Millah Murrah’s $24,000 Dream Run

By Holly McAlister (courtesy The Land, Thursday, September 13, 2012, page 108

Following on from their record-breaking sale of 2011, Bathurst’s Millah Murrah stud continued the dream run of Angus sales at their 24th annual bull sale last week.

Stud principal Ross Thompson said he was thrilled with the result, where 85 bulls topped at $24,000 and averaged $8612.

“It feels a bit like lightning’s struck twice,” he said at the conclusion of the sale.

“To be able to back up last year’s record sale with this result is hard to believe.”

A feature of the sale was that only 17 of the bulls, about 20 per cent of the total draft, were two years of age, while 42 bulls were aged 18 months and 26 were just 12 months old.

“A lot of our clients are coming to appreciate the good sense of using well-developed bulls at a younger age,” Mr Thompson said.

“I really think there is a shift towards young bulls in the industry; it makes sense commercially as it reduces the unit cost per calf.”

Mac Whitehouse, Coolie Angus Stud, Merriwa, secured the top-priced bull at the sale, Millah Murrah Highlander G18, for $24,000.

2013 Female SaleA son of Highlander of Stern from a Millah Murrah Woody W100-sired dam in Millah Murrah Prue D85, the 19-month-old bull weighed in at 760 kilograms on sale day, with a scrotal circumference of 46 centimetres.

Coolie stud manager Jamie Edmonds said this was the first time Coolie Angus had bought a Millah Murrah bull.

“The Millah Murrah females have one of the best reputations within the Angus breed so to be able to get this bull was great – he’s out of a great Millah Murrah cow,” Mr Edmonds said.

“We liked his length and depth of muscle, plus he’s got a good quiet temperament.”

With sound Breedplan figures backing up the bull’s visual traits, Mr Edmonds said he was a nice, balanced sire and will be used for both natural joining and Coolie’s AI program.

“We liked the look of the Highlander bulls and had three in mind, but the phenotype of G18 sold him to us straight away,” he said.

“We were very happy to get him out of the wonderful line-up of bulls at the sale.”

Eight sires went to stud buyers including Jim and Jackie Wedge, Ascot Angus and Charolais, Warwick, Qld, who bought another Highlander son, Millah Murrah Highlander G7, for $18,000.

Brad Saunders, operating over the phone, took home Millah Murrah G97, a son of Ardrossan Apollo D324, for $14,000, to enter his Brangus seedstock program near Rockhampton, Qld, while Peter and Judy Howarth with managers Andrew and Trudy Chapman selected a low-birth, high-fat cover son of BT Right Time 24J to enter their Wombramurra Black Simmental herd at Nundle.

Nineteen-month-old Millah Murrah Right Time G64 made the second top price of $18,000, selling to Brendan Stoney at Young.

Wendouree Grazing, Walcha, paid $17,000 for Right Time F184 (APR), while John and Pam Farragher, Seaham, and Allan Gillogly, Moree, each bought sons of Millah Murrah D78 for $16,000.

Three bulls went to Hobbys Yards producers Craiglea Partnership for a top of $15,000 and an average of $13,000.

Repeat buyer Rimanui Farms, “Boonaldoon”, Moree, was the highest volume buyer with eight bulls at $5688.

Manager of the broadacre cropping and cattle enterprise, Mark Brazel first purchased Millah Murrah bulls in 2007, with a draft of 23 bought out of the paddock to cover Rimanui’s 800 heifers.

The enterprise now uses Millah Murrah bulls exclusively.

“I was drawn to the Millah Murrah cattle by Ross’ focus on the female side of things – right away I could tell it was a no-frills stud, run along exactly the same lines as a commercial cattle operation,” Mr Brazel said.

“Their emphasis on doing-ability and easy production traits was right in line with how we want to breed cattle.”

Rimanui has been steadily building its herd of females towards 2000 and is gearing up to conduct annual breeder sales from 2013, Mr Brazel said, with the aim to put together more than 500 top-line females on an annual basis.

Another long-term buyer, Rob Cropper, Willow Tree, picked up five 12-month-old bulls at $6000 apiece, while Amanda Stewart, “Yarras”, Running Stream, through manager Greg Reeves and agent Terry McDonald, secured four bulls at a top of $8000, averaging $7250.

Auctioneer Paul Dooley said it was a great run of bulls and affordable for astute commercial cattlemen, with 42 bulls, or half of the offering, selling between $4000 and $7000.

The sale was conducted by Elders Bathurst.