LOCAL and eastern states Charolais breeders pounced on the opportunity to secure top quality genetics at the Linkletter stud dispersal in Kojonup last week pushing prices to a top of $10,500 for a bull and $5100 for females.
With the sale of the Linkletter's Place property at Condingup, via Esperance, the stud dispersal sale provided an opportunity for fellow stud breeders to access substantial numbers of well bred, outstanding quality stud cattle from a diverse breeding pool and backed onto the successful $3 million sale of the Chargrey commercial herd the week before.
Buyers converged on Kojonup not only from across WA but also the eastern states, while other astute buyers went on-line with 18 AuctionsPlus sites logged on at the peak across the country.
Unlike the blustery and cold conditions that prevailed during the day, the sale was red-hot thanks to 71 registered buyers.
The marathon five-hour sale showcased more than 14 years of Charolais breeding by stud principal Les Andrews.
It had been billed as unique and the results matched the expectation with a total clearance of 202 females and bulls for an impressive gross of $378,450 and a healthy average of $1874.
The sale kicked off with a run of outstanding stud females and recipient cows, which averaged $1728, and moved on to the bull offering that averaged $2950.
Combined with embryo and semen sales the sale total was $393,900, which could have been higher had there been more interest in the embryos and semen lots.
The outstanding result was no doubt due largely to the bloodlines and quality on offer, which goes back to one of WA's original Charolais studs, Culham, which had been tested and proven in WA conditions, and the eye appeal of the cattle on offer.
Coupled with the efforts of the Landmark network and in particular sale organisers Neil Brindley, Peter Gale and Matt Lowe, Landmark Brindley & Gale, Esperance and Landmark stud stock cattle auctioneer John Wirth.
Mr Wirth said the company had conducted two stud cattle dispersals in less than a week and both were extremely successful.
"This sale was a real marathon, with in excess of five hours non-stop auctioneering for the 313 lots," Mr Wirth said.
"There was a complete clearance under the hammer of the live animals and some good sales of semen packages, however, there was limited interest in embryos.
"The quality and temperament of the cattle was outstanding and I must acknowledge Les Andrews and his crew for their organisational skills and their support to Landmark in the dispersals."
Mr Wirth said Landmark had conducted the majority of the stud cattle dispersals in WA over the past few years.
"Because of this we have a huge database of previous buyers allowing the ability to tap into marketing opportunities, which helped in the sale result," he said.
"The support of the WA Charolais breeders and the Landmark network Australia-wide was terrific and helped achieve the wonderful result."
Landmark Brindley & Gale agent and sale organiser Neil Brindley, Esperance, was equally pleased with the sale result saying it matched expectations with cattle going to most states in Australia.
"Inquiry on all cattle was strong and the eastern states competition combined with the local interest helped achieve the excellent result," Mr Brindley said.
Although a little sad to say goodbye to something he has spent so many years developing and perfecting, Mr Andrews was happy with the sale result and support of Charolais enthusiasts Australia-wide.
"Running sheep and cropping was something I did for economic reasons, but breeding cattle was for the love of it, for the challenge of achieving something and striving for that perfect genetic match up," Mr Andrews said.
"When you've tagged calves at birth and watched them develop you have a real connection and I hope Linkletter genetics will provide some satisfaction to today's buyers."
LANDMARK auctioneer John Wirth started the sale on the stud's matrons and there was spirited bidding from around the shed on these lots, but it wasn't until the sale moved into the bull offering that buyers really got serious and pulled their hands out of their pockets.
After creating an impression before the sale and causing a re-jig in the sale order it was obvious as soon as the polled Linkletter Y9E (AI) entered the ring that he was in demand.
From the opening call, buyers fired in bids as quick as lightning at the auctioneering team and the price quickly rose on the upstanding bull.
After a spirited bidding melee Dardanup breeders Peter and Judy Milton, Copplestone Charolais stud, outlasted the pack to have the final bid on the long, deep bull at $10,500.
The March 2003-drop bull, sired by CCR Sureshot 1107F7 and out of Linkletter S23E, showed all the potential of a great stud sire as he moved around the ring.
