ANOTHER sale record was broken last week at the 25th annual Countryman Invitational Bull Sale held at WA College of Agriculture, Narrogin.
Values reached a high of $15,000 for the very first time at the fixture, breaking the record top of $12,250 set at the sale in 2017.
All up, the sale featured seven breeds, 10 studs and 64 bulls of which 42 sold under the Elders, Landmark, Primaries and S & C Livestock hammers to a 66 per cent clearance and an average of $5958.
This was down only $183 on the 2017 average where 48 of 66 bulls (73 per cent) sold at auction to average $6141.
Once again it was the sale opening offering from Terraneil Poll Herefords, Beverley, which stepped into the spotlight, topping the sale easily at $15,000 with the big, stretchy sire in lot two going to return top-end buyers RE & OM Treasure & Sons, Fern Hill, Wandering.
The quality bull was a mid-March 2016 born son of Wirruna Habana H7 and was heifer Terraneil Gemstone K46’s first calf.
The moderate birthweight bull had an even spread of EBVs including ranking in the top 15 per cent of the breed for both calving ease traits (+7.2 DIR), +5.0 DTRS), top 5pc for gestation length (GL) (-3.3), top 15-25pc for all growth intervals, top 20pc for carcase weight (CW) and intra muscular fat (IMF), top 10pc scrotal (+2.8), positive fats and top 5-10pc for all selection indexes at +117 supermarket, +$114 grassfed steer, +$134 grainfed steer and +$130 EU.
Buyer Paul Treasure, who selected the bull with father Robert, said they couldn’t go past the bull’s figures and its structurally sound, soft and well-muscled conformation which is part of their selection process.
“Historically, big front ends have been an issue but we select for it and he is smooth through the shoulders,” he said.
“He has meat through the brisket over a magnificent topline.”
Paul said the bull would be used over more Hereford types in their Red Angus-Poll Hereford cross cow herd to ‘sure up their white faced breeders’ with the heifer progeny joined to Red Angus bulls.
“The Red Angus are dominating the balance so just need to soften the cross up and head back into Poll Herefords a bit more.”
“It has good 400 and 600-day weights well and truly above breed average which is suited to our markets and a lower birthweight which helps.”
The Treasures calve from mid-March to the end of June with calves yard and paddock weaned in February and backgrounded for about a month before selling to lotfeeders depending on the season.
The Treasures were also the losing bidder on the $11,250 second top-priced bull but were successful at $6000 and privately following the sale at $4000 for two Glen Goulburn Boston sons.
Landmark South West livestock manager Michael Rose said the selling teams were happy to see quality in the bulls across breeds and vendors.
“Unfortunately demand wasn’t always there during the sale but some breeds sold very well,” Mr Rose said.
Elders auctioneer Don Morgan agreed buyers were selective on the day.
“As usual, the top end of the catalogue sold well and there was a pleasing number of registrations for the sale,” he said.
“Holding this sale at the ag school is a great concept and it was good to see a number of students interested in the event.”
Terraneil Poll Herefords was again the sale’s largest individual vendor with a slightly increased sale team of 20 bulls.
They also topped the sale’s averages with 17 of their bulls selling at auction to average $7441.
Compared to last year’s sale, Terraneil sold an extra two bulls to improve their gross but the average slipped $776 to $7441.
Last year the stud sold 15 of 18 bulls for an average of $8217 with prices reaching $12,250 purchased again by the Treasure family.
One other Terraneil bull came in at the five figure mark during this year’s sale with Terraneil Boston M030 hammered down to return buyer Kelliher Bros, Wandering, for $11,250.
Shane Kelliher said the family kept coming back to the Terraneil stud for the quality of breeding, seeing the proof of it in the paddocks back at home.
“The style and muscling in the Terraneil bulls are what we are after,” Mr Kelliher said.
“Temperament is also very important to us and the Terraneil bulls are very quiet.”
Boston was sired by Glen Goulburn Boston J81 and out of Terraneil Phyllis J37 born mid-April 2016 and had figures to impress.
Its EBVs ranked in the top 5pc for 200-day weight (+41) and top 15pc for 400 (+60) and 600-dayweights (+85), top 10pc for GL (+2.4) and CE DTRS (-6.1), top 15pc for CE DIR (-6.7), top 25pc CW (+53) along with positive fats.
Kelliher Bros added a further two Terraneil bulls to their account including another Boston J81 son for the next highest price of $9250 and a Habana H7 son for $6000.
James Pastoral, Hyden, returned and again bid up strongly for their two Terraneil selections at $9000 and $8000 for two Boston J81 sons.
Ravensthorpe producers DC & DH Bray also paid to $9000 for two Terraneil bulls with their top bid going to the late May 2016-drop low birthweight high indexing Habana H7 son in lot three.
Another volume buyer of the Terraneil draft was IB & JS Elliot, Eneabba, collecting three bulls costing from $4000 to $6000.
Eric Moltoni’s Greenland Poll Hereford stud, Pemberton, rounded out the Poll Hereford offering with two bulls.
Primaries South Sest representative Lisa Bendotti added a Greenland bull for $4500 to the Terraneil bull purchased earlier on behalf of Bannister Downs, Northcliffe.
Greenland Manhattan M2 was a late February 2016-born AI-bred son of Norolle 46 Real Power and out of the stud’s best female line in Carissima G6.
It ranked in the breed’s top 10pc for EMA (+4.6) and top 15pc for GL and retail beef yield (RBY). Murray Grey
Following the Poll Hereford line-up, the Murray Grey offering at the 2018 Invitational sale was bolstered by the addition of a new stud presentation to the catalogue meaning there were plenty of upstanding grey sires available for purchase.
