PRICES topped at $11,500 for a Mungatta Murray Grey bull at the 31st annual Midlands Cattle Breeders’ Association Gingin Bull Sale.
A big crowd of buyers and onlookers again turned out to the purpose built yards at the Gingin Recreation Centre to welcome original and new sale vendors and the top line-up of bulls the sale is renowned for.
The sale was again interfaced on AuctionsPlus and the quality catalogue of 72 bulls representing five British and European beef breeds from nine vendors, drew widespread support from across the State.
When the sale got underway there were 40 buyers on the books from Pemberton in the south to Geraldton plus the Eastern States registered and they bid strongly on the bulls that best suited their requirements.
While some vendors enjoyed solid sales with both good prices and clearances, selective buying in some breeds saw a number of bulls overlooked.
Overall 55 bulls (76 per cent) sold from 72 offered under the Landmark and Elders hammers at an average of $6227 and a gross of $342,500.
Like most sales this year the average and gross figures were back with the average down $1028 and the gross dropping by $27,500 but in a positive result for the sale, vendors sold four more bulls than last year and the overall clearance was up by 9pc.
Last year’s sale saw 51 bulls sell from 76 offered at an average of $7255.
Landmark auctioneer Tiny Holly said the presentation of bulls was once again very good and a credit to the vendors and as a result the bulls sold accordingly.
“There was good buying support throughout the sale but at times buyers were selective and with this selective buying the prices came back on previous highs achieved in the past,” Mr Holly said.
“There was good buying support once again from regular buyers coming from the deep south through to north and east of Geraldton and this just shows they trust the sale and the bulls the vendors present in it.
“The Angus breed again sold to strong demand and although the average was back on past years the clearance was still very good.
“There was also an excellent line up of traditional, well-muscled Limousin bulls with length of body and softness that sold to extreme demand.
“Overall like other sales this year the prices and clearance were in line with the current market conditions.”
Elders auctioneer Don Morgan also praised the quality of the bulls on offer and agreed the final sale result was in line with current market conditions.
“Overall it was a quality line-up of bulls which were presented in excellent condition by the vendors,” Mr Morgan said.
“In the Angus run the majority of the line-up sold well to good competition, while in the Limousin run the polled bulls were sought after and sold strongly.
“The final result in terms of prices was in line with other sales this year and the current market conditions, while the improved clearance on last year was a pleasing aspect of the final result.”
Topping this year’s sale was the Stickland family’s Mungatta Murray Grey stud, Wongan Hills, when its second bull into the sale ring was finally knocked down for $11,500.
The bull, Mungatta Renaldo N28, was purchased by return buyer Shane Edwards, Stockhill Grazing, Quairading, after a lengthy bidding battle with an Eastern States bidder on AuctionsPlus following an opening bid of $6000.
The 796kg, mid-March 2017 born bull was the first progeny of semen sire Michaelong Advance D26 to be offered in WA.
Advance hails from the original Murray Grey herd of the Sutherland family, Barnawarthau, Victoria, who founded and developed the Murray Grey breed in Australia.
Out of homebred cow, Mungatta Hibiscus H18, the frame score six Renaldo displayed an even spread of above average BreedPlan figures with growth mostly in the top 25pc, top 15pc mature cow weight (MCW) and top 10pc gestation length.
Mr Edwards said he saw Michaelong Advance at the Sutherland’s property about three years ago and believed it was the best semen sire at the stud.
“I’ve had an interest in the progeny since and first saw Renaldo at Mungatta in October last year and was impressed,” he said.
“It had the heaviest 200 and 400-day weights and the best muscling in its drop of bulls at Mungatta, with one of the best coats I have seen on a Murray Grey bull.
“It carries most of the traditional Murray Grey traits which can be hard to find on a frame score six bull.
“It has an outstanding disposition and is a clear cut outcross for our herd being the first bull offered in WA by its international semen sire.”
