2003 Cow Sale Report

Record set by Millah Murrah Cow

(By Mike Harvey, The Land November 13 2003)

Another Australian auction record fell to the Thompson family as 178 females sold to $34,000 and averaged $4433 at their Millah Murrah registered cow and joined heifer dispersal sale at Bathurst on Friday.

The $34,000 sale – $4000 up on the record set at Comfort Hill earlier this year – followed an Australian record $41,000 at the Millah Murrah bull sale in September, which in turn broke the $40,000 mark set at the Wodonga Angus National in 1983 and 2002.

And both Millah Murrah record prices were paid for mother and son by John and Joan Woodruff, Woodys Pastoral, Witherswood stud, Taminick, near Glenrowan, Victoria.

The $41,000 bull, W100, is a son of the $34,000 female Brenda U7 (AI) and at the time of the bull purchase, John Woodruff described the female as a superb feminine cow with a perfect udder and conformation and a great heifer calf at side. The calf has been retained by Millah Murrah.

Mr Woodruff backed his judgment to beat off four early bidders and finally outbid a syndicate of NSW breeders for the sale-topping cow.

Brenda U7, a March, 1999, daughter of Ythanbrae True Blue out of home-bred M.M. Brenda M12, is PTIC to Connealy Lead On (US).

Mr Woodruff said Brenda U7 would be joined next year to Future Direction in an elite female flush program.

“She is likely to become the super cow of the Angus breed over the next few years,” he said.

The Woodruffs, who will hold their second bull sale on April 15 and a female sale in October next year, also paid $12,000 for Abigail X30 (AI), a daughter of New Design, and joined to Direction W100.

Second top sale price of $19,000 for Honey S84 (AI), by Hingaia 469 (AI), was paid by Karen Arnott, Skagway Angus stud, Currabubula, who averaged $8300 for five females. Honey was PTIC to Connealy Lead On.

Norm and Di Bazeley, “Elswick”, Walcha, bought 10 females to a top of $14,000 and an average of $5350, and Phil and Jenny Gilbert, Damien and Kristina Sotter, “The Meadows”, Oberon, bought 12 more to tops of $10,500 and $10,000 and average of $5250.

Peter Prentice and family, Three Brothers Station, Caloola, near Bathurst, bought 26 females at an average of $4096 to continue building stud and commercial Angus herds on three Central West properties – “Handywood Park”, “Uar”, and “Jamyca” – bounded by Bathurst, Trunkey Creek, Rockley and Newbridge.

Other bulk buyers were the Bannerman family, Kywarra Angus, “Innisfail”, Blayney, who through local agent Emms Mooney snapped up 16 at an average of $2781; Craig Lindsey, Associated Dairies, Grenfell, 11 at $4500; George and Loy Rose and manager Jim Sproat, Longford Angus, Armidale (bidding through Armitage and Buckley), 10 at $5350; Michael and Dimity Hirst, Midgeon Angus, Bridport, Tasmania (bidding on AuctionsPlus through Andy Madigan), 10 at $4150, and Sue Howieson, Fairvale Angus, ACT, nine at $4833.

In other sales Keith Kerridge, Bannaby Livestock, Taralga, bought five females at an average of $2400; Eric and Joan Whittington, “Glenfield”, Binda, five at $2100; Stephen Handbury, Hazelwynde Angus, Beveridge, Vic, four at $4875; Heath and Amanda Nickolls, Pinaroo, South Australia, four at $3500, and Marcel Grant and manager Joel Lafforgue, Noblehouse Angus, Wallabadah, four at $2750.

Millah Murrah stud, founded by Wyatt and Winsome Thompson in 1969, also holds the all-breeds Australian record of $2700 for commercial cows and calves, the NSW record Angus bull sale average of $6500 and the highest 2003 Angus Eastern States bull average of $5823.

The offering of 183 females, all born before 2003, AI joined and PTIC, drew close to 100 registered buyers from South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW.

While Wyatt and Winsome Thompson will retire to Bathurst, Ross and his wife-to-be Dimity will carry on the Millah Murrah stud with 75 heifers weaners, 10 PTIC recipients and the five passed-in females which failed to make the $2000 upset price.

The sale was conducted by Elders with auctioneers Andy McGeoch and Paul Dooley.

Once-only stud chance

Pictured after the Millah Murrah sale near Bathurst are (clockwise from bottom left) Ross Thompson, Millah Murrah stud, Bathurst; his fiancee Dimity Jardine, brother-in-law and sister Frank and Jane Loneragan, of Rylstone; Wyatt Thompson, Millah Murrah; Jason Bannerman, representing Kywarra Partnership, Blayney; Jenny and Phil Gilbert, The Meadows Angus, Oberon, and their manager Damien Sotter, and Kywarra’s Colin Bannerman.

The Bannerman family’s Kywarra Angus has a similar breeding program to that at Millah Murrah, aiming for thick, moderate cattle that perform commercially.

Colin Bannerman said the Kywarra program focused on using Australian bulls, which he felt were as good as imported genetics and offered better structure and soundness.

The Meadows Angus operation, which bought the top priced $13,500 Millah Murrah bull in 2002, bought females representing 35 years of Thompson stud breeding.

Manager Damien Sotter said the soundness, structure, doing ability and ability to prosper in tough times of the Millah Murrah bloodline would provide a powerful building block for The Meadows’ 100-strong stud and 600-strong commercial female herds.

Millah Murrah Whopper

(The Land November 13 2003)

An Angus cow at Bathurst fetched $34,000 as the Thompson family’s Millah Murrah stud knocked over yet another breed record last week.

The sale exceeded the previous $30,000 female Angus top price set at Comfort Hill, near Goulburn, earlier this year.

The buyers, John and Joan Woodruff, Witherswood Angus stud, Glenrowan, Victoria, are pictured with their newly acquired cow, Millah Murrah Brenda U7 (AI), and Millah Murrah co-principal, Ross Thompson, at last Friday’s sale.

The cow is also the mother of the Australian breed record priced sire, W100, which the Woodruffs bought at Millah Murrah in September for $41,000.

Last week’s Bathurst sale presented an unprecedented opportunity for Angus breeders to claim a slice of Millah Murrah bloodlines as the stud dispersed all but its 2003-drop females as part of a generational changeover.

Bidders made the most of what was available paying an average $4433 for 178 females.

Millah Murrah stud, founded by Wyatt and Winsome Thompson in 1969, also holds the all-breeds Australian record of $2700 for commercial cows and calves.