INTREST from across Australia helped drive Ben Nevis Angus to one of its best results at its annual on-property bull sale on Wednesday.
A total of 69 registered bidders gathered at the Halliday family's property Mingary, near Walcha, while many more followed online via AuctionsPlus to get their hands on the 71 bulls up for bids.
All 71 bulls on offer were snapped up at an average of $16,170, which was up from last year's average of $9081.
In the breakdown, 28 bulls, 18 months of age, sold at an average of $16,640 and to a top of $24,000, twice, while 43 genuine yearling bulls sold at an average of $15,860 and to a sale high of $70,000.
The top-priced bull, Ben Nevis Rambo R230, was a 13-month-old son of Ben Nevis Newsflash N239 and out of Ben Nevis Celeste J121.
Weighing 556 kilograms, he was ranked in the top one per cent of the breed forf the Angus Breeding, Domestic, Heavy Grain and Heavy Grass Indexes, as well as for calving ease daughters and intramuscular fat (IMF).
He was sat in the top 10pc for carcase weight and was purchased by a partnership of the Morgan family, Glenmorgan Angus, Guyra, the Branson family, Banquet Angus, Mortlake, Victoria, the Metcalfe family, Koojan Hills Angus, Manypeaks, Western Australia and the Blyth family, Fernleigh Angus, Ellinbank, Victoria.
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"I had been following his father Ben Nevis Newsflash just to see what he was up to and in his breeding line with Proceed and Ambush on one side and Te Mania Bartel on the other, it offers a good even line that breeds an easy-doing calf with the numbers," Glenmorgan Angus principal Nicholas Morgan said.
"Geoff Hayes at Ray White, Glen Innes, really set this all up and deserves a lot of the credit. We're getting the walking rights to the bull and the four parties will get semen collected, from there he will come to Glenmorgan for some mating this year, if not next year.
"I think he can really take our enterprise a long way because you usually see a bull with really good numbers and he looks like another breed and that's Mr Wagyu but this bloke looks like Mr Angus."
Ben Nevis stud principal Erica Halliday echoed Mr Morgan's sentiments saying the bull had "plenty of presence".
"I think what separates him from an otherwise really even draft of bulls is the fact his genomics send him right through the stratosphere for estimated breeding values and everyone is looking for that magic bullet that has IMF, growth, low birth weight and eye muscle area but with a different blood line," Mrs Halliday said.
"He is all of those things and usually a bull will have the numbers but might not be nice to look at, but he has the full package in that regard as well.
"We're pleased he went to those studs, in particular Banquet because our genetics work really well with theirs and their continued support is really special to us."
Many bulls were purchased by local producers while some were bought by buyers from as far away as South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
Volume buyers in attendance included the Spicer family, Wangabutta, Coonabarabran, seven bulls at an average of $16,000, MRH Enterprises, Inverarry, Scone, four bulls at an average of $18,500, and McCallum Livestock, Woolbrook, three bulls at an average of $20,000.
"We have bought bulls here before, they have done a really good job for us and the Halliday family are wonderful people too, which is a big thing for us," buyer Noella Spicer said.
"We just got the Baldridge Beast Mode sons and we just really liked their credentials.
"Hopefully they will be suited to the black and red soil country at our place as it can be hard on their feet, but I think we will be very happy with them.
"One is going to go straight out onto a mob of heifers while the others are going to have to sit around for a little while until the heifers are calving.
"We have an autumn calving and a spring calving, which has only just started, so these ones will settle in then go out to work in a couple of months, hopefully before the end of October."
Online volume buyers included Roberts Grazing Company, Springshaw, Queensland, five bulls at an average of $13,600, Neales River Livestock, Oodnadatta, South Australia, three bulls at an average of $13,333 and S and R Simpson, Oakwood, Queensland, two bulls at an average of $12,000.
"The repeat support of so many buyers just means the world to us," Mrs Halliday said.
"Whether they are repeat local buyers, or interstate buyers like Mick and Sylvia Roberts in Springshaw, Queensland, or Neales River Livestock in Oodnadatta or the Badcock family from Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, that support is just so greatly appreciated.
"We're just blown away by the support of everyone.
"The good thing is we've seen a lot of people in the stands this year that were away during the drought, so it's just so exciting to see them back and it is just an exciting time for the beef industry."
Wednesday's sale was conducted by Nutrien Boulton's Walcha with Paul Dooley, Tamworth, auctioneering.
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The story Ben Nevis' $70,000 top bull bound for four studs in three states first appeared on The Land.