to begin ram breeding. His vision was simple and still guides operations today:
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To produce sheep that are hardy, fertile, have excellent growth rates and high wool weight.