IF last week's Ardcairnie Angus bull sale is anything to go by then this year's sale season is set to be a cracker.
Held on-property at Jim and Pam McGregor's Kojonup farm, the sale soared to new heights, producing a $13,400 top price and $6771 average - $2400 and $1457 higher than the 2016 sale results respectively.
Renowned for offering large numbers of bulls for maximum client choice, this year was no different for the McGregors, except this time around it really paid off in terms of the sale average.
Of the 69 bulls that went under the hammer, only 13 were passed in by discerning bidders.
Thanks to the fact a near-perfect season aided the bulls in gaining plenty of weight in the lead-up to the sale, there was an ample amount of meat and muscle on show in the group pens.
The $13,400 top-priced sire was one of three that transcended the magical $10,000 figure.
The May 2015-drop bull, Ardcairnie L110, in lot 18 provoked hard fought competition between half a dozen bidders before father-son duo Sam and Mike Collard, Warringah Grazing Co, Nambung, prevailed.
The pair behind Warringah Angus stud and a 250-strong commercial Angus herd were keen to get their hands on the impressive young bull due to its good spread of growth and high index figures.
Figures-wise, L110 presented well with EBVs of +53, +96 and +130 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +17 millk, +77 carcase weight and +5.8 EMA.
"We'll use him as a backup to the stud's AI program," Mike Collard said.
"The last time we bought from Ardcairnie was 11 years ago - we needed another bull and this is the first of the Angus sales for the season so it was a great opportunity."
The bull is a son of Waitara Pio Federal and out of Ardcairnie Elma F73.
The second top price of $11,200 was paid by return client Bullrush Farms, Gingin, for a young May 2015-drop bull with EBVs of +46, +81 and +112 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +63 carcase weight and +6.3 EMA.
The Ardcairnie F96 son was one of three bulls purchased by the operation at an average of $9733.
Also buying at the top end of the scale was DFD Rhodes, Boyup Brook.
The business paid $11,000 for another Ardcarnie F96 son which had EBVs of +41, +74 and +97 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights alongside a +57 carcase weight and +6.0 EMA.
It was one of two bulls bought on the day by the Boyup Brook operation.
The most noticeable buyer of the day was TEBCO Fishing Co, Dongara, arriving early to assess the offering and register at number one.
The company bought 11 bulls under the hammer to a top price of $9200 and average of $6109.
Wandering-based operation Kelliher Bros also made its presence known, snapping up seven to a top price of $6200 and average of $4800.
Twenty other buyers locked away quality purchases with Wallbrook Farms, Esperance, snapping up the first two bulls catalogued for $9600 and $8600 apiece followed by a third later in the line-up for $5000, while AH Hall & Co bought two including the last bull in the catalogue for $9600.
The overall result of the sale rendered stud principal Jim McGregor speechless.
He said he was overwhelmed by the outcome and could not thank his supporters and clients enough.
Elders Kojonup livestock agent Jamie Hart said it was an incredible result for the stud which is usually happy to leave a sizeable proportion of their bulls unsold if it means clients have a wider selection of sires to choose from.
He also congratulated father-son pair Max and Daniel Neill, Giant Valley Beef, Hazelvale, who took home 2.5 litres of Dectomax thanks to Zoetis.