BUYERS were like bulls out of a gate at the fourth annual Lawsons Angus WA bull sale last week, going straight to the top to pay $21,000 for the first sire offered.
There was no hesitation from keen clients once Elders auctioneer Don Morgan got the sale underway, with the first hand in the air setting the bidding bar high at $15,000 and quickly shaking the serious buyers into action.
Those present at the Jerdacuttup sale became immediately aware this was no ordinary bull and watched on as a handful of clients battled it out for the top price honours, eventually bowing out after Glenn Batey, Ultimate Artificial Breeders, Victoria, secured it for $21,000.
It was an electrifying start to the first on-property bull sale of the WA selling season and set the bar high for the rest of the outstanding quality of Angus bulls offered by vendors Harry and Ruth Lawson.
Between the two Elders auctioneers, Mr Morgan and Nathan King, the Lawson family was 75 bulls lighter at the conclusion of the sale, thanks to a large and loyal crowd operating regularly throughout the line of 92 sires.
The sale increased its offering from 60 last year in line with its growing prominence on the WA Angus bull selling scene, resulting in a higher gross of $388,250 but a slightly lower average of $5177 from last year's peak of $5783.
The lower clearance and average was not a concern for the Lawson family, as most of the remaining bulls were sold immediately after the sale and their breeding aim has continued to be supplying top quality, extensively measured bulls at an affordable price.
Value for money was precisely the reason top price buyer Mr Batey decided to head west from his Victorian base at King Island to purchase the mighty Lawsons Warrior J550.
"I managed to get him at a really good price," Mr Batey said.
"If he had been sold over east, he would probably have been much dearer.
"He is an outstanding bull that has the right balance between excellent figures and physical attributes, all of which is ideal for a prospective AI sire."
Warrior J550 will soon be travelling to Victoria, destined for an Ultimate Artificial Breeders collection centre where it will be used for semen collection and distribution.
Mr Batey said he already had clients interested in using the semen for their AI programs and expects the demand to continue.
Sired by KM Broken Bow 002 through the Lawsons' AI program and out of Lawsons Tank D10, the 804 kilogram heavyweight showed excellent weight for age from the beginning.
In November 2014, Warrior J550 tipped the scales at 700kg at 16 months, a whopping 110kg above the average weight of its contemporaries still grazing the Jerdacuttup pastures.
Its figures included +3.0 birthweight (BWT), followed by a growth rate of +53, +95 and +115 for its 200, 400 and 600-day weights, while measuring one of the highest in its group with +7.0 eye muscle area (EMA) and +2.4 for intra-muscular fat (IMF).
Warrior J550 also earned the attention of under-bidders Dean Prestidge and Anja Hilwig, Manjimup, who bounced back from their disappointment and followed up by paying the second top price for the next bull on offer.
Mr Prestidge purchased Lawsons Defender J722 for $9250, marking his debut as a first-time buyer of Lawsons genetics with a bang.
Another black beauty that matched good figures with favourable traits in the flesh, Defender J722 measured +3.2 BWT, followed by +51, +95, and +123 for its 200, 400 and 600-day weights.
It was sired by Topbos Ambassador F4 and out of Lawsons Objective D1268, ranking in the top one per cent of the breed for the Domestic Index (DOM) (124), in addition to the top 5pc for intramuscular fat (+3) and Angus Breeding Index (ABI) (136).
Mr Prestidge said he was looking for a bull that would be well suited to use over his Angus heifers and free of any genetic defects, making Defender J722 the ideal candidate.
Volume buyers were well-represented, with most buyers taking home two or more Angus bulls.
Independent Rural Agents (IRA) representative Colin Thexton, Pemberton, brought a contingent of clients from the Pemberton and Manjimup area to dominate the proceedings, purchasing 14 sires to a top of $8250.
Others paying top dollar included Quintarra Farms Pty Ltd, Esperance, which purchased six sires to $8250, while fellow Esperance producer Bott Livestock Trust purchased three bulls, topping at $8750 before paying $6250 for the following two.
PR & SM Marshall, Torbay, paid a top of $5750 for their four bulls and CD & DD Barrett, Esperance, took home the same number to peak at $4750.
Elders auctioneer Don Morgan said the result was an excellent way to kick off the on-property bull selling season, and a direct effect of the Lawsons' top quality offering.
"The sale result was very pleasing and the Lawsons are renowned for their good presentation of bulls and extremely good figures," Mr Morgan said.
"It was evident in the solid sale result and a reflection of the buoyant beef market."