SPIRITED bidding from a long list of return buyers and a handful of new clients ensured a strong result at last week's Mordallup on-property Angus bull sale at Manjimup, where prices topped at $14,000.
With a very even line-up of well-muscled, growthy bulls on offer, buyers were spoilt for choice and they responded accordingly and bid with confidence on the bulls which best suited their breeding programs.
This strong bidding from the 50 registered buyers kept the Landmark selling team on their toes all day and by the end of the sale it had cleared 58 of the 63 bulls offered under the hammer at a clearance of 92 per cent and an average of $4910, which was up $250 on last year when the stud averaged $4660 for 53 out of 74 bulls sold.
The clearance was further improved after the sale with a number of the passed in bulls being quickly snapped up.
Again the sale was consistent from the start with even the last handful of bulls offered reaching up to $6000.
This year three bulls sold for more than $10,000 compared to one last year while there were 18 bulls sold in the $5000-$10,000 price range compared to 20 last year.
Landmark auctioneer Tiny Holly said the sale followed the trend of recent bulls sales and was stronger than last year, which was very encouraging.
"The presentation of the bulls was excellent and a credit to the vendors and what you saw is what you got," Mr Holly said.
"There were bulls on offer to cater for everyone and they could go over any type of female.
"It was pleasing to see new clients as well as old clients, who have missed a few years buying in the sale and this extra competition helped the final result.
"Buyers were selective in their purchases and they had a cross in the catalogue on the ones they wanted and bid up keenly on these.
"In some cases there were three to five buyers on the same bulls.
"The top-priced bulls sold well and deserved their price tags as the breeding was there which meant buyers could bid with confidence.
"The video auction system was certainly accepted by buyers this year compared to last year when they were a bit subdued towards it.
"All in all it was a very strong result for the stud and the Muir family deserve these results as they do it well."
Equally as happy with the overall result was stud co-principal Mark Muir, who said it was a buoyant sale.
"We were particularly pleased with the strong clearance," Mr Muir said.
"We had good inquiry across all the bulls and by the next day there was only one of the passed in bulls unsold.
"There were a couple of new buyers who purchased plus some older clients, who returned to buy after being absent for a couple of years and this added to the competition.
"Another pleasing aspect was that there was a good spread of prices which meant buyers were able to purchase in their price brackets.
"It was also pleasing to hear buyers were very impressed with the new genetics featured, in particular SAV Camaro, whose sons sold extremely well."
With a classy line-up of well-bred bulls featuring a range of new and old bloodlines to the Mordallup stud, it was always going to be hard for buyers to pick a star lot.
But in the end it didn't take long when buyers showed their preference and a bidding war erupted on lot two, Mordallup Kuli H189, after Mr Holly received an opening bid of $8000 on the upstanding sire.
From the moment the son of Braveheart of Stern appeared on the screen in front of buyers it exhibited all the credentials of a top sire, showing volume, depth, length, muscling.
When bidding finally ended on the powerful, very correct, March 2012-drop bull, it was return buyer Vern Mouritz, VR & JD Mourtiz, Hyden, who came out the victor at $14,000.
The 1000kg bull was out of a SAV Net Worth daughter, Mordallup Illume D227 and had a frame score of 6.9, a rib fat scan of 5mm and scrotal circumference of 48cm.
Not only was its muscling and stature appealing on the eye but it also had the figures to match with EBVs of +7.3 for birthweight, +14 for milk, +54, +94 and +128 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight, +72 for carcase weight, +3.7 for EMA, -0.1 for rib, -0.4 for rump, +0.6 for retail beef yield (RBY) and +0.3 for IMF, which ranked it in the top one per cent for 600-day weight and top five per cent for 200 and 400-day weight and carcase weight.
While it had indexes of +$101 for long-fed (CAAB), +$99 for heavy grass-fed, +$81 for short-fed domestic and +$90 for terminal.
After the spirited bidding melee, Mr Mouritz was particularly happy to have secured his first choice, as he was keen to get hold of the Braveheart of Stern bloodline to use in the family's pure Angus breeding herd, as they had not used it before.
Mr Mouritz said Kuli H189 was a top bull with good softness, depth of body and milk figures.
"Our aim will be to use him in an AI program over our Mordallup Net Worth, Limited Edition and Hoff Head of Class females to breed replacement females for our herd," Mr Mouritz said.
"We think he will fit in really well and complement our females."
The Mouritz family are running 800 breeders, which is back on previous years due to the season and lotfeed all their calves before selling them at 10-11 months at 240-245kg carcase weight.
It wasn't only Kuli H189, which created a strong interest among buyers.
