PATHFINDER Angus stud remained SA Angus Week's pacesetter with a total clearance of the state's largest Angus offering and a ripper $6085 average at their sale on Thursday last week.
In the two and a half hour mammoth sale, Nick and Sara Moyle and family grossed $754,540 for 124 bulls at their 18th sale at the Murrawin sale complex, near Naracoorte.
The $16,000 top price mirrored last year's high, but the massive gain came from a nearly $1100 lift in average.
Even the 24 spring 2013-drops at the end of the catalogue - six months younger than the main catalogue - topped at $10,000 and averaged $4875.
Over the years Pathfinder has topped the SA Angus Week averages countless times. This year's title was again well deserved given their exceptional offering.
Many of the earlier SA Angus sales had exceeded expectation with high clearance rates and very satisfying averages but a total clearance of such a large offering was a remarkable effort.
The 82 registered bidders - comprising many repeat buyers - came from four states.
A number of Pathfinder's clients have hit the high price headlines during the recent weaner sales, giving them the confidence to bid up, while the catalyst for others was the positive outlook for the cattle market.
Eleven bulls made $10,000 or more, with these high prices scattered throughout the catalogue.
Five of these bulls were sons of calving ease sire Carabar Docklands, including the $16,000 bull, Pathfinder Docklands J112.
The 880kg sale topper was highly rated by the stud, which has retained a half semen interest, describing him as a "performance package".
Bidding kicked off at $7000 before Lachie Kelly, Mooramook, Caramut, Vic, put in the winning bid at $16,000.
Mr Kelly was impressed by the bull's thickness and easy-doing nature both in his pedigree and his visual make up, and his maternal bloodlines.
"He is not super extreme but a good, consistent all-round bull which will keep taking us forward," he said.
Docklands J112 had a good spread of Breedplan figures with a birth weight of +4.6 up to 600-day weight of +125.
Mooramook has both autumn and spring calving herds and will use Docklands J112 to breed bull calves for their commercial operation.
Thirteen Docklands sons averaged $8962 including five of the five figured bulls.
Another loyal supporter Penola Park, Penola secured the $13,500 second top priced bull, Pathfinder Regent J191.
The son of NZ sire Tuwharetoa Regent had multiple traits in the top 5 per cent of the breed including calving ease and Angus breeding, Heavy Grain and Heavy Grass indexes.
Landmark Adelaide's Trevor Driver secured nine great value bulls for a $3556 average for Broad Cattle Company.
Peter and David Rasheed, Boolapuckee, Kingston put together six bulls to an $8500 high.
Lower South East and western Vic buyers were particularly strong with Karowara Pty Ltd securing four bulls for a $6750 av for their Langkoop and Naracoorte properties, and Woodrise, Beachport, with four bulls for a $4875 av.
Preceding the bull sale Bette Hall, Plana, Penola - a client of the stud for more than a decade - dispersed her 2008 to 2012-drop PTIC commercial cows. They are due to calve from late February to Pathfinder sires.
The entire yarding of 76 females was bought by Michael Fitzgibbon, Mortlake, Vic, for a $1504 average.
The top price of $1580 was paid for 19 2011-drop cows.
During the bull sale Bette reinvested some of these proceeds in Pathfinder Jackpot J96 for $12,000 to mate with her final drop of heifers.
Landmark stud stock manager Gordon Wood and Albury-based Kevin Norris were kept busy adding up the bids.
"It was an absolute cracker of a sale. To put up 124 bulls and have a full clearance with great support from the far north of SA and NT to King Island," Mr Wood said.
"The thing that makes Pathfinder and the Moyle family so successful is the depth of breeding in their cattle and therefore reliability and consistent performance."