THE Finlay family's foray into stud cattle breeding was a first-up success with rock solid bidding from start to finish at Granite Ridge Angus stud's annual bull sale at Avenue Range on Friday.
Last year the Finlays seized the opportunity to buy the Granite Ridge stud from Colin Flanagan and Pat Ebert when they purchased the stud's home at auction.
It was a chance for them to diversify their large broiler chicken growing operation at Murray Bridge and a commercial beef herd which they run on the River Murray.
There was plenty of love in the air for their 70 bulls on offer, with 68 selling for a credible $6213 average.
A powerhouse of a bull, Granite Ridge Power Fix P65, made the $12,500 sale high at lot 3.
The 994 kilogram son of Millah Murrah Doc F159 had been a stand out in Granite Ridge's 2018-drop bulls and had the growth figures to match, in the top 2 per cent for 200-day weight, top 3pc for 400daywt and top 1pc for 600daywt.
Power Fix sold to brothers, John and Chris Clarke, Woolmit, Kingston, who bought two other bulls at $10,000 each in lot 2 and lot 9, with their agent Miller Whan & John's Mike Newton.
John Clarke said they had kept returning to Granite Ridge because of their excellent weight gains, easily turning off 400kg Angus steers at 12 months of age, but also the high quality of their replacement heifers.
"They are good doers so it doesn't take a lot to keep them going and we are very happy with their temperament," he said.
Two Fleurieu-based buyers went to $11,500 for their picks.
Blackwood Park, Strathalbyn, took home lot 5, Granite Ridge Playmaker P101 and Finniss Hills Wines, Finniss, securing lot 8, Granite Ridge Power-Up P173, a growthy son of Texas Western Express H639.
Eight bulls made $10,000 or more with two of these in last five lots of the sale, showing the evenness of quality.
ID&B Cobiac, Kingston, secured a Rennylea K447 son for $10,500 at lot 69, one of his two buys.
Mr Flanagan paid $10,000 for lot 72, a VAR Discovery son for their newly acquired Prime Angus stud at Warrenbayne, Vic, one of three bulls he bought in the sale.
Long-time Kangaroo Island clients Peter and Judy Murray, Kiwi Blue, were again a dominant force at the sale buying up nearly a quarter of the catalogue.
They took home 16 lots averaging $5656, including two at $7500.
New Tas buyer, Andrew Fidock, Pipers River Pastoral Company found great value, successful on six bulls for a $4583 average.
Sam Dodd and his son Alex, Lallawa Grazing Company, Meningie, who were back for their second year also secured six bulls for the same average.
Stud principal Scott Finlay said they were very pleased with the result and very grateful to Mr Flanagan and Ms Ebert who had ensured it was a seamless transition since buying the 400 stud females, as well as yearling bulls.
"We didn't really know what to expect but to have that clearance is great," he said.
Mr Finlay said they were enjoying the challenge of breeding stud cattle and were looking to grow the herd further having just purchased more land in the South East.
Elders auctioneer Laryn Gogel said it was pleasing to see both new and repeat buyers among the wide geographical spread of interest.
He has been following the bulls closely since the stud's sale and praised the consistency of the offering.
"We had some real herd improving bulls up the front if there was something that you needed to change but the best part was after that you had industry acceptable bulls, soft with plenty of red meat, right to the very last bull," he said.
"It was a great to see industry acceptable bulls that were of a great nature and temperament which is a compliment to the people here."
Elders conducted the sale.
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