IN line with the cattle market, this year’s Landmark Great Southern Blue Ribbon Bull Sale saw a slight correction in prices compared to last year.
As the first bull sale of a new season, the results of the Blue Ribbon event are always keenly awaited as it tends to provide some gauge as to what to expect for the coming year.
Coming off the back of a record cattle market last year, this year’s sale was always going to be hard to compare to last year’s result and there was an easing in the market to some extent.
This year there were 62 bulls offered from six different breeds and 45 of those bulls sold under the hammer to an average of $5267.
Topping the sale this year was a Charolais bull offered by Doug and Dani Giles, Quicksilver Charolais stud, Newdegate.
The bull, Quicksilver Macca, sold for $8750 to Barry Panizza, Albany and was the first time the Quicksilver stud had topped the Blue Ribbon sale after many years of offering bulls at the fixture.
Macca was a May 2016 drop calf that was sired by Ascott Eldorado and out of Quicksilver E70.
Mr Panizza was a repeat buyer of Quicksilver bulls after buying from the stud at last year’s sale and said the bull appealed to him for its conformation and depth.
“We run a predominantly Angus herd but have been using Charolais bulls for a fair while now to crossbreed,” Mr Panizza said.
“We use them over third and fourth calvers to get more weight into the calves and the cross produces very nice yearlings.”
Macca recorded EBVs of +0.5 for birthweight, +14 for 200-day weight, +19 for 400-day weight and +24 for 600-day weight.
The bull had a +1 milk figure and was +2.6 for eye muscle area.
The Angus breed kicked off sale proceedings this year with four studs offering 28 bulls in total.
Of the 28 bulls offered 19 sold under the hammer to average $5267.
Leading the charge for the Angus breed was Darren and Narelle Burrow’s Mason Valley stud, Youngs Siding, which offered 14 bulls in total.
Of these 11 sold to a top of $7500 twice at an average of $5795, which was the highest average of any stud offering bulls on the day.
One of their top price bulls, Mason Valley General M8 was bought by P & A Foulds, Hopetoun.
General was a March 2016 drop bull that was sired by Ayrvale General G18 and out of Mason Valley Penny K2.
It recorded a +3.2 birthweight, a +46 200-day weight, +82 400-day weight and +111 600-day weight.
Its milk figure was +16 and it recorded an Angus Breeding Index of +$124, a Domestic Index of +$111 and a Heavy Grain Fed Index of +$131.
Phillip Marshall, Torbay, took home the other Mason Valley top price bull when he had the final bid on Mason Valley General M39.
Another Ayrvale General son, this bull recorded a birthweight of +1.8, a 200-day weight of +37, a 400-day weight of +66 and a 600-day weight of +79.
It was +17 for milk and had an Angus Breeding Index of +$96 and a Domestic Index of +$100.
Mr Marshall said he chose the bull for its figures and it would be used in his herd of Angus and Charolais cows.
Other good prices in the Mason Valley catalogue included Mason Valley Genius M17, which sold for $7250 to Woodburn Grazing, Porongurup.
This son of Booroomooka Genius was +4.2 for birthweight, +44 for 200-day weight, +75 for 400-day weight and +102 for 600-day weight.
Geoff Jones, Kojonup, also paid $7250 for a Booroomooka Genius son, Mason Valley Genius M22.
This bull was a March 2016 drop and recorded a +50 200-day weight, +85 400-day weight and +113 600-day weight.
After paying the top price for breeders in the female sale preceding the bull sale, Arizona Farms, Lake Grace, boosted its sire battery with the purchase of Mason Valley Genius M12.
This bull recorded a +3.5 birthweight, +43 200-day weight, +77 400-day weight and +100 600-day weight.
DT Barker paid $5750 for another Mason Valley bull, while Landmark southern livestock manager Bob Pumphrey bid to $5000 to secure one on behalf of a client.
Last year’s sale topper, Ponderosa Angus stud, Albany, had the honour of kicking the sale off with its line-up of five bulls.
Solid demand for the offering saw Ponderosa experience a 100pc clearance of its five bulls to a top of $6750 and a $4700 average.
It was last year’s top price buyer, Wayne Matthews, Kangarabbi Farms, Narrikup, that again took a liking to the Ponderosa bulls by also taking home the stud’s top price bull paying $6750.
The bull, Ponderosa Alex the Great M24 was sired by New Generation Wilcoola and was out of Ponderosa Estella J20.
The bull recorded a +4.3 birthweight, +46 200-day weight, +83 400-day weight and +102 600-day weight.
Its eye muscle area was +6.8 and it had an Angus Breeding Index of +$105 and a Domestic Index of +$110.
The next best price for the Ponderosa stud was $4500 with this bull, Ponderosa Alex the Great M32, bought by Bob Pumphrey, while M & M Gorman, Wellstead, paid $4250 for a SAV Predominant son.
Others to buy out of the Ponderosa catalogue included AT & JI Watterson, Tenterden, who paid $4000 for the first bull of the sale, while MJ Blyth & Co, Manypeaks, also went to $4000 for a GAR Prophet son.
The Ballawinna Angus stud, Torbay, offered eight bulls in the sale but limited demand saw only two sell under the hammer.
The stud’s top price of $4500 was paid by GA & MB Clarke for a S Chisum son, Ballawinna Chisum M18.
This bull recorded a birthweight of +5.4 and was +49 for 200-day, +85 for 400-day and +104 for 600-day weights.
The other Ballawinna bull to sell under the hammer went for $3500 to the Gorman family, Wellstead.
Rounding out the Angus offering was Henry Strating’s Superior Blacks stud with one bull, Superior Blacks Legend L14.
