AFTER hosting a highly successful inaugural on-property bull sale last year, you couldn't wipe the smile off the faces of Venturon Livestock principals Andrew, Anne and Harris Thompson, as it was a dream come true after 28 years in the seedstock industry.
But if anyone thought those smiles were big, they were even bigger last week when they hosted their second on-property sale at Boyup Brook and saw their lead Charolais bull sell for a State record price of $36,000 and their average jump $2207 on last year.
As 'sale-o' was called by Elders auctioneer James Culleton, the Thompson's shed filled with 57 registered buyers ready to buy once the videos of the bulls began to roll on the large screens and when the action started they weren't afraid to bid up.
Along with the strong buying competition in the shed another 81 registered bidders logged on to AuctionsPlus from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and WA and they placed 17 online bids across three lots.
On the back of the strong buying competition through the entire catalogue when the final bull was knocked down, the combined Elders and Nutrien Livestock selling team had cleared 40 of 44 Angus, Charolais and Murray Grey bulls offered at an average of $9825, which was up $2207 or 29 per cent on last year.
In comparison, in the Thompson family's inaugural on-property sale last year they sold 34 bulls from 37 offered at an average of $7618.
Mr Culleton said it was a privilege to sell the sale for the Thompson family and he was very happy to see them achieve an excellent result in only their second on-property sale.
"It was a good quality line-up of bulls across the three breeds and they sold to consistent and solid bidding right through the sale," Harris Culleton said.
"There was strong interest in the top end bulls of all breeds which sold to very strong demand which was a reflection of the animals on offer.
"Overall it was a great day and the atmosphere was outstanding.
"The line-up of bulls was a credit to the Thompson family and the result they achieved is a testament to the efforts they put into their breeding program."
But it wasn't only the selling team which was very happy with the sale result.
The Thompson family was over the moon and in some disbelief in regards to the prices achieved.
"For only our second sale we are very happy with how the bulls presented and sold," Harris Thompson said.
"We are very appreciative of the support we received today from the buyers and the agents who did a great job selling the sale.
"Our cattle are our life and for people to turn up and support us like they did we are very grateful.
"We make sure we are reinvesting our returns back into genetics to keep the herd moving forwards for our clients."
Achieving the sale's $36,000 top price was the first Charolais bull offered, Venturon Raise The Bar R1 (AI) (P), in lot 19.
From the moment Raise the Bar appeared on the screen, Mr Culleton didn't have to look hard for an opening bid as there was one of $20,000 showing on AuctionsPlus and from there the price quickly rose as both a number of buyers operating on the platform and those relaying bids down the phone placed bids on the upstanding homozygous polled sire.
Eventually it was the Salier family, Minnie-Vale Charolais stud, Narrabri, New South Wales, operating on AuctionsPlus, which came out the victor and secured the bull at $36,000 to set a State record price for a Charolais bull.
Buyer Jason Salier said he was very happy to be able to secure the bull as he believed it is the best Charolais bull he had seen available for a few years that suits the needs of his stud.
"I initially saw him in the Charolais magazine when it came out and thought he looked like a good bull," Mr Salier said.
"I then got a catalogue from the Thompsons and saw him again and was impressed so I started doing some more homework on him and got a lot of pictures and videos sent over.
"From what I have seen he his a free moving bull with a great structure and I really love his thickness and softness.
"He also has a good temperament and is homozygous polled which is a key for us.
"It is not easy to find all these traits in one package but he has them all.
"In addition to these key attributes his Breedplan figures also stack up and his bloodline was another attraction as it will be a complete outcross to us.
"He is a real credit to the breeders and we are looking forward to getting him over here and working on the property.
"Hopefully he will breed on for us and we will have some great sons in our sales in a couple of years time."
The 930 kilogram, January 2020-drop bull is by WC Milestone 5223 (P) and was one of its first sons to be offered in Australia and it is out of Venturon Hillary P27, which is a daughter of Sparrows Kingston 139Y (P).
Along with being well-muscled, well-balanced and extremely quiet, Raise the Bar had estimated breeding values to match its physical presence and eye appeal.
It ranks in the top five per cent of the breed for 200, 400 and 600-day weights (+21, +39 and +59) and scrotal size (SS) (+2.5), top 10pc gestation length (GL) (-5.5) and carcase weight (CWT) (+30) and top 15pc mature cow weight (MCW) (+51).
On the index front it had values of +$39 for the domestic terminal (DTI) and +$81 for the northern maternal (NMI) which are both in the top 5pc of the breed.
