THERE is only one word that describes the 16th annual Diamond Tree on-property Angus bull sale - exceptional.
Despite all but one bull being sired by homebred sires, there was huge support from old and new clients for the outstanding line-up of bulls put forward and when the final hammer fell it was clear that buyers appreciated the offering with a total clearance, an average up $985 on last year and prices reaching a high of $9000.
The extreme evenness of the sale team along with their weight-for-age and top performance figures saw buyers bid right up until the last bull to ensure the Gandy family had a consistent and strong sale.
Like previous years the stud's buyer list was extensive with over 60 registrations that did not only contain the names of many return buyers but a splattering of some new ones as well.
Overall 52 bulls were offered and sold under the Landmark and Elders hammer to a more than healthy average of $6000 and a gross of $312,000.
Last year the stud cleared 51 of its 52 bulls offered at an average of $5015 and a gross of $255,750.
Both Elders stud stock auctioneer Dennis Roberts and Landmark stud stock auctioneer John Wirth agreed it was the most even line-up of bulls offered by the stud and it received solid buying support from beginning to end.
Mr Roberts said it was an outstanding team of bulls that were very even.
"They were sired by homebred sires which stamped their evenness from the start to the finish of the catalogue," Mr Roberts said.
"It is the best presented team this sale has seen and I commend Kim and his family on their efforts."
Mr Wirth said it was as good a line-up of bulls as anybody was likely to see.
"They were as even as even and this was bought about because they were sired by homebred sires," Mr Wirth said.
"The number of registrations exceeded the number of bulls therefore it was always going to be a great sale.
"The most pleasing aspect of the sale was the biggest percentage of buyers were return buyers."
With such an even line-up of bulls, it was always going to be hard to pick out the top bull before the sale and this was certainly the case with a total of 15 bulls making $7000 or more.
In the end it was a sound, well muscled, large frame sire, Diamond Tree Eclipse F77 in lot 21, that stood out from the rest when it was knocked down for the $9000 top price.
Like many offered before him, bidding started strongly on the deep, thick, well balanced son of Diamond Tree Eclipse C157.
In the end there were two buyers hopeful of purchasing Eclipse but it was the Phillips family, WD & IM Phillips, Manjimup, who didn't give up the chase and eventually won out.
The Phillips family members are regular buyers of Diamond Tree genetics and purchased two bulls at this year's sale.
Mal Phillips said he inspected the sale team two weeks before the sale and at the time liked lot three.
"On closer inspection at the sale I decided to not only bid for lot three but also for lot 21 as he was a bull with a bit more frame," Mal said.
"He had great 200 and 400-day weights and was a good mover."
The Phillips will be transporting Eclipse F77 to their cattle station in Carnarvon to breed replacement females.
The 1060kg, 7.4 frame score bull is in the top five per cent of the breed for growth traits and scrotal size EBVs and in the top 20pc for carcase weight.
The March 2010-drop bull had EBVs of +9.1 birthweight, +55, +88 and +117 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +14 for milk, +2.6 for scrotal circumference, +57 for carcase weight, +2.0 for EMA, +1.1 for IMF, while its index values were +$100 for the long fed index, +$86 for heavy grass fed index, +$72 for short fed index and +81 for the terminal index.
Along with their top price purchase the Phillips family also took home lot three, Diamond Tree Eclipse F175, for $6750.
The 962kg, April 2010-drop youngster was sired by Diamond Tree Lead On B217 and will be used on the family's Manjimup property in the nucleus Angus herd to breed bulls.
Eclipse F175 is in the top 5pc for all growth traits and rump fat and in the top 10pc for carcase weight and top 20pc for EMA.
Its EBVs included +8.6 for birthweight, +53, +91 and +116 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +13 for milk, +62 for carcase weight, +4.9 for EMA and +1.6 for rump fat.
Not far behind in the price stakes was Diamond Tree Modest F99 in lot nine when it was snapped up by Landmark Bridgetown agent Jamie Abbs on behalf of return buyer Angus Youngson, Cays Investments, Bridgetown, at $8000.
Modest F99 was sired by Diamond Tree Equator C316 and weighed in at 970kg.
Mr Youngson said he purchased Equator for its size, composition and classic Angus head.
"He had a good 600-day weight, milk figure and a relatively low birthweight," Mr Youngson said.
"He had an even spread of numbers across the board and will be used in our 100 head Angus and Murray Grey breeding herd to produce replacement females to build up our Angus bloodlines."