This son of Carabar Docklands D62 caught the eye of DJ & BE Bell, Redmond, who paid $5000.
The bull had a birthweight of +4.5, a 200-day weight of +44, a 400-day weight of +80 and a 600-day weight of +111. Its milk figure was +19 and it had an eye muscle area of +6.4.
p Red Angus
The Red Angus breed was again represented in the sale by Graeme and Trevely Smith’s Kildarra stud, Albany.
Kildarra offered four bulls in total but only one sold under the hammer at $4500 to Bob Pumphrey.
The bull, Kildarra Magic Mike M5, was a son of Bolton Girls Grenade and out of Jutland Ella.
It had a +3.7 birthweight, a +27 200-day weight, a +46 400-day weight and a +66 600-day weight and was +9 for milk.
Magic Mike was +9 for milk and +$35 on the Supermarket Index and +$30 on the Vealer Index.
Like the Red Angus there was only one stud represented in the Shorthorn offering with the Tarlinca stud, Denmark, offering five bulls.
Of its offering the stud cleared two bulls under the hammer to a top of $5000.
The top price bull, Tarlinca Mirco was a January 2016 drop calf that was bought by RH & S Carter, Denmark.
Mirco was a lengthy son of Crathes Enias Denon and out of Neearra Judith and had a +2.8 birthweight, +28 200-day weight, +43 400-day weight and +58 600-day weight.
Its retail beef yield of +1.1 was impressive and it had a good IMF of +0.9.
IK & RN McCrea, Salmon Gums, bought the other Tarlinca bull, Tarlinca Major, for $4000.
As mentioned above, the Quicksilver Charolais stud had an excellent sale, topping the event for the first time in its history.
It also had one of the larger offerings of bulls with 10 on offer and pleasingly for the stud it only passed in one bull of those on offer under the hammer.
It also recorded the second highest average of the sale with its nine bulls sold averaging $5500.
In addition to its top price bull, the stud sold two bulls at $6500, with Graham Ayres Livestock, Bornholm, taking one and Phillip Marshall, Torbay, taking the other.
The bull bought by Graham Ayres, Quicksilver Mozzie, was a May 2016 drop bull that was sired by Quicksilver Gunsmoke and out of Quicksilver E60.
The bull was +1.6 for birthweight, +8 for 200-day weight, +20 for 400-day weight and +30 for 600-day weight.
The bull purchased by the Marshalls was also a Gunsmoke son and was a polled bull with a +1.2 birthweight, +4 200-day weight, +12 400-day weight and +19 600-day weight.
Other good prices for Quicksilver bulls included $6000 paid by J Fletcher & Co, $5250 paid by Graham Ayres and $4500 paid twice by Willyung Farms, Willyung and AK & BC Rogers, Albany.
Naracoopa Simmental stud, Denmark, also had one of the larger offerings of bulls in the sale with 10 and it also was one of only two studs to record a 100pc clearance under the hammer.
Its 10 bulls also posted one of the higher averages at $5450, while its top price hit $7250.
Les and Anna Wolfe, Youngs Siding, had the final bid at this price on a very quiet, nicely muscled son of Topweight Jack Frost, Naracoopa Mewell.
Mewell was a February 2016 drop bull that was +23, +35 and +49 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight respectively. It was also +3.1 for birthweight and +0.9 for eye muscle area.
Les Wolfe said they used Simmental bulls over Angus-Friesian cross cows and he liked Mewell for its softness which would suit the Friesian cross females.
Next best in the price stakes for the Naracoopa stud was $7000 paid by Wingalup Grazing, Boyup Brook, for Naracoopa Montgomery M10.
This long and beautifully muscled bull was used by the stud over some heifers and was described as an outstanding young sire.
It recorded a birthweight of +0.4, a 200-day weight of +14, a 400-day weight of +22 and a 600-day weight of +34.
Montgomery was sired by Willandra Figaro and out of Naracoopa Kath.
Two Naracoopa bulls sold for $6500, with Thornton Farms, Denmark, paying that for Naracoopa Middleton, while Martin & Flavel, King River, paid the same amount for Naracoopa Maveric.
HJ & MC Hann, Esperance, went to $6000 to secure Naracoopa Manolopy, while George Williams, Denmark, outlaid $5000 to take home Naracoopa Major.
The WA College of Agriculture, Denmark’s Inlet Views stud offered four bulls in the sale and sold three of them under the hammer.
The college’s top price bull, Inlet Views Macbeth sold for $6250 to Les and Anna Wolfe.
Macbeth was an April 2016 drop calf sired by Bonnydale McLean and recorded EBVs of +3.3 for birthweight, +21 for 200-day weight, +34 for 400-day weight and +46 for 600-day weight.
G Bocuzzi & Co, Denmark, paid $4000 for Inlet Views Mount Blanc, while Martin & Flavel paid $3500 for Inlet Views Motana.
p Blonde d’ Aquitaine
The very first purebred black Blonde d’ Aquitaine bull to be offered for sale in Australia rounded out the offering when Henry Strating, Superior Blonde stud, offered Superior Black Power.
The polled, well-muscled bull with good fat cover certainly gained buyer attention and was in demand before eventually selling for $5500 to John Bignell, JD & RM Bignell, Bridgetown.
Black Power was sired by Superior Black Hummer and was out of Superior Georga.
It recorded a birthweight of +1.8, a 200-day weight of +8, a 400-day weight of +7 and a 600-day weight of +12.
Mr Bignell has been using Blonde genetics for 20 years now and said Black Power represented a change of bloodline for him.
“He has great muscling but is very soft with it,” he said.
“He has good length and the fact that he is a purebred black was also a factor in my purchase.
“The bull will be used over British Breed and Friesian cross cows.”