A STRONG focus on producing quality breeding stock and genetics that will deliver crossbred calves for the premium meat market were appreciated by a wide spread of new clients at the Inaugural Kamarah Speckles sale held at the Wannamal Hall on September 16.
The Howard family could not have foreseen the huge effort, time and dedication required to hold a stud stock cattle sale, but it was all worthwhile when their offering of bulls, females, embryo and semen packages attracted strong buying support in the room and online.
At the fall of the hammer, Elders auctioneer Graeme Curry had sold 21 of the 27 bulls on offer to an average of $6619, reaching heights of $11,000, while the females stole the limelight when a 100 per cent clearance was achieved for the 18 heifers offered at an average of $8944, topping the sale at $18,000.
Nine embryo packages were offered from the Kamarah herd and four of the packages sold, resulting in the 16 embryos averaging $1150, while the semen packages were well sought-after with a package of 10 straws reaching $115 a straw and the complete offering of 80 straws selling to an averaging of $96.25.
The sale was viewed by 107 guests on AuctionsPlus, with 145 bids taken for the 32 lots sold online.
Mr Curry said the Howard family should be extremely proud of its efforts in setting up the facilities on-property as well as in the hall.
"I can't speak highly enough of the quality and presentation of the cattle that were offered to potential buyers today," Mr Curry said
"There was something for everyone in the two age groups of bulls, with two or three that had stud sire potential written all over them.
"It was a solid result with buyers purchasing bulls and females Australia wide which was great for Kamarah, the breed and its exposure here in WA.
"Elders was pleased to support the first of many sales to come for the Howard family."
It was a beautifully shaped 15-month-old heifer, Kamarah Rhae R326 which caused the largest bidding war online and in the room.
Rhae R326 was purchased by Andrew Van der Drift, Black Diamond Speckle Park stud, Macorna, Victoria, who was one of many to use the AuctionsPlus platform to secure the elite female.
Sired by Lauaki L275 (AI, ET) and out of Kamarah Necklace N11 (AI, ET), the stylish speckled-coloured heifer weighed 31 kilograms at birth and had BreedPlan EBVs of -0.4 for gestation length (GL), 0.9 (BW), +13, +25 and +29 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, mature cow weight (MCW) of 28, +6 for milk and +21 for carcase weight (CW).
Mr Van der Drift said he was very excited to add this great young female, who will infuse new bloodlines into the stud enterprise.
"I haven't seen her in person but from the photo she seems to be a stylish, well-fleshed female which expresses good muscularity and has a great set of figures," Mr Van der Drift said.
"We have 150 stud females and currently implant 250 embryos a year as we try to utilise some of the best Speckle Park genetics in Australia."
During the sale Mr Van Der Drift also bought a semen package of 10 straws for $90 each by River Hill Touchdown 50T.
Topping the bull section of the sale at $11,000 was Kamarah Ryan R307, a white-coloured, April-2020 drop youngster sire by Minnamurra Marlin M4 (AI, ET) (P) and out of Kamarah Noeline N25 (AI) (P).
The eye-catching sire, which was knocked down to Doug Brown and Cany Hudson, Complete Landscape Solutions Pty Ltd, Moonyoonooka, tipped the scales at 594kg, weighed 27kg at birth and had a scrotal circumference of 33cm.
It expressed ABVs of -2.4 for GL, -2.5 for BW, +3, +13 and +12 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, +14 for MCW, +6 for milk, +13 for CW, 0.2 for eye muscle area (EMA), 0.2 for intramuscular fat (IMF) and was positive in the rib and rump fats.
The couple, who are regular clients of the Howard family, also selected three leopard-coloured heifers and paid a best of $10,000 for a granddaughter of Wattle Grove Stardust E2.
They secured the two other females at $6000 and $9000 respectively.
Mr Brown said they had a good look at the cattle during the open day and really liked the bull's length of body, quiet temperament and low birthweight.
"We originally started with a small Angus herd and over the last three years have crossed Speckled Park bulls over them," Mr Brown said.
"We currently have 50 breeders, 25 being Speckled Park females and the other half is made up of first cross or Angus.
"We were keen to purchase more females from the Howard's and add to our genetic base.
"They, along with our other Speckle Park females will be joined to the bull we purchased here today."
Not afraid to pay for elite genetics that would kick start their cattle enterprise were newcomers to the breed, Liza Carpene and Ian Bamborough, Roman Road Pty Ltd, Chittering, who bought the structurally correct, feminine, Kamarah Royal Lady R327, sired by Wattle Grove Smoke and Mirrors L275 (AI, ET) (P) and out of Kamarah Lady Luve (AI, ET).
They paid the day's second top price of $16,000 for the stylish female that weighed 33kg at birth and had EBV's of -0.6 for GL, +0.9 for BW, +14, +23 and +32 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, +34 for MCW, +6 for milk, +21 for CW and 0.7 for EMA.
Ms Carpene said they knew little about cattle but were drawn to the Speckle Park breed for their appearance, temperament, and fertility.
"Our neighbours have some Speckles and over time we have become rather fond of them," Ms Carpene said.