Mr Thompson said they had always loved Raise The Bar R1.
"He has been a stand out since he was a calf in our eyes, so we are very happy to see he is going to one of the top Charolais herds in Australia," Mr Thompson said.
There were a number of Eastern States' buyers operating on Raise The Bar R1 and two that were fighting it out to the end against Minnie-Vale were the Chenu stud, Bridgewater, Victoria, which was relaying buying instructions through Nutrien Livestock, Boyup Brook agent Jamie Abbs and Bauhinia Park stud, Emerald, Queensland.
The Angus offering of bulls kicked the sale off and they didn't disappoint when it came to both presentation and results.
The Thompsons offered 16 Angus sires and sold them all under the hammer to 13 buyers to a top of $19,000 and an average of $10,594, which was up $344 on last year's result.
In last year's sale the family offered and sold 10 Angus bulls for a $10,250 average.
Leading the Angus charge, selling at $19,000 was Venturon Ronaldo R26 in lot 15 when it was knocked down to first time buyers Steve and Hague Jackson, Rimrock Grazing, Boyup Brook.
Hague Jackson said they liked everything about Ronaldo R26.
"He is a good, even balanced bull with an even set of figures," Mr Jackson said.
"Not only is he a good bull in the flesh, we were also chasing his outcross genetics for our herd."
The ET-bred September 2020-drop bull is by Bushs Easy Decision 98 and out of Diamond Tree Weigh Up M5.
The 716kg well-muscled sire ranks in the 1pc of the breed for 400-day weight (+120) and retail beef yield (RBY) (+2.9), top 3pc 600-day weight (+154) and MCW (+146), top 4pc 200-day weight (+64), top 7pc CWT (+83) as well as top 11pc GL and top 18pc calving ease daughters (CE Dtrs).
It ranks in the top 15pc for the domestic and top 25pc for heavy grain and Angus breeding.
The next best price for an Angus bull was $16,000 and it was paid twice.
The first to pay the value was Yondalee Farms, Boyup Brook, when it had the final bid on the April 2020-drop Venturon Rock It Mode R16 in lot three.
The ET-bred son of Baldridge Beast Mode B074 and Diamond Tree Weigh Up M5 ranks in the top 1pc for 200-day weight, top 2pc for 400 and 600-day weight, top 3pc RBY and top 7pc CWT while it also sits in the top 5pc for all 10 selection indexes.
Along with purchasing Rock It Mode R16, Yondalee Farms also purchased its full ET-brother in lot 11, Venturon Regal R38 for $13,000.
Regal R38 ranks in the top 1-3pc for 200, 400 and 600-day weights and top 3pc for RBY, while it ranks in the top 5pc for six indexes.
The other bull to make $16,000 was Islay Regency R14 when it was knocked down to Wingallup Grazing, Boyup Brook.
The September 2020-drop bull, which is by Islay Principal P11 and out of Islay Saturn L21, was purchased as a seven-month-old calf at foot from the Islay stud and has been a stand out since then in the eyes of the Thompsons.
It ranks in the top 7pc for MCW and EMA, top 9-20pc for 200, 400 and 600-day weights as well as top 14-15pc RBY and CWT.
Other buyers to bid up strongly in the Angus run were Gary Murphy, Murphs Maintenance, Bridgetown, who bid to $14,500 for a full ET-brother to Ronaldo R26, while an Elders Donnybrook account paid $13,000 for a Granite Ridge Maximus M34 son, Venturon Regulator R19.
The volume buyer in the run purchasing three bulls to a top of $7000 and average of $6167 was Auswell Farming Group, Donnybrook.
The Charolais offering of bulls was up next and certainly attracted plenty of attention, not only from local buyers but also from stud breeders based across the border.
In the run the Thompson family offered 21 Charolais sires and 17 sold under the hammer to 13 different buyers at an average of $9588, which was up $2532 on their 2021 sale result and for the sale's $36,000 top price.
The four passed in sires also found new homes after the sale to give the Thompsons a total clearance for the day.
In the 2021 sale the family offered 20 Charolais and sold 18 for a $7056 average.
However it wasn't only Raise the Bar R1 which attracted the attention of buyers in the run, so too did the 11mo bull, Venturon Super Duty S30 (P), in lot 20.
When the ET-bred son of Turnbulls Duty Free 358D (P) and Venturon Naughty But Nice N31 (P) was offered up, Mr Culleton took an opening bid of $8000.
