MERAWAH Poll Herefords set a new stud record at its annual bull sale with a top price of $70,000.
A packed crowd of more than 40 registered bidders gathered at the Mackay family's Boggabilla property, near the NSW-Queensland border, to get their hands on the 47 rising-two-year-old and yearling bulls on offer.
In the breakdown, 46 of the 47 bulls offered were snapped up during Tuesday's sale at an average of $17,500 for a clearance rate of 99 per cent.
Of the 47 bulls, 36 were sold by Andrew and Carolyn Mackay of Merawah Poll Herefords at an average of $17,083, while the remaining 11 sold were offered by Kelly and Teeny Runzer of Tenaru Poll Herefords at an average of $17,272.
However, the highlight of the sale came when the fifth bull in the catalogue, Merawah Pioneer R043, was knocked down to Ivan and Amanda Burcher and Trevor Saal of Binara and Kalem Poll Herefords, Goondiwindi and Pittsworth.
The 25-month-old son of Koanui Techno 3062 and out of Merawah Shamrock M004, weighed 960 kilograms on sale day and was rated in the top 10pc of the breed for intramuscular fat, rib and rump fats, scrotal size and 400-day weight.
Binara and Kalem Poll Herefords stud principal Amanda Burcher said Tuesday's sale was the family's first at the stud without her late mother who passed away recently.
"It was lovely to have my dad here with us because he and my mum, who we unfortunately lost earlier this year, have only missed one or two Merawah bull sales in the past 40-odd years," Mrs Burcher said.
"I'm quite sure she was looking down on us and letting us know that he is a pretty good bull.
"Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of when Mum started the stud, so it is really special that we are able to have got a little slice of Merawah history at this year's sale."
Mrs Burcher said all of the operation's female herd was based at its Goondiwindi property and that the bull would go into stud duties as soon as he arrived.
"I think this bull ticks all of the boxes because he has got good natural muscle capacity depth, he's got good markings, he moves well and I think he will compliment the females that we have really well," she said.
"We have plenty of scale in our females and I think he is the bull that will help moderate the size a little bit, while still putting a lot of carcase and quality attributes into them.
"He has a lot of the attributes we're after such as lower birth weight, temperament and he was the only bull we came to buy, so we're thrilled to be going home with him."
Merawah Poll Herefords stud principal Andrew Mackay echoed Mrs Burcher's sentiments, saying the top-seller had the whole package.
"In my view, he had a good data set behind him as well as thickness and width right through, which are things peoples are really looking for," Mr Mackay said.
"There's not a lot between them in terms of the quality, such is the evenness of this year's draft, but he just had that little bit extra, which got him to the top.
"It was also really pleasing to see him go locally as well."
Leading the sale's volume buyers was Mt Riddick Pastoral Company, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, which purchased six bulls at an average of $21,000, one of which was Tenaru's top seller, Tenaru Riverton R2, which was knocked down for $30,000.
The 26-month-old son of PCL Zircon 719T 25Z and out of Tenaru Cherry Ripe, weighed 908kg and was rated highly for retail yield as well as skin and hair.
Also featuring among the sale's Queensland-based volume buyers was Thorn Estate Pty Ltd, Arden Downs, Bungunya, which purchased five bulls at an average of $16,800 and Woolerina Family Trust, Woolerina, Bollon, which purchased three bulls at an average of $13,333.
Representing the sale's NSW-based volume buyers was the Stainforth family, Bogong, Condobolin, which purchased four bulls at an average of $15,000 and Grant Rieck, Bollards Lagoon, Tibooburra, who bought three bulls at an average of $12,000.
The sale was conducted by Elders, Goondiwindi, with Paul Dooley, Tamworth, auctioneering.
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