AN emphasis on growth and intramuscular fat (IMF) and a strong demand for heifer bulls saw Walcha Angus stud, Ben Nevis achieve their greatest auction result to date.
All 71 yearling Angus bulls sold to a new on-property record high of $32,000, up $6,000 on the previous record set in 2016 and the draft set an average record of $10,281, up $2101 on 2016.
With 2017 marking the stud’s fifth year of hosting an auction sale, the Ben Nevis secret has certainly spread far and wide with over 70 registered bidders from across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand filling the stands to capacity.
“We are overwhelmed with the support, we had nine studs operating during the sale as well as a strong contingency of volume commercial buyers” said Erica Halliday.
Ben Nevis Metamorphic M51, winner of the Champion Interbreed Calf at Sydney Royal, took top honours again after being knocked down to Victorian Angus stud, Banquet Angus for $32,000.
The 13-month-old Aryvale Bartle E7 son weighed 640 kilograms, achieved an average daily gain (ADG) of 1.54kg, measured 33 centimeters for scrotal and scanned 8 millimeters for P8, 6mm for Rib, an eye muscle area (EMA) of 89 square centimeters and an IMF of 6.3 per cent.
Banquet stud principal Stephen Branson, Mortlake, VIC, purchased the “tremendous calf” over the phone as part of a five-way Australian and New Zealand syndicate.
Mr Branson and his son, Gordon, inspected the Ben Nevis herd just days prior to the day.
“We saw him (M51) and his mother (Ben Nevis Jean K80) and were instantly impressed” said Mr Branson
“We thought his genetics, tremendous phenotype, length, muscle, high head and exceptional scan data would be a package useful to all five of us” added Mr Branson
Included in the syndicate along side Banquet are Fernleigh Angus, Victoria and three New Zealand Studs; Atahua Angus, Cheltenham, who holds the Australasian Angus bull record price of $155,000; Merchiston Angus, Marton and Twin Oaks Angus, Ngaruawahia.
“Selling into these top end New Zealand herds is quite a compliment for the Halliday’s, M51 will have a wonderful opportunity to prove himself in top herds” said Mr Branson
The “very promising young sire” will head straight into a licensed collection center and if all goes to plan the three New Zealand studs will have semen to use in this year’s joining.
Brett and Ashley Haager, Valorbrook Angus, Bell, Queensland returned after purchasing two bulls last year to secure Ben Nevis Massive M116 for $30,000.
The 13-month-old’s sire, Ascot Hallmark H147 was the draw card for the father son duo who are looking forward to seeing the outcross work in their own stud operation.
“We join around 200 stud cows and 100 commercial breeders each year, we will put this fella out with 30 select females this year, then give him a break to grow out before we re-enter him into the herd” said Brett Haager.
Weighing in at 722kg with a DWG of 1.71kg and a scrotal of 40.5cm, M116 scanned 6mm on P8, 5mm on Rib, an EMA of 91cm2 and an IMF of 5.6pc
This year also mark’s Ben Nevis’ 70th anniversary with the stud starting under the watchful eye of Erica’s father Bruce Steele.
Mr Steele sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 93, but as many commented at the sale “he left behind a great legacy” evident in the continued rising support of the studs breeding program.
Kaylene and Boyd McKinnon, Dartmoor Victoria made the 16 hour trip north to secure four bulls to average $12,000 and 109 heifers at $1420 average.
Their first time purchases were driven by the stud’s 70 year history according to buying agent Neville Bowd, Elders Dartmoor
Other purchases included repeat buyers, Warrabah Station, Manilla bought four bulls to average $10,750; Paspaley Pearls Properties, Scone loaded six bulls for a $9834 average; The Parry Trust, Willowtree secured four bulls to average $8500; Point Pastoral Company, Coolah selected six bulls to average $7800
The sale was settled by Landmark Boultons Walcha with Paul Dooley, Tamworth as guest auctioneer.