AN outstanding embryo transfer-bred son of Woonallee Las Vegas came home the winner in the top price stakes at Woonallee Simmentals 13th annual Elite Production Bull sale.
In front of one of the largest ever crowds seen at the Furner sale the first lot to enter the ring, Woonallee Phar Lap, proved the odds-on favourite, knocked down for $50,000.
This has set a high benchmark for the SA bull selling season which has just begun.
Stud principal Tom Baker described Phar Lap as having the ability to change a herd in a generation so it was not surprising it fetched the second highest price the stud has ever received.
The successful buyer of the 944-kilogram, polled bull was the Sanson family, Gold Creek Simmentals, Gisborne, New Zealand, who also bought the $30,000 top price bull at Woonallee's 2019 sale.
It was fitting the Sansons got the 23-month-old traditional coloured bull with Phar Lap's namesake, the legendary rachorse bred in NZ.
Gold Creek stud's Tom Sanson ranked Phar Lap among the top three bulls they had seen in the 10 years or so they have been attending Woonallee sales.
"He ticks a lot of boxes. When you see his length and depth it is phenomenal and he carries it so well and really steps into himself," he said.
"Being a (Woonallee Las) Vegas ties in lots of elements of our breeding program- polled and good structure."
Pushing them all the way was Paul and Natalie Tuckey, Mubarn Simmentals, Pinjarra, WA, who secured the next Vegas son through the ring at lot 5 for $17,000.
In a huge result, all 90 black and traditional Simmentals and SimAngus bulls offered by Tom and Lizzy Baker sold for a $8361 average- a lift of $1259 on 2019, when 98 of 100 bulls sold.
Bulls sold to all state of Australia but WA was a buying force among the more than 100 registered bidders.
Jenna and Jonathan Athans, Bullock Hills stud, Woodnalling, secured the highest priced Black Simmental bull paying $22,500 for lot 43, Woonallee Physio.
The spring 2018 drop was elevated in the catalogue as the first black Simmental through the ring and had been tested both homozygous polled and black.
"He was the complete package with fresh bloodlines for our herd and the estimated breeding values to back him up with the growth and birthweight," she said.
"You can just see that he is impressive now but he is going to mature into a balanced stud sire."
Another highlight was lot 77, the first of the SimAngus bulls, which the Bakers donated the proceeds from to The Naked Farmer, an initiative raising awareness of rural mental health.
There were a lot of quality bulls moderately priced, obviously we saw a couple at the pointy end but there were bulls all day long at $6000 to $10,000 which is great value.
McCarthy Livestock, Lucindale, dug deep securing the charity bull, Woonalle Bounty Hunter P33, for $8500 among their five buys.
All 23 young Simmental heifers sold for a $5000 average with the $9500 sale topper coming at lot 111.
The black heifer, Woonallee Ready to Tango Q91, was knocked down to Dallas Kropp, Dallas Ranch, Toowoomba, Qld, who bid online through Elite Livestock Auctions.
Mr Kropp has been a long-time supporter of Woonallee paying a $30,000 national Black Simmental female record last year for Woonallee Heaven Sent P4.
Elders auctioneer Ben Finch said it was a great result but also "fair value" and just rewards for the significant investment the Bakers make in their continual search for top genetics.
"There were a lot of quality bulls moderately priced, obviously we saw a couple at the pointy end but there were bulls all day long at $6000 to $10,000 which is great value," he said.
"It is a safe place for most studs in Australia and now we are seeing overseas as well to come and know that there will be something there that will add to their program that the Bakers have put a large amount of money into breeding."
Mr Finch said local South East buyers were strong and willing to pay up having reaped the rewards in their commercial calf results.
"It is self evident with the guys that have been with the Bakers for over 20 years. There is no mistake that they are now getting more money for their weaners at a younger age than most instances," he said.
LS Johnson & Son, Naracoorte, bought four traditional and black Simmental bulls to $10,000, averaging $8500 and MH Marwood, Kingston, secured three traditional coloured bulls with two of these at $10,000.
Elders and Nutrien Ag Solutions conducted the sale.
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