A South Australian Angus stud celebrating its 70th year next year bought the top-priced bull at the Ben Nevis sale, Walcha.
The August 10, 2022 drop, Ben Nevis Tribune T302, sired by Ben Nevis Rambo R230, sold for $45,000, with 75 of 78 bulls selling at auction for an average of $11,306. Tribune was from the Spring drop section of the catalogue, where 36 averaged $12,500.
In the catalogues' 16-18 month-old Autumn drop section, the top price was $20,000 with an average of $10,205.
Roseleigh stud's co-principal, Ron Cowley, was in the auction ring crowd and said his son Matt identified the bull as an excellent sire prospect because of its Breedplan data and a photograph that indicated its excellent phenotype.
Tribune's birth weight (BW) estimated breeding value (EBV) was +4.9, with a +60 for 200-day growth, +103 for 400-day, and +132 for 600-day growth. Its milk EBV was +18, and the eye muscle area (EMA) was +7.8 in intramuscular fat (IMF) EBV was +2.6. Tribune's Angus Breeding Index ($A) was $265, and Angus Breeding Low Feed Cost Index ($A-L) was $441.
Mr Cowley said Tribune's body length and conformation, with an extraordinary data set, made the bull a standout in the draft.
"He is so smooth-shouldered, one of the best I've ever seen," he said. "We'll be using him as a backup bull in our artificial insemination program that we hope to begin next week," Mr Cowley said. A minority shareholder in the purchase of Tribune was Genetics Australia, Colac, Victoria.
The catalogue describes Tribune as "easily one of the pick bulls of the sale". It scanned third in the catalogue for IMF and fourth for EMA.
The second top-priced bull at $32,000 was another Spring drop yearling, Ben Nevis Tsar, sired by Ben Nevis Rambo R230. Bimbadeen Cattle Company, Eidsvold, home of the Bimbadeen Brangus herd, was the buyer.
Tsar's birth weight BW EBV was +4.0, with a +66 for 200-day growth, +117 for 400-day, and +157 for 600-day growth. Its milk EBV was +25, the EMA was +6, and its IMF EBV was +3.3. Tsar tipped the scales at 600kg, an ADG of 1.49kg.
Bimbadeen bought two other bulls, Tsunami T055, sired by Ben Nevis Quantico Q40, for $10,000 and Tachi T082, for $14,000.
Another of the Spring bulls that sold well was Ben Nevis Tasman T454, a 560kg son of Ben Nevis Rambo R230. Bulliac Angus, Upson Downs, Miles, Queensland, was the buyer of Tasman, which had an EMA EBV of +11.8, the second highest in the sale draft.
Tasman's birth weight BW EBV was +5.1, with a +54 for 200-day growth, +93 for 400-day, and +121 for 600-day growth. Its milk EBV was +17, and its IMF EBV was +1.4., with an ADG of 1.35kg.
Volume buyers from Queensland and South Australia helped provide great buying support.
Andrew and Donagh Clarke, Neales River Livestock, Allandale Station, Oodnadatta, South Australia, made the long journey to Walcha from their 5000 square kilometre cattle station.
Mr Clarke said they had been buying Ben Nevis bulls since 2015 as they transitioned their Hereford herd to Angus.
"The Ben Nevis bulls have great temperament and doing ability in an area where the rainfall is between 100 millimetres and 150mm annually," he said.
He said he preferred to buy yearling bulls as they acclimatised to the country's challenges.
"That gives us great value for money with our bull selections. They have great structure and walk to the feed and water."
Progeny from the Clarke's herd go to feedlots from Port Augusta, SA, to Charlton in north central Victoria.
Roberts Grazing Company, Rooken-Glen, Springsure bought five bulls to a top of $16,000, averaging $11,600. Their top-priced bull was 18-month-old Ben Nevis Treasure, which weighed 702kg, with an ADG of 1.22kg and was sired by Millah Murrah Paratrooper P15.
Roger Jefferies, Elrose Enterprises, Moura in Central Qld bought four bulls, three at the equal top price of $14,000 and another at $8000.
Troy Trevor, Queensland Rural, Charters Towers, was buying on behalf of the Jefferies family and bought another 18-month-old bull for $8000 for Grant Jefferies, Mostowie Station, Moura. He said the bulls would be joined to Brahman cows to produce F1 bulls.
Matthew Kennedy, Agantra Station, Richmond Qld, was one of several active online buyers with three bulls to $10,000, averaging $8000. At the same time, Robert Finlayson, Kapunda, Armidale bought six bulls to $10,000 twice, averaging $7333.
Stuart and Kylie Hobbs, Rosehill, Garra, operating online, bought Ben Nevis Thor, a 576kg son of Ben Nevis Podium P242, with an EMA of +9.2 and an IMF of +2 for $24,000
Michael Mather, New River Beef, Ringarooma in north-east Tasmania, paid $20,000 for another of the Spring drop bulls in Ben Nevis Techtronic T249, sired by Te Mania Pythagoras P44. Tipping the scales at 564kg, it had an ADG of 1.36 kg.
The selling agents were Nutrien Boulton's Walcha with Paul Dooley, the auctioneer. AuctionsPlus provided the online interface.
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