The very thick, square sire had figures of +6.1 for birthweight, +50, +93 and +127 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +14 for milk, +2.2 for scrotal circumference, +72 for carcase weight, +3.7 for EMA and had a heavy grass fed steer index of +98 and a domestic short fed index of +80.
Eager to get their hands on top Diamond Tree sires were Harry Carroll and son Jarrod, Rayview Park, Mt Barker, when they secured three for an average of $6333.
Their initial purchase of $7250 was for a son of Diamond Tree Eclipse C157, lot two, Diamond Tree Eclipse F76.
The 1012kg bull is in the top 10pc for 600-day weight and rib and rump fats and in the top 20pc for 200 and 400-day weights.
The Carroll family also paid $7250 for lot 10, Diamond Tree Modest F146, who weighed 990kg and was sired by Diamond Tree Equator C316.
The easy doing, stylish March 2010-drop bull had EBVs in the top 5pc for 400 and 600-day weights and scrotal circumference and in the top 10pc for 200-day weight, carcase weight and heavy grass fed steer index.
Jarrod Carroll said they bought lot 10 to join to their nucleus herd to coincide with their AI program.
"We will be keeping the majority of his heifer calves as replacement females," Jarrod said.
On the day the Carroll family purchased another large frame, moderate to high birthweight bull for $4500 to run with their 750 Angus and Shorthorn breeders.
Outlaying $7250 for the 856kg Diamond Tree Eclipse F187 was DJ & MDJ Milne, Condingup.
The Diamond Tree Eclipse C157 son is in the top 20pc for birthweight, 200-day weight and carcase weight and displayed plenty of depth and muscle as it moved around the ring.
The Milnes secured another February 2010-born bull, Diamond Tree Eclipse F40, sired by Diamond Tree Eclipse C117 for $5750.
There were 10 bulls which reached the $7000 price tag.
The first was Diamond Tree Eclipse F179 in lot six, when it was knocked down to ARW Nominees, Busselton.
The 968kg bull was sired by Diamond Tree Eclipse C157 and had 200, 400 and 600-day weights of +48, +81 and +110 and a carcase weight of +62.
The Busselton operation secured two other sires on the day, Diamond Tree Right Time F27 and twin Diamond Tree Eclipse F142 for $6250 and $5250 respectively.
Robert Hortin and his son Zach were also very keen to bid on the Diamond Tree bulls, securing three quality sires at $7000 each.
Diamond Tree Right Time F15, which was used in the stud as a yearling, was the first to be pencilled down in their book.
Sired by Diamond Tree Right Time D201, the 966kg bull had figures in the top 15pc for 400 and 600-day weights and carcase weight.
The 908kg Diamond Tree Eclipse F153 was the next to be knocked down to the Hortins.
Sired by Diamond Tree Eclipse F153 the long, thick bull was in the top 15pc for 200 and 600-day weights which were +46 and +103 and was in the top 5pc for milk.
The other $7000 sire was lot 20, Diamond Tree Eclipse F18, which was a twin.
Despite the high growth rates of the two other bulls selected by the Hortins it was Eclipse F18 who was most impressive with a 200-day weight of +53 in the top 1pc and a 600-day weight of +118 in the top 5pc.
Elders Bunbury paid $7000 for Diamond Tree Right Time F109, which weighed 900kg and was in the top 10pc for all growth traits and carcase weight, while Landmark southern livestock manager Bob Pumphrey bought Diamond Tree Right Time F96 on behalf of AG & SA Wolfe, Youngs Siding, for $7000.
D & D Roche, Pemberton, snapped up two sons of Diamond Tree Right Time D210 for $7000 each and EW & ME Rose, Witchcliffe and Landmark Midvale agent Greg Neaves weren't leaving empty handed paying $7000 each for a 890kg bull, Diamond Tree Right Time F44 and a 856kg bull, Diamond Tree Modest F191 respectively.
Other buyers willing to pay between $6000 and $6750 for quality Diamond Tree bulls included Mogale Pty Ltd, Bridgetown, MD & J Armstrong, Northcliffe, Warrington Grazing, Gingin, Hampshire Grazing, RH Omodei & Sons, Pemberton, Plains Grazing, Gingin, MD & LL Cole, Nannup, Clive Atwell & Co, Mundijong, D & J Morns, Wannamal, Neil Whiteland, Busselton, and HD Hamson & Co, Rosa Glen.