Not only was his volume and muscling impressive but also his EBVs of +0.1 for birthweight, +10, +16 and +17 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight and +5 for milk.
The Miltons were impressed by the bull's length, softness, skin type, muscling, feet, temperament and the fact that he was polled.
"He was faultless in all these areas," Mr Milton said.
"We have been looking for something special and I think we have found it in this bull.
"We have used CCR Sureshot 1107 genetics a little in the stud and we were that impressed we ceased using it save for our own walking Sureshot bull."
The losing bidders on the bull were one of the day's volume buyers: Morris and Grant Collins, MH Collins & Co, Mileura stud, Nyabing.
Despite missing out on their first preference the Nyabing operation managed to leave the sale with a long, deep bull sired by Airlie Uncle Scotty (AI ET), when they purchased Linkletter Y84E for $5500.
The 2003-drop bull had growth EBVs of +20, +36 and +56 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight.
Another of the day's volume buyers, Andrew and Anne Thompson, Venturon stud, Collie, also bid strongly on the bulls and secured Linkletter Y25E for $6000.
The 2003-drop Liberty Unforgetabull son had EBVs of +9, +13 and +16 for 200, 400 and 600 day growth and +6 for milk.
Mr Thompson said the bull was a good all purpose bull, who was smooth with plenty of length and depth, and as a result should complement their herd well.
Linkletter's main stud sire, Liberty Unforgetabull (AI), was headed back to his paddocks of birth when Kevin and Robin Yost and Debbie Ferguson, Culham Grazing, Toodyay, purchased the polled bull for $3400.
Unforgetabull was bought by Linkletter stud at the Sydney Royal Show in 2001 for $30,000, the top price at the sale that year.
The 14 bull calves offered in the sale also attracted strong competition and could have represented the buys of the day if they were to grow out like their older brothers.
Topping this section at $3000 was a well-muscled son of Airlie Uncle Scotty.
The calf, Linkletter A82E, had growth EBVs of +20, +28 and +37 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight and was bought by Cyril Craigie, Yongy Farms, Busselton.
Culham Grazing, Toodyay, purchased the second top price bull calf at $2700, when they purchased a long son of Liberty Unforgetabull, who had growth figures of +15, +17 and +21 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight.
Operating through AuctionsPlus, Haywood Smith, Queensland, secured three bull calves at $2300, $2000 and $1900.
THE eagle eyes of a number of astute Charolais stud breeders being cast over the female yarding ensured the competition remained strong throughout.
Making the biggest impact on buyers and in the books were the 14 2004-drop PTIC heifers that averaged $2764 and topped at $5100.
A bidding frenzy erupted on the $5100 top price heifer as she showed off her greatest assets of length and squareness.
A syndicate of buyers had the final bid on the polled February 2004-drop heifer Linkletter Z5E (AI ET), sired by WCR SIR FA MAC 2244 and out of Gunnadoo Edie 103D.
The syndicate was made up of Phil Leiper, PH & JJ Leiper, Cowaramup; Andrew and Anne Thompson, Venturon stud, Collie; and Richard Hall, Precision Transfers, Busselton, while the losing bidders where Robin Yost and Debbie Ferguson, Culham Grazing, Toodyay.
The heifer, which was PTIC to Linkletter Y29E, had EBVs of +1 for birthweight, +13, +25, +40 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight, +6 for milk and +1.2 for scrotal size.
Syndicate spokesman Richard Hall said they were impressed by the heifer's breeding.
"She is sired by WCR SIR FA MAC 2244, who is the number one female producing sire in the Charolais breed with semen straws selling up to $1000 each," Mr Hall said.
"She was purchased as an embryo from the Palgrove stud, Queensland, out of Gunnadoo Edie 103D one of the breed's top donor cows.
"I spoke to about 20 people prior to the sale and they all agreed she was the number one pick female in the catalogue."
