IT was a new era for the Mutton family and its Fieldhouse Droughtmaster stud, Jurien Bay and Wickepin, when they hosted their inaugural on-property bull sale last week at Jurien Bay.
After many years of selling in the multi-vendor Bos Indicus bull sale at Narngulu, this year they took the plunge to go out on their own and they were certainly rewarded.
With strong buying support from return and new buyers the stud achieved a perfect clearance and prices topped out at a high of $15,000.
Right from the opening lot, buyers were animated in their bidding and as a result all the Nutrien Livestock selling team led by auctioneer Tiny Holly had to do was add up the bids.
By the end of the Fieldhouse offering all 93 bulls offered by the Muttons had been cleared under the hammer at an average of $6586, which was up $479 on the average they achieved at the WABIG sale at Narngulu last year.
In last year's WABIG sale Fieldhouse offered 79 bulls and sold 56 for an average of $6107.
So not only did the Muttons see a significant jump in their average compared to last year, they also sold an additional 37 bulls under the hammer.
But there weren't only Fieldhouse Droughtmaster bulls offered in the fixture, there were also two guest vendors - Reg and Carole Teakle, Oakvale Brahman stud, Northampton and Dick Vincent, De Grey Park Droughtmaster stud, Capel.
Mr Holly said the Fieldhouse stud achieved an excellent result in terms of both prices and clearance in its inaugural sale.
"The stud presented an excellent line-up of bulls right through the catalogue and they were a credit to the Mutton family and their breeding program," Mr Holly said.
"Both the quality and temperament of the Fieldhouse bulls continues to improve every year and buyers certainly are beginning to recognise this.
"There was strong demand and spirited bidding from the beginning to end of the Fieldhouse team which resulted in the stud achieving a 100 per cent clearance and both vendors and buyers would have walked away happy with the prices they received and paid.
"The Brahman bulls presented by the Oakvale stud showed good bone and muscling.
"The red Brahmans were sought after but the greys didn't attract the enquiry during the sale which wasn't unexpected given they were being sold into a mainly southern market."
The sale's $15,000 top-priced bull, Fieldhouse 00 (P), strode into the sale ring in lot 10 and after a bidding battle was knocked down to the D'Arcy family, Lyndon station, Minilya.
The early April 2020-drop, 722 kilogram bull was a polled son by Glenlands J Voltage and out of a Strathfield Apollo daughter, Fieldhouse 1041.
The D'Arcy family has purchased the odd sire from Fieldhouse over the past 20 years to use in its Droughtmaster nucleus herd to breed its own herd bulls for its pastoral operation in the Upper Gascoyne/Lower Pilbara.
Sean D'Arcy said they were after a Voltage sire as an outcross bloodline for their breeding program.
"We couldn't go for the Ritual sons as we already have one," Mr D'Arcy said.
"The Voltage bull is a good polled bull with length and muscle."
Progeny from their pastoral operation are trucked south to their properties at Regans Ford and Cataby where they are fattened and finished on grass or through the feedlot under the management of Scott Keilor.
John D'Arcy said the family's connection to the Fieldhouse stud dated back to its origins in the mid-1990s when the Muttons and the D'Arcys purchased the Leichhardt Droughmaster stud out of Dysart, Queensland, with the D'Arcys selecting 35 cows and Fieldhouse 120 cows, which would form the foundation for their respective Droughtmaster herds.
The second highest price in the Fieldhouse run was $13,500 for Fieldhouse 118 (P).
Bidding to this value for the 760kg bull was return clients Kimely Pty Ltd, Eneabba, which bid with the support of Nutrien Livestock, Mid West agent Chad Smith.
Mr Smith said they picked the bull out because it was a large, fleshy bull with good conformation.
"He also has good softness and depth of body," Mr Smith said.
"They were chasing a bull with softness and good fleshing to open up the marketing options for their calves.
"He will be used over Droughtmaster breeders, many of which have been purchased from Hill Springs station."
Fieldhouse 000 (P) and Fieldhouse 25 (P) in lots one and two got the sale off to a flying start when they both sold at $12,000 to Nutrien Livestock, Mid West agent Craig Walker, who was bidding for a Nutrien Livestock Geraldton account.
Both bulls were mid-April 2020-drop sons of Glenlands J Voltage and eligible for registration.
They weighed 728kg and 702kg and had morphology figures of 64 and 87 respectively.
Another Glenlands J Voltage sired bull, Fieldhouse 135 (P), which was eligible for registration, also attracted plenty of bidding attention before finally being knocked down at $11,000 to Waringle Droughtmaster stud, Canondale, Queensland, which passed bidding instruction over the phone via Northern Rural Supplies (NRS), representative Skye Ogerly, Broome.
The 758kg bull had a morphology figure of 70 and motility figure of 90.
First time buyers Peter and Harry Stammers, Stamco Beef, Kooline station, West Pilbara, who were supported in their bidding by Nutrien Livestock pastoralist representative Roger Leeds were also not afraid to bid strongly.
