Loyal commercial clients chasing profitable and easy calving cattle filled the Eaglehawk Angus sale complex outside Glen Innes on Thursday for what became the Vivers family's best auction results yet.
Wow was the first word stud principal Ian Vivers said when he took the microphone after hearing all 69 bulls had sold to average $10,202 with successful purchases bound for as far as Thargomindah in Queensland and right down to Victoria.
The crowd was so big that only legitimate buyers could fit on the grandstand and hay bales while supporters gathered around a viewing screen at the 'full o' bull cafe' outside.
Just under 80 registered buyers were in attendance, many repeat clients, with just as much support online through AuctionsPlus leaving Mr Viviers excited and overwhelmed by the response.
In his thank you speech he noted how amazing it was to have such confidence back in the industry so quickly.
"It was way over my expectations," he told The Land.
"It was strong through the middle, and there were no extremes either side. Everyone was very complimentary about the bulls."
Eaglehawk is focused on producing easy calving cattle that rebreed and are inexpensive to run which was why commercial cattleman, many running large operations, showed their support in a big way.
Prices peaked at $20,000 for the two-year-old Eaglehawk Kozi P076 who was initially set to be retained but was snapped up by Mort and Co through AuctionsPlus.
The young sire by Koupal Kozi 418 had estimated breeding values in the top 10 per cent for 200, 400 and 600-day weight and weighed 855 kilograms.
Back in the selling barn Marengo Pastoral Company and Parraweena Highlands Cattle Company made their presence known.
General manager Mick Kelsall secured five bulls averaging $14,000 and paid up to $18,000 for an Eaglehawk Firetruck M051 son.
About four years ago Mr Kelsall secured bulls from a range of studs to experiment their suitability to their herd and found the Eaglehawk bulls stood out.
Their temperament was not only faultless but the bulls had the genetics and were of the type and style they desired, Mr Kelsall said.
"The type of cattle they have are what we are trying to produce, that's our end game," he said.
"We dabbled and we bought a few to start; they stood up, came out of joining really well, produced good calves so we came back."
The commercial operation is spread across properties at Willow Tree, Armidale, Ebor and the Clarence Valley turning off feeder and kill cattle to Woolworths.
They were able to hold on to half of their cow herd through drought along with all of their early weaned heifers and will look to join the young females to lift their numbers.
"We were looking for the same things we look for each year; performance growth mainly," he said.
"We don't aim at IMF, we look at the performance so 200, 400 and 600-day growth and a bit of the female side too like the mature cow weight."
Other bulk buying support came from Tayho Pty Ltd of Moredun Station at Ben Lomond who secured four bulls averaging $13,000.
Hampshire Station at Merriwa also purchased four bulls to average $11,250 while P and H Simshauser, Omeo, Burren Junction obtained three bulls to average $9000.
Border restrictions meant AuctionsPlus was a key player on the day and secured 13 bulls.
While some bulls were staying locally in NSW, one Thargomindah buyer in Queensland secured at least three bulls averaging $9333 while another three sires were bound for Injune, Qld.
Two new faces on sale day were Christopher and Robyn Swindale, Barlow Park, Balderslie, who secured two bulls; an EF Commando son to join with cows for $12,000 and a heifer bull by Basin Payweight for $8000.
Having converted to using only Angus bulls, the pair had been seeking some quality sires to use in their herd rebuild.
While they would normally run about 300 cows and turn off weaner cattle, they were forced to sell two thirds of their herd due to drought but were able to retain all their heifers.
"We are very low on numbers so we are trying to buy some quality bulls to put over the younger heifer part of the herd and breed back up," Mr Swindale said.
The sale was conducted by Ray White with Blake O'Reilly as auctioneer.
Read the full report in The Land next week.