Despite missing out on the top price PTIC heifer Culham Grazing secured the equal second top price heifer at $4600, when they purchased Linkletter Z2E, a daughter of Liberty Unforgetabull and PTIC to Linkletter Y29E.
The polled heifer had EBVs of +0.3 for birthweight and +6 for milk.
Culham Grazing secured another two PTIC heifers during the sale at $2100 and $2000.
The second heifer to make $4600, Linkletter Z58E, was purchased by Platinum Charolais stud, Drillham, Queensland.
The polled heifer, by Unforgetabull and in calf to Linkletter Y9E, had EBVs of +12, +19 and +28 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight and +7 for milk.
Platinum was busy in this section of the sale also buying two more PTIC heifers at $3100 and $2500.
THE sale started with this section and there were 71 stud females sold at an average of $2315.
Buyers showed caution at the start of this section but they soon realised the quality of females on offer and upped the ante, pushing prices to a top of $4600.
The 2003-drop cow, Linkletter Y33F (AI ET), was knocked down to Steve and Sue Lee, Leegro Charolais stud, Tenterfield, NSW, who were at the sale.
The pure French cow, sired by Exclusif (Fr) and out of Palgrove Desire 21, was PTIC to Linkletter Y17E and had EBVs of +2.8 for birthweight, +13, +34 and +33 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight, +3 for milk and +20 for carcase weight.
The Lees, who have been breeding Charolais for six years and run 30 breeders, saw the sale as a great opportunity because it was a genuine dispersal.
Mr Lee said it was their first trip to WA and they liked the genetics of the Linkletter cattle.
Along with the top cow they also purchased a 2000-drop cow, Linkletter V7D, for $1300.
A full circle was turned when Kevin and Robin Yost and Debbie Ferguson, Culham Grazing, Toodyay, purchased four stud females, as the Linkletter stud was founded on Culham bloodlines bought at that stud's major reduction sale in 1994.
Culham Grazing paid to a top of $4400 for the 2003-drop Linkletter Y75E, a soft, deep cow sired by Liberty Wizard, out of Linkletter W24E and PTIC to Airlie Uncle Scotty.
Relatively new Charolais breeder Gavin Russell, Callanish Grazing, Thomsons Brook, was active in this section, securing eight females to a top of $4000 and an average of $2425.
The $4000 polled cow, which was sired by Airlie Tumbleweed and out of Linkletter Cinthia 2nd TW, was PTIC to Airlie Uncle Scotty.
Mr Russell said he concentrated on purchasing the proven, reliable older females in the sale.
"I was very impressed with the evenness of the Linkletter line-up and the temperament of the cattle was impeccable," Mr Russell said.
Mr Russell also uses Charolais bulls over his mainly Angus commercial herd he said they gave an ideal first cross for lotfeeders.
Buying through AuctionsPlus was commercial Esperance cattle producer WG Spencer, who secured 11 stud females to a top of $4000 and an average of $2845.
The $4000 polled cow Linkletter V24E was a 2000-drop cow by Culham Major Geneaal, out of Linkletter R13E and PTIC to Airlie Uncle Scotty.
Also buying numbers were Morris and Grant Collins, Mileura Charolais stud, Nyabing, who purchased eight stud females at an average of $1700 and to a top of $2100.
The Collins family have been breeding commercial Chargreys for six years and only recently established a 35 head Charolais stud.
They will use the females to breed Charolais bulls to complement and improve their Chargrey herd of 800 breeders and intend to market surplus bulls.
Mr Collins said their aim was for quality rather than quantity and the stud would be kept small about 50 breeders.
Buying Charolais for the first time to run on a recently acquired 65ha at Yalinup Siding, near Vasse, were Garry and Debby Davies, Three Bears Farm.
They purchased five stud females at an average of $2620 and to a top of $3100.
Mr Davies said they had always been impressed with the breed.
He said if people were going to start from scratch they may as well buy the best.
"We are aiming towards 15 breeders at this stage and buying at the sale was a matter of timing and availability," Mr Davies said.
Buying four stud females each were Ron Russell, Bernlea Pastoral Grazing Co, Porongurup, and Charlie and Norma Staniford-Smith, Boyup Brook.