Two sons of new sire SAV Camaro 9272, Mordallup Camaro H126 and Mordallup Camro H119, also attracted plenty of attention and were knocked down at the sale's $10,500 second top price and on both occasions it was return buyers Mark and Peta-Jane Harris, Treeton Lake, Treeton, with the assistance of Landmark Boyanup agent Chris Waddingham, who secured the bulls.
This was the fifth year of buying at Mordallup for the Harris family and Mr Harris said they were extremely pleased to secure the two bulls as they would be a new bloodline for the operation.
"We have a self-replacing herd and our aim is to offer top class females in specially-selected female sales on an annual basis, so we want the best genetics possible," Mr Harris said.
Mr Waddingham said the Harris's breeding philosophy was to breed top end cattle which show the strong traditional Angus traits of length, thickness and depth as well being easy-doing cattle.
"These two bulls showed all these traits," Mr Waddingham said.
The first bull headed to Treeton Lake was the thick-bodied, long 934kg Mordallup Camaro H126.
Not only was H126 impressive on the eye it also had a great set of EBVs to match with figures of +5.2 for birthweight, +11 for milk, +45, +81 and +113 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight, +62 for carcase weight, +2.4 for EMA and +0.6 for IMF, while it had indexes of +$97 for long fed (CAAB), +$86 for heavy grassfed, +$69 for shortfed domestic and +$78 for terminal.
The next Camaro son headed to Treeton Lake, was the impressive, soft, silky-skinned 1005kg Mordallup Camaro H119.
H119 also had the figures to match its eye appeal with numbers of +6.2 for birthweight, +50, +87 and +122 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight, +65 for carcase weight, +2.9 for EMA and +0.7 for IMF, while it had indexes of +$104 for long fed (CAAB), +$93 for heavy grassfed, +$74 for shortfed domestic and +$84 for terminal.
Both bulls were out of heifers.
The two bulls will be used over Bickley Park and Mordallup-blood cows, which were the foundation bloodlines for the operation, to breed replacement heifers for the herd and sale heifers.
Next year the operation, which has a breeding herd of 200 head, is aiming to sell 90 heifers, which will be a mixture of females they have bred themselves plus females purchased in.
But the long-term aim once they get their numbers up is to sell all their own heifers.
The Harris family also secured Mordallup Kuri H418 and Mordallup Tanjil H291 late in the catalogue for $6400 and $6000 respectively, to use over the operation's heifers.
Another to bid strongly with the assistance of Landmark Margaret River representative Jock Embry was Frank Tomasi Nominees manager Kevin Owen, Karridale.
The pair was strong in their bidding throughout the sale and secured four sires to a top of $8000 and an average of $5750 to use among the 400 Angus breeders in the Karridale herd.
They paid $8000 for the 960kg classy Mordallup Kodja H173, which was a son of Mordallup Net Worth C170 and had EBVs for growth of +48, +81 and +107 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight.
The operation also bid to $7500 for the 978kg Mordallup Yeeda H174 which was by SAV Heartbeat 9222.
Also bidding to $8000 was Ross Davies, Manypeaks, when he secured the 956kg Mordallup Kumodo H253 in lot three in one bid.
Kumodo H253 was sired by Mordallup Crusader E181 and had EBVs of +46, +82 and +107 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight.
Others to purchase just one bull at the higher end of the sale were Giant Valley Beef, Denmark, which paid $7500 for Mordallup Yeeda H225, which was by SAV Heartbeat 9222, while RG & AP Wheatly, Bridgetown, paid $6800 for Mordallup Thunder H145, which was a son of SAV Thunderbird 9061.
Buying two bulls each at an average of more than $5000 were LT Toovey & Sons, Cranbrook ($5400), Chumpot Pastoral Co, Cudgena, Victoria ($5200) and Ocnay Grazing, Narrikup ($5100), which paid to tops of $5600, $5400 and $6000 respectively.
There were three buyers to secure four bulls each - Moran and Co, Kronkup, AJ Batt & Co, Boddington and HR Brooks & Co, Bridgetown and they averaged $3975, $4000 and $3700 respectively over their teams.
Buying three bulls each during the sale were Levens Cattle Co, Mt Barker and Red Lancer Pty Ltd, Pinjarra.
The Pinjarra operation paid to a top of $5000 and averaged $4800 over its selections, while Levens Cattle Co averaged $4200 and paid to a top of $5000.
There were another five multiple buyers in the sale which secured two bulls and these included JM & H Della Gola, Northcliffe ($4400 average); Charles Hull Contracting, Quindanning ($4100); Landmark Boyup Brook ($4000); Twong Hill Station, Cudgena, Victoria ($3400) and Westbourne Holdings, Bridgetown ($3250).