JUST like last year, it was a group of producers who specialise in breeding and lotfeeding Angus cattle, who cleared the decks at last week's Landmark Angus Weaner Sale at Mt Barker.
The Landmark team and its subsequent vendors yarded 2118 Angus weaner calves which cleared to an overall top price of $1427 and average of $1224 a head.
It was an exciting time to be at the yards with Landmark staff proud to have been responsible for what they knew to be the largest sale yarding of one single cattle breed in WA.
A sale-topping price of $1427 (353c/kg) was paid by the Matthews Family Trust for 16 weaned steers put up for auction by MK Sounness & Son.
The hefty young lot averaged 404.4 kilograms.
The overall top-priced pen was snapped up by Kim Lester and his father Brian, Jarraluka Feedlot, Manypeaks.
The Lesters also secured 20 classy steers from Wembley Park at 358c/kg or $1300/head.
As always the pair secured themselves a substantial haul of early steer lots.
They bought 15 pens, a total of 230 head, for the afternoon including seven from the sale's biggest vendors, Noel, Karen and Luke Bairstow, Arizona Farms, Lake Grace, who yarded 536 Coonamble blood steers in the sale.
The Lester family's purchases included some of the sale's heavier lots as well with its first of 12 steers from Arizona Farms averaging 426.3kg and making 325c/kg ($1385/head).
They also purchased from a handful of other standout offerings including a pen of 12 and a pen of 14 from Rayview Park, Albany, that were the third and fifth to sell.
These averaged 427.9kg and 415.4kg and sold for 323c/kg ($1382/head) and 327c/kg ($1358/head) respectively.
Another sale regular that bought big was Pulfer & Nussbaum which had 17 pens of steers written down to its name.
By the day's end the account had purchased 276 calves from a range of vendors including Rayview Park, Jeff Pyle & Co, Manypeaks, Arizona Farms and BJ Panizza Family Trust, Albany.
It picked up three of the 12 pens offered MJ Blyth & Co in quick succession.
The pens which all contained 18 head averaged 350.6kg, 340.8kg and 339.7kg and were knocked down for 358c/kg ($1255/head), 360c/kg ($1227/head) and 358c/kg ($1216/head).
Yoolburra Pastoral also made an impression with the purchase of seven pens of Arizona Farms cattle.
It paid 351c/kg twice for two lines of 15 which averaged 383.7kg and 378kg.
The top liveweight price in the steer offering was 418c/kg and it was achieved by a pen offered by D & M Bunn, which averaged 267.7kg for a return of $1119.
Some 22 other buyers helped to clear the remaining pens of steers before Landmark auctioneer Harry Carroll moved onto selling the heifers.
While the offering wasn't overly vast, it was certainly filled to the brim with quality young females which had plenty of buyers wondering whether they should pick up a few last minute replacements.
The top-priced pen of heifers was swiftly knocked down to Dajara Farm, Narrikup, which paid 336c/kg ($1222/head) for 22 weaned heifers, weighing an average of 363.6kg, from LB & J Parke.
It took 12 different buyers to clear the catalogue including SH Fry & Sons who jumped into action and snapped up the first two lots offered for 312c/kg ($1192/head) and 310c/kg ($1281/head), which were purchased to grow out and mate for next year's Landmark Boyanup Beef Female sale.
Cadalelup Farms and DT Barker trucked out four pens of heifers apiece.
DT Barker purchased 52 head in four pens from Emerald Park Grazing and Willyung Farms and paid 350-374c/kg.
The purchases included the 374c/kg top-priced liveweight pen, which averaged 248.2kg to return $928 for Willyung Farms.
Cadalelup Farms paid from 320-343c/kg for 36 head in four lots from MG & BF Stanbishop and BJ Panizza Family Trust.