Mr Russell, who paid to a top of $2000, said he purchased the females in the hope of getting a bull calf out of one of them to use as a potential sire.
The Russells run 250 commercial Angus, Murray Grey and Charolais breeders marketing 120 vealers per year and their aim is to run the Charolais as a separate line to build up numbers because the breed does well in their area.
The Staniford-Smiths, who are baby beef producers, paid to a top of $2600 and will use the females to breed replacement females for their 150 head commercial multi-breed herd.
Mr Staniford-Smith said he was amazed with the line-up of cattle and was skeptical prior to going to the sale given that the cattle were from around Esperance.
"But I was quite taken aback when I viewed the cattle at the sale," Mr Staniford-Smith said.
ET donor cows
THE three ET donor cows offered in the sale have a long trip to their new homes, with eastern states buyers securing all three.
This section topped at $2600 when Tasmanian-based Roderick Binny, Glenlea Charolais stud, Sheffield, secured Linkletter Y27F (AI ET), a 2003-drop cow.
The full French cow was sired by Genk (FR) OAFL481F and out of Palgrove Desire 21 and had EBVs of +13, +26 and +37 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight.
Glenlea paid $1900 for a second donor cow, Linkletter Y28E, who was a 2003-drop, sired by Fernvale Prime Mover and out of Palgrove Estella 7.
Mr Binny, whose family has been breeding Charolais for about 30 years, runs 80 stud breeders and Angus/Shorthorn commercial breeders mated to Charolais.
"We have previously sold cattle to WA but not bought from WA before," Mr Binny said.
"The sale offered sought after genetics, good numbers and a very good line-up of cattle and I think it was well worth the trip across.
"The donor cows we bought will go into an ET program at home."
The third cow, Linkletter Y37E, headed to Tenterfield, NSW, when she was purchased by Steve and Sue Lee, Leegro Charolais stud, at $2500.
The 2003-drop cow was sired by WCR SIR FA MAC 2244 and out of Gunnadoo Edie 103D, had EBVs of +13, +24 and +40 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight.
All three cows had been artificially inseminated to Liberty Unforgetabull on October 29, but had not been detected in calf the day before the sale.
PTIC recipient cows
EIGHTEEN PTIC recipient cows all with one embryo inside were offered in the sale and topped at $2200 twice.
The first to pay $2200 was DM Brown, Bridgetown, when they secured a cow carrying an embryo which was sired by CCR Sureshot 1107F7 and out of Linkletter W18E.
The Browns also paid $2100 for a cow carrying an embryo sired by Melplash Gastronome and out of Linkletter Q4E.
The $2200 price tag was written into the catalogues for a second time when Bradiarna Charolais stud, Bridgetown, purchased a cow with an embryo that was also sired by CCR Sureshot 1107F7 and out of Linkletter W18E.
Bradiarna secured another four recipient cows, including three at $2000.
The embryos in these cows were sired by Laurel (Fr), Gauguin (Fr) and Adamos (Fr) and were out of Linkletter W18E, Linkletter Q4E and Linkletter Y27F respectively.
The Ellis family, Kooyong Charolais stud, Pinjarra, were also active in this section of the sale, securing four recipient cows including one at $2000.
The $2000 cow was carrying an embryo sired CCR Sureshot 1107F7 and out of Linkletter W18E.
Two cows carrying embryos sired by Gauguin (Fr) and out of Linkletter Q4E sold for $2000 when they were bought by Nilgup Park, Busselton, and Callanish stud.
The 21 2004-drop unmated heifers attracted interest from both local and eastern states buyers, resulting in an average of $1005 and a top of $1600.
Attracting the $1600 top bid was Linkletter Z27E, who was knocked down to Yongy Farm, Busselton.
The feminine heifer sired by Liberty Unforgetabull and out of Linkletter V3E had EBVs of +1.3 for birthweight and +6 for milk.
Yongy Farm also secured another unmated heifer late in the run for $1000.
