CHERYLTON Angus sire, Cherylton Stewie D19 (AI) (ET), will be soon headed for Drillham, Queensland, following its sale to Raff Angus stud for $20,000.
Cherylton Angus, Donnybrook, and Raff Angus announced the sale last week following the bull's standout performance in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program.
The sale agreement will see Cherylton retain 100 per cent semen and marketing rights with Raff securing 100pc walking rights.
The sale represents a significant milestone as it marks the first time the stud has sold a bull into the Eastern States and also creates a new record price for the stud.
Cherylton stud manager Don McNabb said they were very happy with the sale of Stewie to Raff Angus, as it showed they were on the right track with their breeding program.
"We have used Stewie heavily in our stud for the past few years and he has really performed for us, so we know what he is capable of," Mr McNabb said.
"We have also marketed his semen through Genetics Australia for the past two years and there has been a fair bit of interest and I think lot of this has been to do with his performance in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program.''
Stewie was nominated in the first cohort of bulls for the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program in 2010, where 35 industry leading sires were mated to 1640 females.
The trial has been finalised and Stewie has performed extremely well in a number of areas.
Stewie is below average for birthweight, in the top five per cent for 400-day weight and is a trait leader for four other economically important traits including carcase weight and IMF.
The bull ranked fifth in its cohort for the short-fed index and sixth for both the long-fed and heavy grass fed indices.
It has EBVs of +3.8 for birthweight, +93 for 400-day weight, +69 for carcase weight, +2.8 for IMF and -6.3 for days to calving.
"His popularity as a sire has certainly increased as his figures have improved from being part of the benchmarking trial," Mr McNabb said.
And it was this carcase performance in the benchmarking trial, along with Stewie's pedigree which attracted Raff Angus to the sire.
The 2008-drop Stewie, is by Hyline Right Time 338 and out of Sinclair Lady 2P60 4465.
Raff Angus co-principal Andrew Raff said they had been on the lookout for a carcase sire that was of similar genetic lines to their breeding program but most importantly of true outcross genetics to the mainstream carcases sires of Australia.
Stewie fitted the bill.
"The intense selections over the past decade for a low birthweight, low mature cow weight and high marbling animal has resulted in not only a change of phenotype but more so the extreme narrowing of the Angus gene pool," Mr Raff said.
The grand-dam of Stewie, Ideal 4465 of Ideal 6807 4286, features in the American "Angus Legends" book and is described as the Angus breed's feed-efficiency matriarch with more than $2.5 million in progeny sales.
Both the sire and dam of Stewie were bred by two of the most commercially focused herds the Raffs have ever visited in the United States the Van Dyke herd in Montana and the Jorgenson herd in South Dakota.
"We also purchased him on the back of his benchmarking results," Mr Raff said.
"He was part of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program Cohort 1 and typically animals not linked by pedigree to highly used carcase sires do not have good data until progeny are in the system.
"Stewie, a rising six-year-old, with actual carcases now assessed has at last had his breeding potency for specific traits recognised and his paper performance truly reflects his individual breeding ability.
"He has more progeny assessed from actual carcases hanging on the hook than other highly used AI sires within his cohort that have more than 5000 progeny recorded. His EBV information has improved the right way round."
Mr Raff said so often sires were used within the industry with good carcase paper data that had been created simply based off a mid-parent assumption.
"We know Stewie's maternal line excelled for those traits and at last, four years later, he has been recognised," Mr Raff said.
In the purchase of Stewie, Mr Raff refused to suggest the Raff stud was joining the mainstream path of selecting for extreme marbling.
"Breeding cattle for one target market is not what our program is about," he said.
"We still maintain that weight, both daily gain and carcase, is the ultimate driver of profitability.
"While he is a trait leader for marbling, Stewie is also a trait leader for days to calving, 400-day weight and carcase weight."
The Raffs endeavour to breed Angus cattle that have growth and yield comparable to Euros while maintaining the extra fertility and maternal attributes of Angus along with all the traditional carcase qualities.
They believe the purchase of Stewie will add a further dimension to their cattle by enhancing carcase quality into other traits they know they are superior in.
Further to Stewie's purchase the Raffs have already introduced genetics that they believe will complement the daughters from Stewie.
"We know that if we use more than one generation of high marbling we will start to lose what our breeding program is recognised for - animals that weigh heavy younger with big carcase weights and extra yield," Mr Raff said.
"Last year we travelled throughout the United Kingdom and subsequently imported not only semen but embryos from there.
"Sons from these genetics will complement Stewie's high carcase attributes nicely."
Genetics Australia Nigel Semmens, who has marketed Stewie's semen, is full of praise for the bull and the importance of participating in benchmarking programs.
"Participation in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program has highlighted the importance of progeny testing and collecting carcase data from Angus sires in Australia," he said.
"Through his participation in the program Stewie has proven he offers the complete package of calving ease, growth and excellent carcase traits."