Mr Edwards said the bull will be used largely over female families that go back to his herd’s foundation sire purchased in 2006, Mungatta Explorer.
After a special highlight, things got a little tougher for the Stickland family’s team of 11 bulls with only a further four bulls finding new homes at auction to average $5500 overall.
And while it was a disappointing clearance, the results were improved from last year’s sale where three of 12 Mungatta bulls sold under the hammer to average $5167.
Consistent buyers of Mungatta bulls Mikkelsen & Wilson, Dandaragan, returned to pay $5000 for the sale team leader Mungatta Ramiro N50.
The 820kg, frame score six, late March 2017 born son of Mungatta Overton K76 (by Monterey Elegant Lad E265) displayed impressive figures with weight intervals in the top 5-10pc, top 5pc MCW, top 10pc carcase weight along with high indexes including top 5pc for vealer terminal and heavy grassfed steer indexes.
H & K Rowe, Mullewa, paid $4000 for another Overton K76 son, while Melvin Hettner, Ideal Murray Grey stud, Kojonup, secured a Willalooka Uplift U5 son for $3500 and an Elegant Lad E265 son following the sale.
The Angus breed kicked the sale off with four vendors offering 48 bulls between them and with solid support by the end of the run 43 had sold under the hammer to a top of $10,000 on three occasions and for an average of $6174, which was back $1431 on last year.
In comparison last year’s sale saw 46 from 48 Angus sires sold to a top of $17,000 and an average of $7578.
The Kupsch family’s Black Tara stud, Allanooka, was the first to sell in the run and got it off to a solid start when it cleared its entire team of 11 bulls.
The Black Tara team topped at $10,000 twice and averaged $7045, which was down $2305 on the $9350 average the stud achieved last year when it sold 10 from 11 sires under the hammer.
The first Black Tara sire to hit the five figure mark of $10,000 was Black Tara N76 in lot two.
With length of body, depth and a great hindquarter, N76 attracted plenty of attention from buyers following an opening bid of $5000.
Eventually following some quick fire bidding from around the ring, Mr Holly knocked the stylish bull down to return buyers the Kanny family, Bonegilla Grazing, Walkaway.
The March 2017-drop bull was by S Chisum 6175 and ranked in the top 10pc of the breed for 200-day weight (+54) and top 15pc for 400-day weight (+93), carcase weight (+71) and retail beef yield (+1.3).
Buyer Trevor Kanny said N76 would be a new bloodline for the operation and they would use it over first calvers to breed replacement females.
“He has an excellent conformation and good figures,” Mr Kanny said.
Along with purchasing N76 from Black Tara, the Kanny family also secured Black Tara N98, which is a son of Black Tara L08, for $8000.
Currently the operation is running a herd of 300 Angus and Charolais-Angus cross breeders and feedlots all its own calves.
When they wean their March-drop calves in December into their feedlot, the Kenny’s calves usually average 380 kilograms.
They are then fed for 90 days before being sold at about 540-550kg.
Matching N76 in the price stakes and also selling for $10,000 was Black Tara N26 when it sold to return client of four years Matt Della Gola, Tonebridge Grazing, Tonebridge.
Mr Della Gola said N26 was the type of animal they were trying to breed and would be an outcross bloodline for the operation’s herd, despite being an older proven bloodline.
“He has thickness, a fantastic skin to go with a great structure and temperament,” Mr Della Gola said.
“We are really impressed with the Black Tara bulls we have used in the past.
“They are bred in one of the toughest parts of Australia and when we take them south they just go on and perform really well.”
The long-bodied, soft N26 was sired by Vermont Drambuie D057 and was in the top 10pc for EMA (+8.5), top 15pc for rib and rump fat (both +1.2) and above breed average for growth with EBVs of +51, +85 and +108 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight.
The operation is currently running a breeding herd made up of 2000 Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn breeders.