After being an active buyer in the mature females Gavin Russell, Callanish stud, secured two unmated heifers at the second and third best prices.
Mr Russell outlayed $1500 for Linkletter Z15E, sired by Airlie Uncle Scotty, and $1450 for Linkletter Z8E, sired by LT Wyoming Wind 4020 PLD.
Token stud principals Frank and Judy Lambert, Lower King, made the most of the opportunity to secure the unmated heifers and purchased five.
They paid to a top of $1050 for Linkletter Z73E, sired by Airlie Uncle Scotty, and averaged $860 over their purchases.
Bidding through the AuctionsPlus Queensland operation Haywood Smith secured three unmated heifers at $1250, $1150 and $900.
WITH an opportunity to buy the next generation of Linkletter breeders, the heifer calves were keenly sought after by both stud and commercial breeders.
The 51 heifer calves averaged $850 and topped at $2250 when a February-drop heifer sold to Andrew and Anne Thompson, Venturon stud, Collie.
The soft, stretchy heifer Linkletter A7E (AI ET), sired by Palgrove Tribute and out of Palgrove Estella 39, had EBVs of +1.5 for birthweight, +14, +20, +35 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight and +5 for milk.
The Thompsons purchased three more heifer calves at $950, $700 and $500.
Mr Thompson said the beautiful, quality line of females presented were easy doing and soft.
"It is a different outcross for our stud and the breeding is outstanding, therefore encouraging us to buy," Mr Thompson said.
"The outstanding breeding is an indication of the years of dedication and commitment to the herd by Mr Andrews."
Newly registered breeders Kerry Coridas and Wayne Woods, Fountain Charolais stud, Chapman Valley, certainly took advantage of the young heifer offering securing 14 heifer calves to a top of $1550 and an average of $696.
The $1550 heifer, Linkletter A5E (AI ET), was sired by Palgrove Tribute and out of Palgrove Estella 39.
Ms Coridas said they purchased the heifers to boost their numbers in the stud, which stands at 50 head.
"The stud was founded on Palgrove bloodlines, from whom we purchased 30 cows and two bulls," Ms Coridas said.
Along with the stud, the Chapman Valley operation also uses Charolais bulls over its 200 commercial Angus breeders for vealer production.
Kevin and Robin Yost's and Debbie Ferguson's, Culham Grazing, Toodyay, efforts buying in the heifer calves also made an impression in the books with their name pencilled in on seven occasions at an average of $1007 per heifer.
They paid to a top of $1350 twice, firstly for a heifer sired by Liberty Unforgetabull with growth EBVs of +12, +16 and +22 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight and then for a heifer sired by Melplash Gastronome, with EBVs of +7, +14 and +21 for 200, 400 and 600 day weight.
The remaining five heifers purchased by Culham Grazing were sired by Liberty Unforgetabull.
Glenlea stud, Sheffield, Tasmania, was also a successful purchaser of heifer calves buying four to a top of $1500 twice, including daughters of Gauguin (Fr) and Moyness Mars (UK).
Embryos and semen
THIS section of the sale failed to receive the same support as the live animals.
During the sale buyers purchased 445 doses of semen at an average of $38/dose and top of $275/dose.
Paying the top price was Landmark Gympie, through AuctionsPlus for five doses of LT Wyoming Wind 4020 PLD (US) semen.
A further six doses of this semen made the equal $250/dose second top price when it sold to Glenlea Charolais stud, Sheffield, Tasmania.
The $250/dose price tag occurred for a second time when Landmark Gympie through AuctionsPlus had the final bid on nine doses of Impair (FR) semen.
Outlaying $75/dose for a one dose package of Exclusif (FR) semen was Wandilup Charolais stud, Bridgetown.
The remaining packages sold between $10-$60/dose to a number of multiple buyers including Phoenix Genetics, Albury, NSW; Glenlea Charolais stud, Leegro Charolais stud, Tenterfield, NSW; Kooyong Charolais stud, Pinjarra; Token Charolais stud, Lower King; and Kiara Charolais stud, Lockridge Senior High School, Perth.