A GENEROUS offer by Ballyvaughan Murray Grey stud principals Katrina and Steve Sanders, Clare, to allow Sophie Burt to take her pick of their 2020-drop heifers has given her a dream start in the stud game.
In February 2021, the Clements Gap breeder bought two heifers, which became the foundation females for her Sandy Hill stud.
"It was a really big thing when Katrina Sanders offered me the pick of their unmated heifers, it is a really respected herd," she said.
Ms Burt has always had a love of cattle but she says it was while working for the Tiller family, HB Rural, Warnertown, she caught the "stud bug".
In the two years she was there, she spent plenty of time with their Goolagong stud's Santa Gertrudis and Angus cattle - from tagging calves to preparing bulls for the stud's annual on-property sale.
The 21-year-old is also really grateful to her parents Roger and Belinda Burt, who have been hugely supportive and allow her to run her six stud females on their property.
"As a family we have always had commercial Murray Greys. I love their temperament, they have great carcases and the cows have always been good to us," she said.
A few months ago she made a big investment paying $10,000 for a three-in-one unit from respected WA stud Monterey, in the multi-vendor Murray Grey All States Sale.
"She was a really good quality cow and different bloodlines to what I had. She is young enough she has a few more good years in her and she had a good heifer calf," Ms Burt said.
In April, Ms Burt switched jobs and joined Nutrien Hill Livestock as a trainee livestock agent.
She is excited about eventually building a client base and also has big plans for the future of her Sandy Hill stud, hoping to grow it to about 50 stud females in the next five years.
"There are not that many people breeding Murray Greys anymore, I want to breed specific bulls that fit my clients' needs so they come back again and again," she said.
"Temperament is such a big factor in what people breed.
"I really want to breed cattle that cover all bases, doing well in feedlots and breeding replacement heifers.
"I feel like I have come in at a really great time so hopefully prices stay like this for a while."
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