The Stammers paid a top of $10,500 for a 746kg deep red, thick bull, Fieldhouse 117 (P), which is sired by Glenlands D Ritual.
Along with securing Fieldhouse 117 the Stammers purchased another six bulls to finish with a team of seven at an average of $8143.
Peter Stammers said they were chasing bulls with the Glenlands bloodlines that had good sheaths and structure.
"We purchased the station in 1991 and have been using the Droughtmaster bulls since then," Mr Stammers said.
"We like the breed because the progeny have very good marketability and they are good doers."
Usually the family runs about 3000 breeders on the station but they are down to 1500 currently due to the past three dry years which have been some of the driest in history for the property.
Along with the station, the family also has properties at Northampton, Gingin and Harvey and Mr Stammers said they use these properties to fatten their calves.
Also at Harvey they run a number of Droughtmaster females which are joined to Angus bulls.
The volume buyers in the Fieldhouse run was Hamersley and Rocklea stations manager Mark Lanyon, Tom Price, who purchased 17 bulls to a top of $8500 twice and an average of $5971.
Mr Lanyon said the enterprise had been buying from the stud for four years and was currently running 5000 Droughtmaster and Santa Gertrudis breeders across the two stations.
"We like buying from Fieldhouse because the bulls have good temperaments and there are always plenty of bulls to choose from," Mr Lanyon said.
"The Droughtmaster bulls are hardy bulls and they handle our environment and work well in it."
Return buyer Clovermia Grazing, Mia Mia station, Carnarvon, was another buyer to have a strong influence as it chased bulls which fitted its selection criteria.
It purchased five bulls for an average of $7900 and paid to a high of $9000 twice for two polled Glenlands D Ritual sons.
There were two other buyers to average more than $7000 for teams of more than five head and they were the de Pledge family, Yanrey Cattle Trust, Yanrey station, Onslow and Badgingarra and Bundawarra Agricultural Co, Morawa.
The de Pledge family, represented at the sale by Cass Parker and Nutrien Livestock, Pilbara and Gascoyne agent Shane Flemming, purchased seven bulls to a top of $8000 four times and an average of $7571 while Bundawarra Agricultural put together a team of six bulls to a top of $9000 and an average of $7333.
Repeat buyer Mardathuna station, Carnarvon, was another major operator and it left its bidding to Nutrien Livestock, Pilbara and Gascoyne agent Richard Keach.
Mr Keach finished the sale with a team of eight bulls to a top of $7000 three times and an average of $6563 for the station's Droughtmaster cross herd.
Mr Keach said he was chasing the better bulls which will hopefully add more quality and depth to the station's breeding herd.
Ms Ogerly not only operated at the top end of the catalogue but she also put a floor in the market purchasing 10 bulls for NRS clients to a top of $4500 and an average of $3850
Guest vendors Reg and Carole Teakle, Oakvale Brahman stud offered 12 Brahmans (eight reds and four greys) and sold seven reds under the hammer to a top of $6000 and an average of $4286.
The stud's clearance was improved post sale with the five passed in bulls also finding new homes.
Last year in the WABIG sale the Teakles sold 12 bulls from 13 offered at an average of $3708.
Oakvale's $6000 top price was recorded right at the start of the stud's offering with its team leader Oakvale 3301 knocked down to Trevor and Calvin Royce, Howatharra Grazing Company, Howatharra.
The soft coated, deep-bodied polled red Brahman bull was a spring 2019-drop polled bull by Barlyne Yougawalla 2110.
The Royces later added another red Yougawalla son to their account for $3500.
The bulls will be used over Red Angus females (formally of the Howatharra Red Angus stud) to breed Red Brangus bulls and replacement females to use at their recently acquired pastoral lease at Lake Way station, Wiluna.
Calvin Royce said it was a new venture for their cattle business and they have a five to 10-year plan to convert the mixed Shorthorn cross cows running on the property to a good quality Red Brangus herd.
The second top price in the Oakvale offering was $5500 bid by Mr Walker for an undisclosed client.
Making the $5500 value was Oakvale 3294, a 27mo red son of Barlyne Yougawalla 2110 (P).
Another buyer to have an influence in the Oakvale run was Nutrien Livestock pastoral agent Leon Goad, who purchased three red bulls - two at $4000 and one at $3500 - for the Smith family, Mooloo Downs station, Gascoyne Junction.
Mr Goad said Mooloo Downs was a long-term client of Oakvale and he was chasing red bulls with good walking ability and structure.
"The station runs about 1200 breeders which are predominantly Brahmans," Mr Goad said.
De Grey Park
The offering from Dick Vincent's De Grey Park stud consisted of three stud sires which he had been using in his stud and during the sale two of these sold at auction.
The stud's lead bull, which was a 2018-drop son of De Grey Park Ingham, sold at $4000 to Mr Keach.
The second bull to sell from the De Grey team was a 2017-drop son of De Grey Park Dorimus and it was purchased by Mr Walker for a Nutrien Livestock, Geraldton account.
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