"We only purchased our property three years ago therefore are relatively new to farming, however we love the outdoor lifestyle, our vineyard and sheep and are now looking forward to developing a great passion for our cattle.
"As we transition in retirement, we are very excited to introduce them into our farming enterprise and begin to learn the business of breeding them."
With the knowledge and support from Kamarah stud principal Errol Howard, Ms Carpene and Mr Bamborough not only purchased the second top-priced heifer, but secured three other heifers for $11,000, $9000 and $7000 and a single sire at $5000 which will be joined to the females.
The 27 bulls kicked off the sale and a second top price of $10,000 was initially recognised in lot 15, Kamarah Rhinestone R329, when Robert Gibbings, Elders Busselton made a phone bid to purchase the 696kg April 2020 born son of Premier 101Y Logic L11 (AI, ET) (P).
The impressive calf had a birthweight of 44kg, a scrotal circumference of 40.5cm and BreedPlan arithmetic's of 0.2 for GL, 3.5 for BW, +21, +32 and +41 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, +43 for MCW, 2 for milk, +24 for CW, +1.3 for EMA and +0.1 for IMF.
Further down the catalogue saw a 13-month-old youngster that was sired by Kamarah Percy P158 (P) selling to Yarawindah based enterprise Koolinda Park for $10,000.
Born at 36kg, the speckled-coloured calf, Kamarah Ruffled R377, weighed 525kg and had a scrotal circumference of 33.5cm with EBV figures of 1.3 GL, 1.8 for BW, +11, +17 and +30 for 200, 400 and 600 day weights, +38 for MCW, 5 for milk, +16 for CW, +0.5 for EMA and +0.4 for IMF.
King Speckle Park, Manjimup, secured a long, well-balanced sire for $8000, as well as four embryos at $1200 each by Kamarah Modesty x JKH 300X Stand Alone.
Paying $8000 for a long, soft bodied bull with a great pedigree behind it was AA MA PR & SJ Grey, Yathroo, while heading home to Waroona was a thick, well-muscled sire that was snapped up through AuctionsPlus for $8000 by Rhys Bloxsidge, Banjo Beef.
Also using the online bidding platform to secure a speckled-coloured bull with good growth figures and a very docile temperament was Elders Esperance's Michael Ford, who paid $7000 for the young June 2020-drop calf.
Mr Ford selected another powerful bull, ideal for producing baby beef for $6000 and had support to also buy in the female section of the sale and secured a Wattle Grove Star Dust E2 daughter at $10,000, while outlaying $7000 for another well-grown female.
Having built a valuable partnership with Kamarah Speckles, Dale and Belinda Humphries, Wattle Grove Speckle Park, Oberon, NSW, bid online several times, contributing to their purchase of five sires at an average of $5200, a heifer and an embryo package by the completion of the sale.
The Humphries paid a top of $6000 for a Minnamurra Marlin M4 (AI) (P) son with a low birth weight, while outlaying $6000 for a stylish black heifer and secured four embryos for $1000 each out of Kamarah Lyndee x GNK 61Y Codiack Putnum.
Others to purchase bulls at a $6000 price tag were Geoff Daw, Nutrien Livestock Kojonup, Bryan Wormwell, Monivae Pastoral Company, Tara, QLD, GW & NL Thomas, Muchea, Arley Farm, Benger, which also secured 10 semen straws by Star Bank King George 82U and Bradlake Farming, Quindalup, which bought two other sires after the auction at $5000 each.
The offering of the 18 young females went off with a bang, with several bids coming through on AuctionsPlus.
Mark Constable, MR & CM Constable Pty Ltd, Bellimbopinni, NSW, was in on the action, securing a 14-month-old female, sired by Kamarah Merlin (AI, ET) (P) and out of a great dam Kamarah Mia (AI, ET) (P) for $10,000.
Volume buyers in this section of the catalogue were BT Whiting and Co, East Munglinup, snapping up four heifers at a height of $9000 and an average of $6500.
The Whitings also secured three semen sale packages, paying a top price of $115 a straw for 10 by Kamarah Mighty Speckled X10.
Steven Atkins, Gotcha Speckle Park stud, Cundletown, New South Wales, found heifers worth buying and paid $8000 for two young speckled coloured females that best suited his genetic needs.
NJ Augustine, Beeron, QLD, sat patiently online to secure two of the embryo lots up for grabs.
They paid $1200 for both embryo packages of four out of Kamarah Karma x JKH 300X Stand Alone and Kamarah McKenzie x Bed 60W River Hill Walker, while Kellanne Holdings, Heathcote Junction, Victoria, snapped up three semen packages of 10 straws at an average of $85 each.
Mr Howard said he was very happy with the support clients gave far and wide.
"We decided to hold a sale this time of year to coincide with the Eastern States stud stock cattle sales as we didn't know how much interest we would get in WA, however the support we received has been overwhelming," Mr Howard said.
"It's great to see the breed starting to get more exposure in the State.
"It's a matter of getting people here to see that they're not just black and white cattle with appealing markings, but they are pretty darn good animals that are proving their point in the crossbreeding market across the country, with lot feeders offering premium prices for calves."