Willawa Greys, Newdegate, joined Young Guns, Hyden, to offer a total line-up of 19 Murray Greys on the day, of which 15 sold at auction to an average of $5150.
The well-muscled and balanced quality of the Wheatbelt reared Young Guns bulls took the limelight however, with the very first bull into the ring taking the top-priced Murray Grey gong when RV Epton, Bindoon, went all the way to $7750 to secure it.
The 854kg Young Guns Midas BJL M65 was born in May 2016 by Young Guns Grand Slam and out of one of the elite stud females at Young Guns Maple G77.
The moderate birthweight bull displayed plenty of scale and frame and growth.
Return buyer FS & KM James, Hyden, was one bid shy of equaling the top Murray Grey price when it secured the next bull for $7500.
Young Guns Magnum M28 was another Grand Slam son born early April 2016 and displayed an even set of above average growth and carcase EBVs.
The James family purchased another Young Guns bull for $5000.
The rest of the 14 bulls offered by the Young Guns stud sold to a total clearance and an average of $5232, up by $128 on the stud’s 2017 result.
Many of those bulls headed back to the Wheatbelt with return buyers from Hyden joined by others from Quairading, Holt Rock, Collie, New Norcia and Wandering to help clear the draft of well-bred Young Guns bulls.
Willawa Greys offering its first line of bulls at the fixture struggled for competition on the five big-framed sires it offered, selling one under the hammer at $4000 to Timbarra Trading Trust, Wandering.
The bull, Willawa Greys Magenta GGO M27 was a silver March 2016-born calf, sired by Ayr Park Fonzie F75 and had growth figures including +24, +41 and +56 for 200, 400 and 600-day growth, an EMA of +1.8 and a retail beef yield of +1.2.
Timbarra also purchased a Young Guns bull for $4000 at the sale.
Tone Park Lincoln Reds, Tonebridge, once again offered a selection of Lincoln Red sires at the Invitational sale but only one bull managed to sell, with lot 43 heading to South Australia for $4000.
Return buyer Churinga Pastoral, Coonawarra, represented at the sale by Landmark South West livestock manager Michael Rose, was the only bidder, matching purchases from Tone Park at the Farm Weekly WA Supreme bull sale at Brunswick the week earlier.
Churinga’s new purchase was Tone Park’s team leader, an early April 2016-born son of homebred pedigree Tone J10 (AI bred sire by St Fort Essez) and Tone E12.
When it came time for the Shorthorn offering, two Bindoon-based studs put their hats into the ring with the Price family’s Talgarth stud and the Catholic Agricultural College Bindoon’s Statue Hill stud putting up 10 sires between them.
Each sold two bulls at auction, with all four fetching a $4000 price tag.
The Talgarth bulls were first into the ring with B & D Sloan, Collie, snagging the July 2016-born Talgarth Excalibur 2nd son and Kelliher Bros, Wandering, landing the Linsmau Bluey True son, slightly older from an August 2015-drop.
Both bulls were well-tempered displaying stretch and muscle in the sale ring.
The two bulls sold by Statue Hill went to Kevin Yost, Liberty Shorthorn and Charolais studs, Toodyay, who said they intended to only purchase one bull at the sale but given the price it was too good an opportunity to overlook a second.
“We will use the red bull over our stud Shorthorn cows and select a line of red factor commercial Charolais cows for the roan bull and run the calves through our feedlot,” Mr Yost said.
“The two Statue Hill bulls are good honest structurally correct bulls and complete outcross bloodlines for our herd.”
The first purchase for the Yosts was a polled AI bred roan March 2016-drop calf sired by Sprys Primrose’s Buddy J17 while their second selection was a polled red bull, also from the AI-bred March 2016-drop with Glengyron Governor bloodlines.
Both displayed positive carcase and growth EBVs.
Only one Red Poll bull was put up for sale at this year’s auction, with the Red Sands sire heading to a new home at Perenjori for $6000.
The late August 2015-born calf was sired by Red Sands Royalty and had been judged reserve junior champion at the 2016 IGA Perth Royal Show and the 2017 Sydney Royal Show, as well as the senior grand champion and supreme Red Poll at the 2017 IGA Perth Royal Show.
It had figures including +19, +27 and +39 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight, +42 mature cow weight and +18 carcase weight.
A total of five black bulls were offered at the sale this year, all presented by young Angus breeders Jorja and Denby Young, Islay stud, Narrogin.
Rimrock Grazing secured the top-priced bull in the Angus offering when Steve Jackson, who farms with his son Hague at Boyup Brook, finished the bidding at $7000 for the very first Angus into the sale ring.
“I was prepared to pay a lot more for that particular bull,” Mr Jackson said.
Islay Mandalong was a May 2016 born AI son of Te Mania Garth G67 and out of a Strathtay matron.
The Rimrock breeding herd has been based on Strathtay genetics for the past 11 years and Mr Jackson said he liked the background of Strathtay breeding running through the Islay herd.
“I liked the look of a couple of the Islay bulls available on the day,” he said.
“But the one I bought in particular stood out with his very good type and balanced structure.
“The figures on him weren’t too bad either.”
Mandalong had EBVs including +2.4 birthweight, +40, +76 and +94 for 200, 400 and 600-day growth, +19 milk, +6.4 EMA, +1.7 IMF, +1.0 rib, +0.7 rump and +36 docility.
Mr Jackson also secured the following Garth G67 son for $5000.
By the end of the Angus run, three of the five bulls offered had sold under the hammer to an average of $5333.