Highly sought after first-release Angus genetics attracted keen stud interest during the Ben Nevis bull sale near Walcha on Wednesday which peaked at $30,000.
Stu and Erica Halliday and family sold 56 of 65 bulls under the hammer to average $6553 following the support of 49 registered bidders on the day.
The sale hit a high of $28,000 early in the draft when Ben Nevis Propogate P37, a son of Baldridge Commando C036, sold to Angus stud breeder Anthony Gow Gates, Sackville, with the help of bidding from Rob Vickery, Bective Station, Tamworth, on the day.
The 18-month-old sat in the top one per cent for all growth estimated breeding values (200, 400 and 600-day weight) and weighed 802 kilograms with an average daily gain of 1.34 kilograms. He had a 44 centimetre scrotal circumference.
Mr Gow-Gates purchased a pic of 50 autumn calving cows from Ben Nevis in December and planned to join both Propogate P37 and his other $8000 purchase, Ben Nevis Primus P57, with them in the hope of breeding top bulls to show and sell in the future.
Mr Vickery said they were looking for growth, marbling and structure in their purchases.
"Bulls with balance," he said.
"I was looking for bulls that were 18 months old for a bit more maturity in them if the season doesn't start to turn around."
But the $28,000 price tag was eclipsed when Ben Nevis Prime P122, among the first drop of sons by Baldridge Beast Mode to sell in Australia, hit $30,000 with the winning bid going to Bannaby Angus, Taralga.
The 14-month-old was the first for scanned intramuscular fat and fat for the yearling group of the sale and was in the top four per cent for the breed for 200-day EBVs and top two per cent for P8.
He weighed 564 kilograms with a 1.25kg DWG and 39 centimetre scrotal.
With no more semen available in Australia of Baldridge Beast Mode, his sons were popular with buyers.
Bannaby Angus owner Keith Kerridge had been searching for a bull to back up their artificial insemination program and were impressed with the bull's EBVs across the board and structure.
"He will be backing up the P heifers this year in November," he said.
Losing bidder on both bulls was Tasmania's Robert Skipworth who also missed out on the top price bull at last year's sale.
Ben Nevis stud principal Erica Halliday was appreciative of the buying support, with interest spreading down to Victoria due to the local drought conditions.
"We got a really good stud following and so there was those highs," she said.
"Our clients have got 30 per cent of their cow herd so we expected our commercial bulls to be cheaper this year but the great news is they went to a lot wider afield.
"We were very pleased to have attracted some more corporate type support."
Speaking before the sale, Ms Halliday said by offering yearling bulls they pushed for animals that performed not only well but early.
This year's draft were early weaned at two months of age but were some of the best performing bulls the stud had offered.
Ms Halliday put it down to their focus on doing ability and growth.
"I think what is going to happen as a result of this, we are going to find those animals in the future that have less days on feed but the same amount of performance and I hope that is what's going to happen when buyers take those bulls home," she said.
Among successful stud buyers on the day were Ascot Cattle Co, Warwick, who secured Ben Nevis Premise P114 for $9000, Injemira Beef Genetics, Book Book, bought Ben Nevis Porsche P186 for $11,000, Banquet Angus, Mortlake, Victoria, paid $4000 for Ben Nevis Protocol P259, and Table Top Angus, Table Top, bought Ben Nevis Proxy P70 for $5000, Ben Nevis Path P208 for $7000 and Ben Nevis Paleo P368 for $6000.
Commercial buyers also showed their support with Powerhouse Pastoral Company, Nundle, securing the largest line with 12 bulls averaging $4833.
Interstate support was also evident with Stone Axe Pastoral Company, Omeo, Victoria, securing six bulls for an average of $6000 while MRH Enterprises, Murilla, Glenmorgan, Queensland, purchasing four to average $5250.
Ben Nevis also offered a selection of Angus stud heifers with 46 head selling to Bassett Cattle Co, Jenavale, Roma, Qld, averaging $1250/head and the remaining 36 head selling to a Walcha buyer through AuctionsPlus for $950/head.
The sale was conducted by Landmark Boulton's Walcha with Paul Dooley as guest auctioneer.
Read the full report in next week's The Land.