In a usually quiet valley near Gloucester last week, for about an hour and a half, all eyes were transfixed on one family's hard work.
All the while, Tamworth-based auctioneer Paul Dooley's quick quips bellowed down the microphone as he rattled off the bids.
But it was in the grandstand, away from the arena's main action, where the roller coaster of emotions was going through its ups and downs.
Every bid played out in the changing expression of Annie Laurie's face. It was her family's Knowla Livestock Angus sale day.
The atmosphere of the annual sales schedule is at an all time high, with the energy at sales electric as vendors realise personal best performances and truly emotional moments.
The pace for the spring selling season was set last Thursday at Texas Angus, Warialda, when vendors, the Mayne family, sold 209 Angus bulls for an industry record $5.864 million gross.
Just the next day at Knowla, an Angus bull sold for a 'So Right' price of $190,000 to Sprys-W Angus, Wagga Wagga, and Cottage Creek Angus, Tarcutta.
What made the moment so much sweeter for Jack Laurie, also of Knowla, and founder and owner of semen company, Breeder Genetics, was their sale topper was a son of US sire, Baldridge Alternative E125, which he brought into Australia after a trip in 2019.
Knowla So Right S48 was discovered when the Laurie family hosted a genetics day in May and Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong presented. He was the bull put up for discussion, and Mr Strong loved him, also bringing him to the attention of Matt Spry, of Spry's.
"Before the sale, we knew this bull was attracting interest ... we thought it could be pretty special without knowing how special," Annie Laurie said.
When the bidding hit $50,000, it was higher than their previous top price of $40,000. Then the bids came in fast and before she knew it the price was at $100,000.
"I started weeping as it was uncharted territory for us," she said.
By $150,000, she was shaking and holding onto those around her, including Rob Teague from Ellerston.
Then when it finally sold at $190,000 Annie put her head in her hands to compose herself.
"All I could feel was so happy for the team, and it was vindication for years of hard work that is invisible to everyone else," she said.
"It was a humbling experience as we've been selling bulls to a huge amount of the people that were there, we deliver the bulls and we get to know these people and their herds and to share it with them was special."
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