WA Angus breeder Murray Davis was awarded the WA Angus Society’s prestigious Strathtay Trophy at the society’s annual general meeting last week at the Claremont Showgrounds.
The Strathtay Trophy was established by the late Jack Young, Strathtay Angus stud, Narrogin.
He believed it was necessary to recognise an individual or group achievement in promoting the Angus with exhibition success, the sale or purchase of stud or commercial stock, or setting an outstanding high standard in their chosen field, thereby earning the respect of Angus breeders.
The Davis family’s Coonamble stud, Bremer Bay, was established in 1967 and has grown to be one of the country’s prominent Angus studs.
It has produced some influential sires which have been used in herds all over the world, including Coonamble Z3, Elevator E11 and Buddy B280.
The growing commercial following for its grassfed bulls saw the Coonamble stud set a new State record average of $8268 at its annual on-property bull sale last month.
WA Angus Society chairman Andrew Kuss, Allegria Park Angus stud, Esperance, congratulated Murray on winning the Strathtay Trophy.
He said the Coonamble stud has a strong presence with Angus cattle in WA with very successful bull sales over the past 10 years.
“The 2015 sale set a State record for an Angus-only sale which is an amazing feat in itself,” Mr Kuss said.
“With the top-priced bull at $17,500 and to maintain an average of more than $8000 shows the evenness of the sale, which sold mainly to commercial breeders from Bremer Bay to Walpole.
“The 50 buyer registrations show the Coonamble cattle are also generating interest away from the coastal areas.
“Commercial producers are prepared to pay the price for Murray’s genetics and this is proof the cattle are doing the right thing by the Angus breed and performing very well.”
Murray’s son Craig Davis accepted the award on his father’s behalf, passed on his apologies and thanked the WA Angus Society and the Young family for the award.
Craig said his father wanted to pay tribute to the late Harry Trefort and Archie Buller for their contributions to the Coonamble stud.
“The foundation cows came from Harry, and Dad said he was a gentleman who had an influence on a few of the studs starting up at the time,” Craig said.
“Archie’s Bangadang stud bred Elevator’s dam and Dad was always convinced Elevator’s sire Coonamble Z3 would have an impact on the breed and this has been shown through his sons Buddy B280 and Elevator.”
Craig said his father went to New Zealand as a 20-year-old and was impressed by how they ran their stock out of the paddocks and into the sales.
“It was this commercial approach that Dad brought back with him and has ran with ever since,” he said.
“He has come under some fire over the years for the way he has presented his bulls from buyers and other breeders, but it’s something he always wanted to do.
“A lot of it also came down to time constraints with sheep and cropping, but it gives buyers the ability to select cattle that have been run equally.”
Craig said his father has always invested in the stud, despite seasonal and market conditions.
“Even when things got tight, he never went overboard in cutting his spending and kept the money flowing through the stud’s gene pool,” he said.