There was plenty of cause for celebration at Woonallee Simmental stud's annual bull and female sale last Thursday at Furner as the breed celebrates its golden anniversary in Australia in 2022.
The Baker family has been there from the start with the first Simmental blood calf born in Australia, 50 years on the nationwide bidding at their 15th annual bull and female sale affirmed their position as the country's leading supplier of Simmental genetics.
More than 250 people were ringside in the stud's impressive new sale barn and there were many more logged online through AuctionsPlus and Elite Livestock Auctions.
In a total clearance, 112 bulls averaged a sensational $14,312.
This was up $3165 on 2021's sale when 103 bulls sold.
The 27 unmated heifers which followed also drew exceptional demand averaging $10,056.
The first sons of New Zealand sire, Kerrah E307 to be offered in Australia provided many of the sale's highlights. These 11 bulls averaged a spectacular $27,545.
It was the first one of these to enter the ring,lot 2 Woonallee Revolution R269 which topped the sale at $55,000.
This has set the bar high for the SA bull sale season.
Elders auctioneer Ben Finch described the 21-month-old who was homozygous polled as deserving of "four ticks in a three tick system".
Revolution was embryo transfer bred with its dam, one of the stud's top donor females, Kathie L126- a full sister to $160,000 record breaker, Woonallee Los Angeles and Las Vegas, an influential sire retained by Woonallee.
Revolution weighed 902 kilograms with an eye muscle area of 136 square centimetres and 8mm of fat at both the rib and rump sites.
Mubarn Simmentals, Pinjarra, was the successful buyer with stud principal Paul Tuckey bidding online.
He was chasing the outcross genetics of lot 2's sire.
"He will be a herd changer for us here in WA and possibly Australia, I just loved him the first time I saw the photos and videos," he said.
"In traditional Simmentals it is always hard to find bulls with fat coverage but there is significantly more on the actual animal and the figures show that too, he is full of style and softness."
The following lot, Woonallee Rockhampton R224,a flush full brother to lot 2, made $38,000 to Streeter Grazing, Monto, Qld, selling through AuctionsPlus.
Peter and Odette Morley, Boomey Park, Molong, NSW were another top end bidder securing three traditional bulls for a $20,667 average.
This included lot 1 Woonallee Ready to Rumble, a Woonallee Las Vegas son for $20,000 and the youngest traditional Simmental, lot 22 for $24,000.
The first spring drop Black Simmental into the ring, Woonallee Respect made the most money of the black coated cattle selling for $27,500.
The MRL Missile son, which ranked in the top 5 per cent for eye muscle area, was bought by Gold Creek Simmentals, New Zealand.
Despite the strength of the interstate buying in the traditional Simmentals there were still plenty of opportunities for local commercial breeders, especially on the Black Simmentals and SimAngus.
McCarthy Livestock, Lucindale, were the sale's volume buyer securing eight black Simmentals and SimmAngus to add extra hybrid vigour to their Angus herd. They averaged for them, paying to $13,000.
Noted weaner sellers, LS Johnson, Naracoorte, bought four traditional and Black Simmentals for a $15,500 average.
Continuing the strength of the local buyers, Hilton Rural, Robe, bought three SimAngus at $11,000 each and one Black Simmental.
Mr Finch had bullish expectations for the auction which were met.
He was pleased the Baker family were rewarded for their commitment and sparing no expense in securing genetics from around the world.
"The depth of commercial breeders willing to pay in that $15,000-$30,000 range now the industry has changed has to be a highlight," he said.
"It also needs to be said that there were plenty of bulls that were $8000 to $14,000 that are tremendous value when you look at the genetics in them.
"People come here because they know they can buy genetics they can't find anywhere else and they come back because of the consistency."
THERE was an exceptional draft of young unmated heifers at Woonallee's sale but John Leek, Mount Ararat Simmentals, Nar Nar Goon, only had eyes for lot 135, Woonallee Charo S272.
He paid the $18,000 sale high for the 10 month old daughter of GK 323 Phoenix P4 which was one of the highest performing females on offer.
Mr Leek has been breeding traditional Simmental for years, largely Woonallee bloodlines, and earlier this month held his first on-property bull sale.
He will use Charo as a great foundation female to establish a Black Simmental herd.
"She is magnificent, she is something you don't see that often," he said.
"I have thought long and hard about getting something super special, we will do an embryo program with her to a super bull and see what we get."
Mr Leek said the high regard his agent, Elders stud stock's Ryan Bajada held the female in for her softness and depth of body also encouraged him to bid up.
Tas breeders, DG&DJ Martin, paid $17,000 for lot 120, Woonallee Rina S056- an impressive female out of one of the stud's top donor females.
Hartfield Simmentals, Sutton Forest, NSW, were the volume female buyers at Woonallee with four lots, adding to the $30,000 bull they bought earlier in the sale at lot 6.
Buyers of the $55,000 highest priced bull, Mubarn Simmentals also secured three black heifers at $15,000, $11,000 and $9500 to head back across the Nullarbor.
Woonallee stud principals Tom and Lizzy Baker said it was a "massive result" and a special day for both their family and the breed in its 50th year.
"It is rewarding to see the effort you put in come back and people are obviously happy with the product or they wouldn't come back," Mrs Baker said.
Mr Baker was particularly thrilled with the 27 traditional bulls averaging $21,592 and being able to sell nine more bulls in the total offering.
Woonallee's 47 Black Simmentals averaged $12,393 and their 38 SimAngus topped at $22,500 and averaged $11,513.
"Our business model is about selling large numbers of bulls rather than the high prices or the averages," he said.
"We could sell 80 bulls and it (the sale) could average $16,000, $17,000 or $18,000 but that isn't servicing your clients."
The Bakers said they were already focussed on next year's draft.
"This (Stud breeding) is what we do and everyone is passionate about it," he said.
"Our plan is always to over deliver on quality, we have to keep at it and putting the genetics in."
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