Koojan Hills ends era on a high

26 Feb, 2016 01:00 AM
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IT was history in the making.

Koojan Hills Angus, one of the most prestigious Angus stud's in WA - and many may argue in Australia - ceased to call Kojonup home as Lew and Pam Smit called it a day at the stud's 39th on-property bull sale on Monday.

And what a way to go.

With all 52 bulls offered selling to a record breaking average of $10,788 and a top of $25,500.

The average is believed to be the best recorded at a bull sale in WA and is the second highest average achieved ever at an Angus bull sale in Australia.

While cattle prices, the stud's incredible track record and the quality and breeding of the bulls indicated that the final sale under the Smit name would be red hot, the result was above anyone's expectations.

The overall average price per bull was gobsmacking, and it was supported by an array of sky high prices.

The top of $25,500 was paid by the new owners of the Koojan Hills stud, Richard and Christine Metcalfe and sons Tim and Chris, Manypeaks.

With the Koojan Hills stud girls already making themselves comfortable in their new, lush, green home of Manypeaks, the Metcalfes were hunting for some top notch stud sires for this year's mating program and they could look no further than Koohan Hills.

Tim and Chris Metcalfe said the top sire, Koojan Hills Upshot K109, was their first choice when looking for their new stud sire.

"Genetics were a major factor in our choice, being different to the majority of the existing bloodlines in the herd," they said.

"His figures were very strong and in the flesh he was a stand-out being deep, soft, extremely well-balanced and correct.

"He is an all-rounder."

Upshot K109 was a son of imported United States sire Exar Upshot 0562B and was out of Koojan Hills E119 (a Sitz New Design 458N daughter).

On paper the top price bull had +49, +87 and +108 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, +4.9 for birthweight, +18 for milk, +61 for carcase weight, +5.9 for EMA, +1.3 for rib fat and +0.8 for rump fat.

It also had a +$117 Angus Breeding Index and +$114, +$116 and +$116 for the domestic, heavy grainfed and heavy grassfed indexes.

The Metcalfes also secured a Carabar Docklands D62 son for $20,500.

Koojan Hills Docklands K76 was out of Koojan Hills D3 (AI), a top performing dam which was also the dam of a bull sold for $22,500 at the 2012 Koojan Hills sale.

The second top price was $22,000 and paid by another Angus stud which had its sights set on obtaining the best genetics possible.

Greg Brown, Ponderosa Angus stud, Albany, was the successful bidder on Koojan Hills Admiral K166 - a bull which due to the vast interest prior to the start of the sale, got bumped up the sale order from lot 43 to be sold after lot four in the catalogue.

Mr Brown said the bull was his first and only choice when he inspected it at the sale and that it was an outcross to the existing genetics in his herd.

"He really caught my eye," he said.

"His figures were very good and I liked the size, shape and balance of him.

"I will use him across the majority of my stud females."

K166 was by Koojan Hills Admiral G182 and out of Koojan Hills D160 (a KCF Bennett Performer daughter), and was third highest in the catalogue for 600-day weight at +130.

Its 200 and 400-day weights were also notable at +50 for 200 and +94 for 400 days.

It was also +19 for milk, +5.6 for EMA and +0.3 for both rib and rump fats.

New clients, commercial buyers Jim and Vilma Giumelli, Darwonga Investments, Dardanup, bid to $20,500 for a sire and were chasing genetic diversity for their existing Angus herd.

"We wanted new bloodlines in our herd and this bull was an outcross to what we already have," they said.

"He looked good on paper and in the flesh he was soft, well-muscled and generally a very well put together bull."

Alastair Murray, Tullibardine Angus stud, Albany, was on the hunt for a new stud sire and found it in lot 22, Koojan Hills Docklands K89, another Carabar Docklands D62 son.

Mr Murray secured the bull at $19,500 and was pleased that he had found a bull which ticked all the boxes on his stud sire list.

"I thought he was the pick of them," he said.

"He is very much like his sire visually and on paper and I thought his figures were very good, especially his 600-day weight, fat and EMA EBVs," he said.

"I also liked the fact that he has been working with Lew using him within the stud previously."

The new Tullibardine stud sire will be used to back-up the stud's AI program.

Many bulls continued to sell well above the already high average.

Bullrush Farm, Gingin, forked out $17,250 for Koojan Hills Equator K130 (an Ardrossan Andy F227 son) and $13,250 for a Koojan Hills Admiral G182 son.

Don Nekel, Scotsdale, paid $15,500 for Koojan Hills Admiral K126 (another Koojan Hills Admiral G182 son) while RF & RE Walker, Wilga, took home a very handy Te Mania Emperor E343 son for $15,000 and another bull for $13,000.

JP & J Davies, Albany, bought lot 12 a Coonamble Elevator E11 son for $14,500 and S Camarri & Co, Nannup, bid up to $14,250 for Koojan Hills Outlier K51.

The Kapari Angus stud, Northampton, made the trip down to secure Koojan Hills Admiral K148 for $13,500 and long-term Koojan Hills client Sue Ray, SH Ray, Holbrook, NSW, took home six bulls paying $12,000, $12,000, $10,000, $9500, $8500 and $7750.

Nixon Bros, New Norcia, paid $12,000, and MJ Wringe & Son, Donnybrook, also paid $12,000 for their selection.

Elders stud stock auctioneer Nathan King said there would be no better way for the Smit family to exit the stud breeding scene and it was tremendous that the era should end on such a high.

"There is no going past the fact that these are very, very good bulls and I think it is the most even team I've seen at Koojan Hills," he said.

"Support from all over Australia indicates the extremely high regard that Lew and his cattle have attracted over the years.

"The stud is in fantastic hands and I'm sure that the future will continue to be very bright for years to come for the Koojan Hills Angus stud."

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