A blazing week of sales in northern NSW were still on fire come Saturday when the Mountain Valley Hereford and Angus sale hit a $20,000 sale high.
Local and repeat clients flowed out of the grandstand to watch as 29 of 30 Hereford bulls sold to average $7482 and top at $20,000 while all 16 Angus bulls averaged $6941 for a $13,000 high.
While the Coolatai-based sale bulls had remained on their home block during the drought, the majority of the Durkin family's female herd criss-crossed across the country from western Queensland to Tasmania.
Their perseverance in the tough times was all worth it for a result that was well above last year's $5457 Hereford average and $5142 Angus average.
"It is easy to get wrapped up in the sale results from this week but I thought if we cleared them all I'd be happy," Ian Durkin said.
"To get that average after the drought makes you feel better about sending cows all around the country."
The near two-year-old Mountain Valley Panama P120 was snapped up by Nutrien's John Settree for Gary Clarke, Shangri La Poll Herefords, Tasmania.
The son of Grassmere Gallant 996 out of Mountain Valley Corisande F97 caught the eye of many as a young sire prospect weighing 900 kilograms with P8 and rib fat depths of 19 and 11 millimetres and an eye muscle area of 128 square centimetres. His intramuscular fat scan was 5.5 per cent.
Mr Settree said Mr Clarke was a repeat buyer and had chased the outcross pedigree.
As the first Grassmere Gallant 996 offering from Mountain Valley who hold exclusive semen rights in the bull, he had the size and figures to back him.
Angus prices soared to $13,000 for Mountain Valley Gabba P896, a 22-month-old 922 kilogram sire prospect who was bound for Tyler Angus, Tyringham.
Buyer Greg Tyler attended the sale with one key criteria on his shopping list - a son of the $30,000 Peaks Gabba K556. He found the added weight for age, carcase and fat traits in his final purchase.
The bull was bound for a mob of 30 stud cows as they look to increase their Angus numbers up to the 120 head of Herefords they also run.
"We came to buy a Gabba son and he was by far the standout," he said.
"Gabba has bred well here and left a lot of good females. He has plenty of carcase and we want to put that into our Angus like the Herefords have."
The crowd included 60 registered bidders from as far as Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania with the support of Birdsville-based client Anthony Brook of Brook Proprietors hugely beneficial.
Buying on their behalf was Charles Weyman-Jones who secured five bulls averaging $5000.
The Mountain Valley bulls formed part of a "deck load" of sires from Mr Weyman-Jones' buying efforts at sales throughout the week.
Structurally correct, soft-coated and well-muscled bulls met the criteria for the operation which sells cattle into the OBE organic beef market.
Mr Weyman-Jones not only assists in selecting genetics but sells the meat back through his Overlander Homestead Motel in Roma.
"It is a magnificent article of meat that is unique to Australia," he said.
"People have to support these studs regularly. We buy a lot of bulls privately too. We have been buying from some of these studs for 25 years."
Widden stud, Scone, were also strong supporters and bought five bulls averaging $7400.
The sale was conducted by Nutrien and C.L. Squires and Co with Paul Dooley as guest auctioneer.
Read the full report in The Land next week.