(Monday 5th September 2016)
It was a history making day for the Millah Murrah Angus Stud, at Bathurst, last Thursday, when the Stud broke new ground, for all breeds, for a bull sale average price. All 109 bulls offered at their annual sale sold to average an astonishing $16,349.
This figure sets a new benchmark for the industry, eclipsing the previous record of $15,470 for 33 bulls, set by PBF Brahmans in 2005 and Millah Murrah’s $14,876 average for their 105 bulls sold in 2015.
Speaking after the sale, Stud principal, Ross Thompson, said he was stunned by the level of confidence shown by buyers at the sale.
“We are witnessing a new economy in the cattle business at present. The fantastic increase in returns for the commercial cattle man is spilling over to the seed stock sector now. Bull sale averages are up across the board this season. But never in my wildest dreams did I think we could upstage the 2015 result” he said.
“Commercial cattlemen are cashed up, and they are looking for quality. At all the sales I have attended this season, every time a bull steps into the ring with that little bit of extra quality, the bidding really heats up” Mr Thompson continued.
In the sale break down; 30 two year old bulls sold to a top of $22,000, to average $15,600; 57 eighteen month old bulls topped at $85,000 to average $17,947 and 22 yearlings topped at $22,000 to average $13,227. A staggering 21 bulls topped the $20,000 mark, with 17 finding homes at Studs.
Topping the sale, and the highest selling Angus bull for 2016, was Lot 13, Millah Murrah Loch Up L133. Aged 17 months, Loch Up tipped the scales at 788kg with a 44cm scrotal measurement. He is by US sire, Thomas Up River, from a Te Mania Emperor female, Brenda H49.
L133 was purchased by long term Millah Murrah client Ascot Angus, Warwick Qld, in partnership with ABS Australia, represented by Bill Cornell.
Speaking after the sale, Mr Cornell said "Loch Up is just what ABS has been looking for over the past 12 months. He covers all bases, displaying outstanding phenotype, with terrific fleshing and structure. He’s got an attractive pedigree for many of the main stream modern Angus bloodlines, comes with a high quality maternal background and has a brilliant balanced EBV set. This bull has widespread appeal commercially and for the seed stock sector. He’s a pretty rare combination that represents a broad spectrum joining option for the industry."
Majority partner in the bull, Jim Wedge, echoed Mr Cornell’s comments saying: "L133 was just too good to let go past. A bull that covers every base like he does, comes along once or twice a decade. We bought into ($150,000 Millah Murrah) Kingdom last year and now we have sole walking rights to this fellow. It’s a pretty exciting investment for us."
The 2nd high selling bull of the sale - and for the Angus breed in 2016 - was another Thomas Up River son at Lot 12, Millah Murrah Lakeside L69. His dam is high end donor cow, Millah Murrah Prue H113, sired by Lawsons Henry VIII, a bull behind several high profile Angus AI sires.
Lakeside was purchased by long term Millah Murrah supporters Alexander Downs, Merriwa, owned by Robert and Stephen Gill and their families. The Gills operate a fully integrated, meat supply chain, processing upwards of 15,000 beef bodies annually, for distribution under the Alexander Downs brand.
"I like L69's presence, his softness and his doing ability," Robert Gill said "he is a high quality, all-purpose Angus bull."
Mr Gill said the Millah Murrah cattle continue to impress him.
"Millah Murrah has never chased fads," he said. "They have stuck to their guns and what you see is what you get."
Two bulls sold for the = 3rd top price of $28,000. The first was the Up River son Millah Murrah Laker L24, at Lot 10, who was snapped up by Heart Angus Stud’s Chris Pattison from Tamworth, while Merriwa’s Hugh Kraefft, Tivoli Angus stud, outlayed similar money for an 18 month EF Complement son, L119.
Heading up the volume purchasers were long term Millah Murrah clients, JS Grazing, from Injune, Qld.
Having set new saleyards records at Roma in July, with their Millah Murrah blood weaners, Jeff and Jeremy Shaw selected five bulls for their 1500 breeder operation. The Shaw’s bidding patterns showed extraordinary confidence in the Millah Murrah programme, adding to their reputation as one of the nation’s leading commercial Angus herds. They paid to a top of $22,000, averaging $20,800 for their bull draft, several times outbidding Stud breeders to secure the bulls they were after.
Speaking after the sale, Jeremy Shaw said "We love the impact the Millah Murrah bulls are having on our herd. We knew they would be in hot demand and were prepared to go all the way to get what we were after."
Also securing five bulls were return clients, Stephen and Robyn White from Roma, while long term Millah Murrah bull buyers, Cavan Station, Yass, represented by Matt Crozier, bid to $22,000 to secure their four bulls.
Returning to purchase four bulls were the Crossing family from “Angullong” near Orange and Barrington Park Pastoral, Spring Ridge, who were buying at Millah Murrah for the first time.
Bulls sold to all main land states with 75% going to return clients and 28 bulls going to first time Millah Murrah buyers.
An analysis of the sire averages revealed 28 sons of US sire EF Complement sold to $28,000 to average $16,571. 20 sons of NZ sire Matauri Reality, topped at $20,000 three times to average $15,200. 10 sons of Ascot Hallmark topped at $22,000 to average $19,000.
Six sons of perennial Millah Murrah favourite, Hingaia 469, sold to $20,000 to average $17,000, while sons of US sire Thomas Up River sold to $85,000, to average $39,000 on a small sample of five bulls.
The sale was conducted by Elders Bathurst’s Andrew Bickford and his team, with Auctioneer Paul Dooley of Paul Dooley Pty Ltd in the rostrum.
Commenting after the sale, Mr Dooley said "That is the highest grossing sale I have ever done. It is a credit to the Thompson family, the quality of their product and their sheer dedication to the business. They are some of the most professional people I have ever dealt with."