Heifers run hot at world's largest Speckle Park sale

Waratah Speckle Park Genetic Vault Sale attracts interest from across the country

The top price $25,000 Waratah Tequila Q151 with vendors Kayla, Cooper, Laiton and Dustin Turnham, Ray White agent Blake O'Reilly, and Helen and Eric Turnham.

The top price $25,000 Waratah Tequila Q151 with vendors Kayla, Cooper, Laiton and Dustin Turnham, Ray White agent Blake O'Reilly, and Helen and Eric Turnham.


The catalogue represented 12 years of clinical selection and breeding.


It was described by many as a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure never released genetics and the Waratah Speckle Park Genetic Vault sale did not disappoint near Guyra on Monday.

As part of a succession planning move, the Turnham family offered 278 lots of donor cows, heifers, bulls, embryos and semen that was the result of 12 years of a clinical seedstock operation.

It gained plenty of interest as the world's largest offering of Speckle Park genetics with 226 of 242 lots selling across the country and even into New Zealand.

The sale grossed averaged $7276 overall.

In a further breakdown, all 74 cows sold to average $7790 while all 41 P heifers averaged $8243.

At least 51 of 53 Q heifers sold to average $7666 and 51 of 64 bulls sold to average $5715. All but one of the seven yearling bulls sold to average $5166 while all three composite bulls averaged $5500.

Auctioneer Brian Leslie didn't even take a sip of water as he busted through the catalogue in four and a half hours and declared the Waratah brand would live on for decades.

Not only was attendance at the sale barn high, online there were 201 registered bidders and another 428 watching through Elite Livestock Auctions. Their presence was invaluable, with buyers from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand using the platform to scoop up 106 lots in total.

The sale featured every saleable cow of the Waratah herd including donors to new genetics.

Stud principal Laiton Turnham said they would hold an online genetics sale in October with any remaining animals and his immediate family would regroup and look to the future.

"We will probably still have the stud but it will stay a smaller version and probably doing paddock sales," he said.

"So many people have told me how good they (our cattle) are and I suppose this is proof that so many people have recognised how good they are and it just reinforces how well we have done to get to where we are."

Females were the hot ticket items of the sale with a $25,000 price tag paid for a yearling Q heifer who was a fully imported embryo that was the first to be offered in Australia.

Buyers Tony and Liz Sutcliffe, Toebelle Speckle Park, Duns Creek, saw something special in the Upto Specs Ulysses daughter when they visited Waratah the day before and expected her to fetch "a pretty penny" when they bid through Elite Livestock Auctions.

Even more impressive was her dam, Petemar Tequilla 1N, who showed proven maternal strength and longevity when she was flushed at 16 years of age.

"There was a video that came up of her about two weeks advance of the entire sales catalogue videos going up on Youtube and there was just something about her," Ms Sutcliffe said.

"She had that broody look about her, she had power and softness and just this vibe about her that I felt she could be the start of a really significant cow family because she is an outcross to Australia."

The pair also purchased seven-year-old donor female Waratah Spanish Angel J187 for $18,000 and a five-year-old Waratah Amy's Girl L96, one of the first Waratah Willis daughters who was in calf to Dangit Matters and averages five embryos per flush.

The Limousin breeders established their Speckle Park stud about 15 months ago and have notably been willing to pay top dollar to establish elite female lines.

They also had their eye on Waratah Pho-Finish J155, a seven-year-old donor by Wattle Grove Moonshine E10 who had produced 54 embryos to date.

But she was snapped up for $21,000 as the pick of the sale lot that was secured by the Van Der Drift family of Black Diamond Speckle Park, Macorna, Victoria.

They also paid $10,000 for seven-year-old donor Waratah Amy J53, $16,500 for a two-year-old JSF Trade Secret daughter called Waratah Pho-Finish P158, $15,000 for the sale topper's full sister in Waratah Tequila Q163, and $7000 for a yearling Waratah Pho-Finish Q25.

Bull prices peaked at $14,000 for Waratah Power P31, a white heifer bull prospect by JSF Trade Secret 11A and out of Waratah Ember J185 who sold to an undisclosed buyer on the ground.

Many of the successful purchasers at the sale were establishing or growing studs looking for foundation bloodlines.

They included Kyogle's Heather Smith who secured six females averaging $7333 and two bulls at $8500 each to launch her Summerland Speckle Park stud.

Ms Smith was looking for moderate framed animals to suit her lighter country in the east.

"I was looking for good reliable bloodlines that have proven to perform under adverse conditions," she said.

"I have a lot of respect for the way Laiton has run his herd over the years.

"I'm grateful for the Turnham family for offering an opportunity for people to start off with some wonderful genetics of the breed. This really was a rare, rare opportunity."

Embryos reached $1100/each on two occasions; for four A grade Petemar Special Silas 3D X Waratah Pho-Finish E23 to Victoria's Andrew Pratt and for four Moovin Zpotz Dickey X Waratah Spanish Angel J167 to Blane Paton, Balnarring, Victoria.

Three embryos of Moovin Zpotz Dickey X Waratah Teeka J141 were bound for Stephanie Niven of New Zealand.

Read the full report in The Land.


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