Celebrating 60 years of breeding was made even sweeter for the Holcombe family at Burren Junction when their annual bull sale reached a new sale high and record average.
Jeff and Robyn Holcombe and their daughters, Sarah and Anna, hosted their eighth Rayleigh Poll Hereford bull and female sale at Burren Junction. The sale topped at $11,500 and average $6960 for 25 bulls sold from 25 offered. The family also sold all 21 heifers offered, to a top of $2200 and average of $1886.
The sale topping $11,500 bid for the bulls was for Rayleigh Lewis L21, purchased by James Hull and his parents, Anne and Warren, from Gulargambone.
The Injemira Anzac H003 son, from a Yavenvale Benchmark B278 daughter, weighed 810 kilograms at 26 months and measured a 38.5 centimetre scrotal circumference. The “feature lot” showed top sire potential for the first-time buyers, who encountered Rayleigh at the Coonamble Ag Expo earlier this year.
“We target the feeder market and he is a good looking bull with a nice hindquarter and great figures,” said Mr Hull, as he complimented the bull’s raw data figures of eight and 12 millimetres of rib and rump fat, an eye muscle area (EMA) of 113 square centimeters and an intramuscular fat (IMF) scan of 5.1 per cent.
“He measures 55 kilograms above the breed average for 400-day weight, which will work well in our program and we are hoping he will (improve) the bone structure in our heifers,” said Mr Hull, who runs a commercial Hereford herd and joins about 140 cows annually.
Another first-time buyer, Rodney Hancox, “Lambrook”, Mullaley, purchased Rayleigh Larrikin for $8500. The 25-month-old The Ranch Marksman H14 son weighed 952kg and measured a 40cm scrotal circumference, 12mm and 8mm for rib and rump fat, 121cm2 EMA and 6pc IMF.
Described as a “good styled and well muscled” bull, Mr Hancox was looking forward to introducing the young sire to his Hereford herd, in which he annually joins as many as 500 females to supply the feeder and Woolworths trade markets.
Return clients and local beef producers, Greg and Karina Harris, “Gnomery”, Burren Junction, secured Rayleigh Lionel L76 for $8500. The 25-month-old bull weighed 864kg and Mr Harris said the bull would fit their program perfectly. Also a Marksman H14 son, Mr Harris said Lionel L76 had “extra growth for age and a good muscle pattern”.
To mark the stud’s 60th birthday, a “pick of the drop” stud heifer was offered where the buyer selected from a choice of two heifers after winning the bidding for the lot. Repeat buyers, and brothers, Terry and Brian Maher, of Maitland, took up this special offer with a $5000 bid. They bought Rayleigh S Marbel M6, also by Marksman H14.
The heifer groups were topped by a pen of three, for $2200 each, to Peter and Karen Weller, Swanvale Herefords, Winton near Tamworth, via AuctionsPlus. These included two daughters of Marksman H14 and one by Days Robin Hood J183.
This was the first year the sale had been interfaced with AuctionsPlus and Mr Holcombe said it lifted the calibre of the sale by allowing potential buyers to view the photos and videos of the lots.
Six lots sold via the online bidding platform. Pre-sale the catalogue attracted more than 2500 hits and 40 bidders registered for a total of 31 bids placed. This was also the last year the stud would conduct the sale using the Helmsman system, with open cry auction to be introduced for 2018.
The sale was settled by Landmark Narrabri, with Bruce Evans taking the bids.