Described by many as one of the best Speckle Park bulls in Australia, if not globally, Six Star Southern Aurora Justice R10 has set a new world record top price for a Speckle Park bull sold at auction.
Sold during the Autumn Alliance Speckle Park Sale at Wagga Wagga last Friday, this major milestone comes just a fortnight after the heifer, Battalion Heartbreaker R16 set the $100,000 breed benchmark at the 7th Invitational Scone Speckle Park sale.
Justice R10 surpassed the previous record of $68,000 set when Wattle Grove Paperboy P503 sold in 2020 at the Wattle Grove Sale, Oberon.
He was purchased by Tony and Liz Sutcliffe, Toebelle Speckle Park, Duns Creek, in the lower Hunter Valley, who made the bold bid online via AuctionsPlus. Underbidders were Canadians buyers with US partners.
The bull, a son of Notta 1B Hawkeye 444E and from the cow Six Star 300X Unique K22, had been calf champion at Beef Australia, Rockhampton, Qld, in 2021. His sire had been a dual grand champion in the Champion of the World Competition.
"I would have to say, in our opinion and I think others would feel the same, he would have to be one of the best, if not the best, Speckle Park bull in the world at the moment," Mrs Sutcliffe said.
"There are so many tremendous attributes to this bull he has it all - the phenotype, extremely good raw data, temperament, and a pedigree to die for.
"He has Speckle Park 'royal' blood in terms of pedigree with animals like Stands Alone, Unique 8R and Hawkeye - it's a pedigree full of legendary, proven and highly sought-after genetics.
"We knew he was going to be a sizeable investment, but we think he is a tremendous opportunity and believe he has a lot of really positive attributes to offer breed."
Mrs Sutcliffe said he is a "game changer" for the breed with a 131 square centimetre eye muscle area, 7.3 per cent intramuscular fat, and a 42-centimetre scrotal circumference.
"Scrotal circumference is something we look for in a bull, and something Tony and I believe needs to work on in terms of improving scrotal quality and circumference in the breed," she said.
"It is also unusual to have animals with his powerful phenotype that aren't carriers of the myostatin gene... which means he is a viable choice for a large, diversity of females. People that invest in semen have more options within their herd."
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Justice R10 was sold with full possession and full rights to global semen marketing, and the Sutcliffes have already sent him for domestic and international semen collection.
"We will be marketing him," Mrs Sutcliffe said. "There is a couple of emerging markets with Speckle Park that he will fit into, and a couple of others are expected to come back online.
"At the moment Australia can't export to New Zealand (and vice-versa), but there are discussions going on that make us believe this market will come back in the future.
"There are also emerging market in other countries... the US have just opened up to Speckle Park, and we can see tremendous potential for him.
"He is a good enough bull - I think he is one of the best bulls in the world, even compared to other bulls in other breeds he would be up there.
Vendors, Six Star Speckle Park, Bundanoon, and Southern Aurora Speckle Cattle Company, Berry, have collected semen for within herd use only.
Six Star stud principal, Greg Ebbeck, said the sale was phenomenal.
"We knew he would be well sought after, but we didn't expect him to make anywhere near that price," he said.
The Sutcliffes run their registered Speckle Park herd as a "sister stud" alongside their Toebelle Limousin herd which consists of a stud founded in 2014. Prior to this they ran a commercial Limousin herd.
Studying the Speckle Park breed for four years before they decided to establish a stud in 2018, the Sutcliffs said it is one of the fastest growing breeds in the world, and prices are going "through the roof for good quality stock".
"Our foundation females were secured from JAD, Wattle Grove, Waratah, Deeargee, Battalion and Blue Spark," Mrs Sutcliffe said.
"We have strategically set out to buy top-quality females, focusing on quality not quantity.
"We have invested a lot in genetics domestically and imported. We have a reasonable size ET program annually and will put in at least 55 embryos in the first half of this year with some sourced directly from Colgans, and some from Greenwood and Underhill Specs, all in Canada.
"We are doing a lot of embryo work to build our herd, but also so we can offer to others."
The Sutcliffe's investment in genetics has also resulted in them purchasing the Australian semen rights in Colgans General 20G last year.
They also run a commercial segment of their Speckle Park business to allow them to cater to a diversity of markets.
"We have AI'd [artificially inseminated] some of our home-bred Limousin infused cattle to Gin Gin Manitoba and (Minnamurra) Montezuma (M25)," she said.
"Last year we bought some commercial F1 [first cross] large framed third calvers PTIC [pregnancy-tested-in-calf] from Wattle Grove to put into our commercial program, but also we will use them for recipients."
Mrs Sutcliffe said they have the philosophy of "commitment to the customer", and "developing mutually beneficial relationships with other producers and clients".
The opening lot of the sale, Six Star Barn Stormer R25, offered by Six Star Speckle Park, also made $54,000.
At 618kg, the 18-month-old bull was a son of Six Star Premier L14 and from Double L Karmen 16.
He sold to Celia McKay, Celamba Speckle Park, Deepwater, who also bought the $36,000 top-priced female, Six Star L14 Teeka S88.
Known as the 'Princess' being out of the 'Queen' Six Star Teeka J27 and sired by the 'King' Six Star Premier L14 who was the first Speckle Park animal to win a supreme interbreed title in 2017 at the Royal Canberra Show, she was a 13-month-old which was selected to bring new bloodlines to the Celamba stud.
In total, Ms McKay purchased nine lots, including eight females averaging $19,250.
Another sale highlight was a two-month-old heifer calf, Six Star 747G Theresa T2 the first daughter of INC Goliath 747G, who was selected to be included in the sale by the Speckle Park breeders via Facebook. She sold for $18,000 to Ms McKay.
All up, 16 bulls sold from 22 for a $17,562 average, while it was a full clearance of females with five cows and calves topping at $24,000 to average $18,800, and nine heifers sold to top at $36,000 to average $18,000.
Embryos sold to a top of $4200 an embryo for a package of four embryos sired by the $100,000 record-breaking Justice R10 out of Six Star Teeka J27 purchased by Evelyn Freeman, Eagle Hawk Creek stud, Glengarry, Vic.
Sandra Verdonschot of Monto, Qld, paid the top money of $750 a straw for a package of five straws of Notta 1B Hawkeye 444E.
The first time Six Star had offered semen in the two-time winning Champion of the World bull, 50 straws averaged $665/straw.
Semen packages averaged $288/straw across the 48 lots sold, while 16 embryo packages sold for a $1720/embryo average.
The sale was conducted by H. Francis and Co, Wagga Wagga, with guest auctioneer Paul Dooley, Tamworth, taking bids.
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