From there the price quickly surpassed $20,000 as two buyers fought it out.
In the end it was the Fogden family, Boulview Charolais stud, Loxton, South Australia, who was giving bidding instructions over the phone to Elders, Boyup Brook agent Peter Forrest, who prevailed at the sale's second top price of $22,000.
Thomas Fogden said he had seen Super Duty S30's mother in WA and admired it for its structural correctness and maturity patterns, so they were very happy to be able to secure its son.
"We saw this son of hers was in the catalogue which was by a fresh sire which is not really on the market, it sparked our interest even more," Mr Fogden said.
"For a young bull he shows very good structural correctness, is easy doing and is moderate framed which suits us and we want this for our area."
The homozygous polled bull, was the first Duty Free 358D son to be offered in Australia and it wasn't only its outlook that impressed but also its balanced set of EBVs which included -5.3 calving ease (CE Dir), -0.1 CE dtrs, -4.3 GL, +0.6 BWT, +14, +32 and +44 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights, +35 MCW, +9 milk, +26 CWT, +0.9 rib fat and +1.0 rump fat.
First time buyers Dean and Katie Ryan, Central Stockcare, Badgingarra, may have been losing bidders on Super Duty S30 but that didn't stop them from buying in the sale.
By the end of the Charolais run they had secured three bulls to a high of $14,000 which was the third top price in the run at an average of $10,167.
They paid $14,000 for Venturon Raise the Value R29 (P), which is by Venturon Price Tag P45 (P).
Mr Ryan said they were chasing polled bulls that were a bit bigger to put some weight into their calves and this bull certainly ticked that box.
"He has good early maturity plus a good butt shape and depth of body," Mr Ryan said.
The 974kg bull has growth EBVs of +18, +36 and +57 for 200, 400 and 600-day weight to go with carcase figures of +30 CWT, +1.0 EMA, +0.3 rib fat, +0.2 rump fat and +0.1 IMF.
Along with securing Raise the Value, the Ryans paid $10,000 for a homozygous polled Sparrows Kingston 139Y (P) son and $6500 for a Cooara Mission Man M7 (P) son.
The three bulls will join the Ryans sire battery and will be used in their 300-head breeding herd of Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster females to breed calves which they run through their own feedlot.
Another buyer to go to five figures for a Charolais sire was JR & WR Miell, Albany, which purchased Venturon Ronaldo R42 for $12,000.
The polled Cooara Mission Man M7 son has fat EBVs of +1.5 rib and +2.0 rump which rank it in the top 10pc of the breed.
Apart from the Ryans, there was only one other multiple buyer bull buyer in the Charolais run and that was an Elders Donnybrook account bidding through Elders, Donnybrook representative Pearce Watling which secured three bulls to a top of $7000 and an average of $6000.
An offering of seven Murray Grey sires rounded out the sale and they were equally as sought out by the buyers as the other two breeds with seven bulls selling to six buyers to a top of $21,000 a stud record and an average of $8643 which was up $3726.
In last year's sale the stud offered seven grey sires and sold six for an average of $4917.
Taking top price honours in the run at $21,000 was the first bull in the run, Venturon Rectify R1 when it sold in partnership to David Corker, Wundam Park stud, Boyup Brook and Premier Cattle Co, New Zealand.
The soft, well-muscled, February 2020-drop bull is by Mighty Next Best Thing and out of Bundaleer Kuri H65.
It weighed in at 826kg and has EBVs of +34, +53 and +73 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights which rank it in the top 10-15pc of the breed.
Mr Corker said Rectify R1 was a bull with real grunt.
"He has a particularly strong spin, wide along the back, excellent shoulders and legs and excellent depth," Mr Corker said.
"The depth of his pedigree will also guarantee consistency of breeding which was something I was looking for and he also has an impressive set of EBVs which is a bonus."
Mr Corker said before Rectify stands at Wundam Park it would go to Holbrook, NSW, to have semen collected which will be sent to New Zealand and also stored in Australia.
The next best price for a Murray Grey bull was $9000 bid by JH McTaggart, Glen Mervyn, for another Next Best Thing son, Venturon Rockstar R3.
The 704kg bull has growth EBVs of +33, +51 and +70 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights.
Other buyers to have an impact on the Murray Grey offering were Maywill Farms, Waroona, which paid $7500 for a 750kg Next Best Thing son while KM & RT Moyes, Bridgetown, purchased a Glenliam Farm Drover D107 son at $7000 and a Next Best Thing son at $5000.
Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.