'Powerhouse' Caskieben sire lifts Naracoorte sale record to $35,000

By Catherine Miller
Updated March 22 2022 - 6:36am, first published March 17 2022 - 9:30pm

RECORDS tumbled at the 2022 Naracoorte Shorthorn bull sale on Thursday at the Pathfinder sale complex as stud and commercial buyers from three states and the NT bid with confidence.

The multi-vendor sale has been running for a remarkable 69 years but not even the oldest people in the crowd could remember such a spectacular sale.



In a total clearance the 36 red and roan bulls from six SA, Vic and NSW vendors posted an outstanding $15,667 average.

It was lot 9, Caskieben Olympus R24, an eye appealing bull offered by the Williamson family, Carisbrook, Vic, which commanded the $35,000 top price- a new sale record.

Elders auctioneer Tony Wetherall described the bull as a "sire of note" and a "powerhouse".

Olympus R24 was easily the heaviest bull in the offering at 1120 kilograms and also had plenty of softness with 17mm of rump fat and 13mm rib fat.

It had an eye muscle scan of 139 square centimetres affirming its tremendous meat content.

The son of Caskieben Zeus N29 also had a good balance of EPDs ranking in the top 1 per cent on the Shothorn genetic evaluation for docility and maternal weaning weight, top 2pc for milk and yearling weight and top 4pc for weaning weight.

Buyers of the sale topper, Kim and Ned Williams, Polldale stud, Dubbo, NSW, who ventured to SA looking for their next stud sire, were struck by the depth of flank and structural correctness of the April 2020 drop.

"He is a very complete bull, he has tremendous performance for age and adequate figures," Kim said.

"It is very hard to pick a fault in him- he has a good sheath, good testicles, good bone and he is good on his feet and legs."

Late in the sale another Caskieben bull, Quantum R61 nearly eclipsed this selling for the $34,000 second highest price to Riverside Holdings, Tintinara.

Caskieben stud co-principal Alex Williamson was very pleased with the spirited bidding on their eight bulls which averaged an impressive $17,875.

"We are happy that people have confidence in what we are doing," he said.

Alex's father Geoff described the sale high as "the highlight of his career" nearly doubling their previous highest bull price.

Fellow Vic breeders, the Brook family, Eloora stud, Bulart, Vic, also had a day to remember topping the stud averages with their eight bulls selling to $30,000 twice and averaging $22,750.



Three bulls in the draft were AI-bred sons of Bayview Archer M15 and out of heifers.

The first of these, Lot 16, Eloora Kingston R19, sold to Jason and Kylie Catts, Futurity Shorthorns, Baradine, NSW for $30,000.

It had ranked in the top 3 per cent of the breed on the All Purpose Index.

"We liked his balanced EPDs, he is homozygous polled and he is super quiet (temperament wise)," Mr Catts said.

Mrs Catts said the March 2020 drop would complement their breeding program.

"We like to breed back to the middle so that we are not going to extremes either way and he is that type of bull," she said.



Two lots later for the same money, the Spry family, Sprys Shorthorns, Wagga Wagga, NSW and Ash and Jane Morris, AJM Shorthorns, Young, NSW, joined forces to buy Eloora Kosciuszko R10.

Eloora stud's Dion Brook said it had been an "exceptional day".

"We knew we had some high quality bulls and there would be plenty of demand for the right bulls but today's result we couldn't of predicted in our wildest dreams," he said.

"Three bulls going into three different studs was nice recognition for our breeding program along with our long time commercial clients' faith to spend $20,000 or more for bulls."

Five lots in the catalogue made $30,000 or more but it was the willingness of many commercial buyers to extend their budgets to $15,000 or more which put the shine on the sale.

Charlie Bainger and Libby Creek, Hillcrest Pastoral Company, Avenue Range, put together three bulls for a $21,000 average, paying to $26,000.



The sale's volume buyer was Shane Nicolle, Mulga Park Station via Alice Springs, NT, who bought five bulls to $14,000 averaging $8400.

The Ashby family, Bundaleer stud, Gulnare, had the largest team averaging $10,917 for their 12 bulls.

Fellow SA vendors the Pridham family, Nentoura stud, Frances cleared their three rich red bulls to $15,000 for a $12,667 average.

NSW vendors Ross and Janelle Johnstone, Ronelle Park stud, Lyndhurst, sold their three lots for a $12,333 average, including $20,000 for lot 25, Ronelle Park Ronaldo R70.

Trent and Kimberley Johnstone, Trojon stud, Lyndhurst, NSW, sold their two bulls- lot 21 and 22- for $8000 and $25,000 respectively.

The size and the thickness and meat in the bulls today just shows where the breed is going.

- TONY WETHERALL, Elders auctioneer



Mr Wetherall commended the vendors for their high quality offerings and said the prices reflected this.

"I thought the highs would be there but to have that consistency of sort of $15,000 to $20,000 to $30,000 on a number of bulls was probably above my expectation," he said.

"Good bulls met really strong competition but there was a solid base to the whole sale.

"The size and the thickness and meat in the bulls today just shows where the breed is going, they are high yielding and really do represent quality."

Sale coordinator Rosemary Miller was "overjoyed" to see a record crowd of buyers pack into the stands as well as strong online bidding. Two bulls sold through AuctionsPlus.

"It was an outstanding result for the Shorthorn breed for an exceptional offering of bulls," she said.



"It was great to see buyers keen to reinvest some of their profits in enhancing their breeding programs further.

"The success of the sale was enhanced by the two consecutive sales (Bayview and Naracoorte sale), attracting Shorthorn breeders from across the country for the two days."

Elders and Nutrien were joint selling agents.

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