FAMILY BUSINESS: Waratah Speckle Park owners Eric and Laiton Turnham are getting ready to throw "open the vault" for the world's largest Speckle Park sale on August 31.

FAMILY BUSINESS: Waratah Speckle Park owners Eric and Laiton Turnham are getting ready to throw "open the vault" for the world's largest Speckle Park sale on August 31.

World's largest Speckle Park sale garners attention across the beef industry

World's largest Speckle Park sale garners attention across the beef industry

Sponsored Content

Many commercial beef producers are looking to the Speckle Park to improve the efficiency of their herd.


Story sponsored by Waratah Speckle Park.

With a couple of bad seasons in the rear-view mirror and uncertain economic times ahead, many commercial beef producers are looking to new breeds and genetics to improve the efficiency of their animals.

One of the fastest growing breeds - both domestically and internationally - is the Speckle Park, mostly because of their easy doing ability, higher cutting yields and increased marbling in the meat.

In fact, the breed is becoming so popular that in the four years from 2015 to 2019, there were 13,000 new registrations across the Australia and New Zealand. Producers know they deliver real returns.

So, it's little wonder that Waratah Speckle Park's upcoming annual sale - which promises to be the largest Speckle Park sale in the world - is garnering so much attention within the industry.

Waratah Speckle Park principal Laiton Turnham has dubbed the August 31 sale his "open the vault sale" and says it will definitely be a one off.

The Guyra-based stud have been breeding Speckle Parks for over 12 years and are among the pioneers of the breed in Australia.

Their bloodlines are highly sought after. So much so that they've not only been fielding calls from within Australia about the sale but also internationally.

The on property sale will be simultaneously multicast live with Elite Livestock Auctionsand will see some of their absolute best cows, bulls and embryos go under the hammer, for the first time ever.

All up, Laiton says, they plan to offer upwards of 200 female lots alongside more than 100 bulls and genetic lots.

"We're calling this our 'open the vault sale' because it's the first chance people will have to purchase from our 'genetic vault'," he explained.

"There are a lot of animals we're selling that we normally wouldn't. So, it's the best opportunity for anyone who wants to start a Speckle Park stud or make theirs significantly bigger."

The sale is part of the succession planning strategy for Turnham family. Patriarch Eric Turnham, who is now in his 70s and has developed a sterling reputation over the course of his long career, has decided it's time for a well earned retirement and is handing over the reins to his son Laiton.

This year's sale is an important part of the restructuring process and both Laiton and Eric acknowledge that they're offering up more of their "big gun" genetics than they ever have before.

Laiton says the greatest appeal of Speckle Park is their hardiness and efficiency. Not only do they perform well in feedlots but they mature early, deliver higher carcass weights and above average cutting yields.

In fact, he says, in his personal experience, by introducing a purebred Speckle Park, you will increase your cutting percentages and carcass weight by up to three to five percent. In real dollar terms, that equates to roughly an extra hundred dollars in the pocket per steer.

"You know tough times are going to come along again and when they do you're going to want the best animals you can breed performing as well as they can in those times," he said.

"The eating quality of Speckle Park is exceptional too! It has already made its way onto the menu in restaurants in Brisbane and Melbourne. Speckle Park branded beef is taking its place alongside Angus and Wagyu in the meat fridge at local butchers."

For Eric, his last sale is going to be one to remember. Not only will it be an on property sale but it will also be livestreamed around the world, allowing people anywhere to bid on his most prized cattle.

It's a far cry from his first sale - all those years ago - but he believes it will be a great opportunity for any breeders looking to improve their bloodlines and expand their operation.

"Trucks have wheels. A hundred years ago you could only buy cattle that was within walking distance. Now, you can buy cattle from anywhere in the country," Eric said.

"So, this sale is a really good opportunity for people who want higher quantities of bulls. A lot of our stock has already been vaccinated for tick country and they perform well in all climates," he continued.

"We bought them in from Canada where it gets down to minus 40 degrees celcius in winter and we've sold them to clients who live in places where it gets as hot as 40 degrees in summer. We've sold Speckle Park cattle to breeders in every state in Australia now, except for WA, and they have always performed well!"

For more information head to the Waratah Speckle Park website or contact Laiton Turnham on 0420 548 299.

This is sponsored content for Waratah Speckle Park.