N26 will be used over pure Angus first calvers based on four different bloodlines to see what it clicks with.
The Kanny family wasn’t the only buyer to walk away with two bulls from the Black Tara team.
Tebco Fishing, Dongara, which was bidding with the assistance of Primaries Geraldton representative Nic Benson and FB Smith & Sons, Walkaway, both secured two bulls.
The Walkaway operation secured a S Chisum 6175 son at $8000 and a SAV Pioneer 7301 son for $6000, while Tebco Fishing paid $6500 for a son of S Chisum 6175 which was in the top 5pc of the breed for 200 and 400-day weights and rump fat and $4500 for a SAV Pioneer 7301 sired bull.
Two bulls in the Black Tara team made $7000 and were both headed to Mullewa when they were knocked down to KA & TB Grima and GM & JA O’Brien.
The Sudlow family, Kapari stud, Northampton, was not only the biggest vendor in the Angus run, but in the sale overall with an offering of 27 bulls.
When the final Kapari Angus sire left the ring the stud had cleared 25 under the hammer for an average of $6300, which was back $1589 on last year.
Showing the way in the Kapari team was its lead bull, Kapari Ninja N96, when it became the third Angus bull to sell for $10,000.
With one bold bid of $10,000 Ninja N96 was knocked down by Mr Holly to the Kanny family, Bonegilla Grazing, for a three quarter share and possession sale.
The 22-month-old Ninja N96, which is by Kapari Thunderbird K54, not only showed off plenty of thickness and softness as it moved around the ring but it had the numbers to back it up.
It is top 1pc for 200-day weight (+61), top 5pc for 400 and 600-day weights (+102 and +141) and mature cow weight (+131) plus top 10pc carcase weight (+76).
Trevor Kanny said they were really impressed by Ninja N96 when they inspected it.
“He has a magnificent conformation backed up by a brilliant set of figures,” Mr Kanny said.
“He is a very nice all round bull.
“He will be a new Kapari bloodline for our herd and we are sure he will complement our herd nicely.”
Along with securing Ninja N96 from Kapari the Kanny family purchased another two sires from the Kapari team.
They paid $6000 for a Kapari Thunderbird K54 son and $5500 for a Granite Ridge Kaiser K26 son.
The second top price in the Kapari team was $9500 paid by Eneabba operation KA Sewell, which finished the day with three Kapari bulls at an average of $6333.
Receiving the $9500 bid from the operation was Kapari Patriot N21, a son of Deer Valley Patriot 3222.
N21 ranks in the top 1pc of the breed for EMA at +11.3 and top 5pc for retail beef yield at +2.1, while it is a low birthweight sire with an EBV of +1.8 (top 10pc).
Three bulls made $9000 in the Kapari team and these bulls were purchased by RHG Alp, Gingin, GM & JA O’Brien and Mt Samuel Pty Ltd, Mingenew, which also purchased a second Kapari sire at $4500.
The volume buyer in the Kapari run with a team of four bulls at an average of $5250 was return buyer TI & AM Vlahov, Geraldton.
The other multiple buyer of Kapari bulls was another return buyer, Durawah Pastoral Co, Chapman Valley, which bought two sires at $7500 and $4500.
The Topham family’s Cookalabi stud, Coomberdale, presented eight bulls and sold six under the hammer to a top of $5500 and an average of $4500.
Topping the Cookalabi team at $5500 was the stud’s team leader, Cookalabi N16, when it was pencilled down in the sheets to S & M Sudholz, Piawaning.
N16, which was by Cookalabi J50 (a son of Blackrock F27), is in the top 1pc of the breed for docility (+31) and top 20pc for all growth figures with EBVs of +51, +92 and +119 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights.
The volume buyer in the Cookalabi run was second year buyer Mt Gerizim Farms Pty Ltd, Dandaragan.
The operation purchased five bulls from $4000 to $4500 to join its sire battery for its herd of 600 purebred Angus breeders.
