PATHFINDER stud remained the pacesetters in SA Angus Week sales with 2020's highest average - a magical $8880, despite also offering the largest number of bulls.
In a nearly $1 million pay day last Thursday the Moyle family sold 112 of 120 bulls at their Naracoorte sale complex.
Clients stretching from the northern SA pastoral country to Tas's King Island were again willing to chase their pick bulls among the offering at the 23rd annual sale.
This ensured 46 bulls made $10,000 or more although the average was back $265 on the red-hot sale of 2019.
For the second year in a row Alistair Just, St Vincents, Sellicks Hill, paid the top price - this time outlaying $19,000 for lot 93, Pathfinder Beast Mode P583.
The AI-bred son of US sire Baldridge Beast Mode B074 weighed 894 kilograms at 22 months of age.
Mr Just also bought lot 39, Pathfinder Traction P277, for $12,000 for his Fleurieu Peninsula herd which targets the EU feeder market.
"The bulls that we buy here are consistent and we see that in a consistent line of cows in our herd too," he said.
Also at $19,000, long-time client Craig Jones, Lochaber, bought lot 44, Pathfinder Lotto P298, one of the first sons by WA bull, Esslemont Lotto L3 to sell.
The 914kg bull was backed by some impressive figures being in the top 5 per cent for scrotal size and the Angus Breeding, Heavy Grain and Heavy Grass indexes.
Several studs operated during the sale including the Wilson family, Murdeduke stud, Winchelsea, Vic, who secured lot 75, Pathfinder Maximus P516, for $18,000 and Brett & Jenny Graham, Broomfield stud, Winulta, who took home lot 6, Pathfinder Black Pearl P97, for $15,000.
But the sale's strength was again its loyal commercial base.
The Woodard family, Peel Pastoral, Wrattonbully, invested heavily with seven bulls for a $10,143 average.
Our aim is to have the most profitable clients in the business.
Andrew Widdison, Kumara SE, Kalangadoo, was active on the spring 2018 drops later in the catalogue, buying eight of these to $9000, averaging $6000.
Broad Cattle Company secured five bulls between $5000 and $6000.
George Tait & Co, Retreat, Casterton, Vic, also raised their hands high with four bulls to $13,000, averaging $11,250.
Stud principal Nick Moyle said it was great to see their clients' confidence in their cattle with some great feedback from processors and feedlotters about the performance of their bloodlines.
"Our aim is to have the most profitable clients in the business and breed easy doing, thick, docile weaners which can grow on."
"The performance data on the bulls was exceptional this year from proven sires General and Genesis and a few new sires in Lotto and Lakewood added some interest," he said.
Nutrien Livestock SA stud stock manager Gordon Wood said it was a fantastic result to top the week's averages with some solid heights but also have plenty of very affordable bulls at $5000 to $6000.
"You only get these sort of clearances on that many bulls by having a reliable product so people keep coming back," he said.
"As their catch cry says 'proven genetics with performance' that is what you get at Pathfinder; consistency with growth and softness.
"The people that shop in the pointy end of the sale are the same people year-in, year-out that know spending $10,000 or $12,000 gives them an extra lift in their herd."
Fellow auctioneer Kevin Norris said it was the best draft the stud had put up.
"In breeding cattle there are two major considerations- phenotype and the figures and we are seeing in various environments across the country the folly of just chasing the figures," he said.
"This stud (Pathfinder) is one of the most effective in the country at breeding Angus cattle that are an exceptional type and the figures match the cattle."
Pathfinder will offer another 120 bulls at its Vic sale at Gazette, Penshurt on Wednesday.
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