* Total clearance of 148 bulls sold to $52,000, av $9439
A five-member syndicate, representing studs and commercial producers from four states, has paid $52,000 for the top priced Te Mania Angus bull, at the Mortlake stud's autumn sale.
Lot 157, Te Mania Pheasantry P1479 (AI) was knocked down to the syndicate, made up of Murdeduke, Landfall (Tasmania), Sterita Park Angus, Lucindale, SA, the Caldwell family, Young, NSW and Thomas Foods International.
Te Mania also sold its top priced bull to a syndicate, last year.
The bull was offered early in the sale, replacing a lot that was withdrawn.
There was spirited bidding on the bull, with the price rapidly rising to $50,000.
One of the spokesmen for the syndicate, Frank Archer, Landfall, said he came to Te Mania as he was particularly interested the stud's Kirby genetics.
"Te Mania Kirby is a bull that has been on our radar for quite a few years," Mr Archer said.
"I actually rang Hamish McFarlane (Te Mania), when he was only a young bull, and we have never been able to gain access to him
"So the next logical step was to look for a son.
"This is the bull we settled on, to add the most value to what we are wanting to do."
Pheasantry was sired by Te Mania Kirby K138 (AI) out of Te Mania Dandloo L256 (A1).
He had a 400kilogram carcase measurements of an eye muscle area of +10.4 square centimetres, a rib measurement of +1.2 millimetres, a rump of +1.9mm and intramuscular fat of +5.1 per cent.
The IMF measurement was well in excess of three times the breed average and the third-highest in the catalogue.
Pheasantry had measurements of +42kg for 200-day growth, +84kg for 400kg and +109kg for 600-day growth.
Mr Archer and Simon Falkiner, Murdeduke, both said Pheasantry was a "purpose" bull.
"He'll help us lift in a couple of areas, and one of those is obviously increased IMF
"But he also brings particularly good calving ease, he's got really high docility, and he's really well structured.
"He is a functional bull - we feel there are some females we have got that will work well with this bull."
Mr Archer said several of the the syndicate members agreed the best use of the bull was to use his semen, rather than have Pheasantry physically joining females.
The syndicate was pulled together "after running into one another in the laneways.
"It was more a stroke of fortune, than anything."
Mr Archer admitted it was a "little different" way to buy a bull.
'You have to do a bit of work at the front end, but I was aware there was a fair bit of interest in this bull, and we really wanted to have an opportunity to use him.
"That opportunity wasn't going to come up unless we were part of a syndicate.
This is a bull we won't, and can't, use over every cow, he is more of a purpose bull, and we can direct where he goes.
"He has a lot to bring to the table to really compliment some or our females."
Mr Archer said Pheasantry stood out because of his carcase quality, and that he was in the top end of the breed for EMA and IMF, while being positive in rib and rump fat.
He said Landfall had used Te Mania before and followed the stud's program closely.
"We have a lot of respect for the commitment to performance recording and getting high accuracy genetics come through the system," he said.
"It's a natural choice, for us."
Mr Falkiner said Murdeduke was "thrilled to bits" about getting the bull.
"The Kirby bloodline is one we have been looking at for a number of years, just to give that boost in carcase quality" Mr Falkiner said.
"He is a purpose bull, we use him on females that are robust, strong, got plenty of muscle, but need that boost in carcase, particularly IMF."
He said the bull would be going into four other "really good herds."
"You always like to pay less, but for the set of numbers this bull had, I think the price was pretty right," Mr Falkiner said.
"We had the Kirby sons on our radar, and I came and inspected him a few weeks ago.
"We were hoping to fly under the radar, but when we got here, there was a bit of hype around the bull.
"We have similar philosphies to the other syndicate partners, so it seemed like a natural fit."
Mr McFarlane said more and more people were looking at certain styles of genetics, to use in their herds.
"They are looking for purpose bulls, to fulfil a role, I think those bulls were in the catalogue."
Te Mania didn't want to limit the number of bulls to what the market could absorb.
"If anything, we would likely to be slightly oversaturated, because everyone comes to a sale, and they all have a budget," Mr McFarlane said.
"We have to meet the market
"Cull bull prices, meat prices, prices for all classes of stock are going really well.
"Some people see it as an opportunity to trade out of older bulls, and trade into a more modern set of genetics."
Mr McFarlane said there had been a lot of interest shown in the Te Mania Kirby bloodlines.
"This was probably the most appealling, on numbers, we put up," Mr McFarlane said.
He said Te Mania had been a little worried over a possible fall in support, from NSW.
"NSW has borne the brunt of a pretty ordinary run of seasons, so we were all a bit vague as to where the support would come from," he said.
But he said Te Mania's field day and Beef Week was very positive, and that the sale would "go okay."
Auctioneer Brian Leslie said the average was up $2200 on last year.
He said bulls went to King Island, into the north-east Victoria, South Australia and through Auctions Plus.
"The first bull in the ring made $9000 and I reckon the second last bull made $10,000," Mr Leslie said.
"There are a lot of past buyers come here.
"These bulls do the job, they get the article out the other end and that's why they come back, to reinvest in this program."
Volume buyers included Whiteley's Transport (11), Whiteley Ag (nine) and Gary and Linda Nankervis (six).
Clients of Auctions Plus bought 19 bulls.
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