Mt Gerizim’s livestock manager Geoff Armstrong said they were very happy to support a local stud.
“The Cookalabi bulls have good docility and we were impressed with how the bulls we purchased last year from the stud have grown out,” Mr Armstrong said.
Rounding out the Angus run with two sires was first-time vendor Mark Hattingh, Redhat stud, Wannamal.
Mr Hattingh sold one of his sires, Redhat N605, at auction for $3500 to Cunningham Enterprises WA, Morawa.
N605 was by SAV Harvestor 0338 and had growth figures of +73, +127 and +170 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, which are all in the top 1pc of the breed.
Again in the Limousin offering it was the Kupsch family’s Tara stud and the Stickland family’s Woronyne stud, Wongan Hills, which offered sires in the sale.
All up the two studs offered 10 bulls between them and six sold to a top of $9000 twice and an average of $7583, the best of any breed in the sale.
The results for the breed were well up on last year’s sale where the two studs sold only two bulls from 11 offered at an average of $4000.
The Tara stud kicked the run off and achieved an excellent result which included a 100pc clearance of its six bulls offered and a sale high average of $7583.
With plenty of buyers operating on the Tara team prices hit a high of $9000 twice.
The first Tara sire to make $9000 was Tara N72 when it was knocked down to Landmark commercial cattle manager Darren Chatley, who purchased the bull on behalf of EP & DK Gardiner, Brunswick.
The long-bodied, deep N72 was by Tara K29 and was in the top 1pc of the breed for 200-day weight (+34), carcase weight (+46) and retail beef yield (+1.8) as well as the top 5pc for 400 and 600-day weights (+53 and +73).
In terms of its indexes, N72 was in the top 1pc for domestic, heavy steer and vealer indexes.
Mr Chatley said N72 was a very well-balanced bull and the type of bull the Gardiners were looking for.
“He has good muscling with softness and he is also a very quiet bull,” Mr Chatley said.
Matching N72 with a $9000 price tag was Tara N88 when it was knocked down to return buyer Kane Grima, KA & TB Grima, Mullewa.
In the ring N88, which was by Tara K44, showed plenty of shape and size and a great hindquarter.
Not only was N88 true to type it also had good growth EBVs ranking in the top 5pc for 200-day weight (+28) and top 10pc for 400 and 600-day weights (+44 and +63).
Mr Grima said N88 was a good looking bull with a good set of figures.
“We have been buying Limousin sires from Tara for a number of years now and have never been disappointed,” Mr Grima said.
“They are good, quiet bulls, which are good doers, you can’t go passed them.”
The Grima family run a crossbred herd of 300 breeders comprising Angus, Limousin, Santa Gertrudis and Red Poll bloodlines.
When it comes to marketing their calves the family sells its bull calves to the live export market and feedlots any heifers which aren’t kept as replacement breeders.
After buying a couple of Black Tara Angus bulls earlier in the sale Tebco Fishing, Dongara, secured two Tara Limousin sires.
It paid $8000 for Tara N126, a Tara K44 son and $6000 for Tara N34, which is by LFLC Zest 51Z.
The remaining two Tara bulls, Tara N23 and Tara N71, were purchased by Elders Manjimup representative Cameron Harris for NR Love & VJ Roche, Pemberton, at $7000 and Landmark Margaret River agent Jock Embry for Falcinella Bros, Pemberton, at $6500 respectively.
The Talgarth Shorthorn stud, Bindoon, offered two bulls in this year’s sale and one was headed to a new home when it sold for $4000.
Taking home Talgarth Parkshine N157, which was the last bull offered in the sale, was first-time buyer to the stud Dennis Martin, GA & PA Martin, Badgingarra.
Mr Martin, who runs a breeding herd of 300 Angus-Shorthorn cross cows, said N157 had a good topline and general shape.
The late July 2017-drop bull was sired by Crathes Park Amys Galway J45.