BUYERS at Granite Ridge Angus stud's annual summer bull sale at Avenue Range were spoilt for choice with some of the breed's most exciting genetics on offer.
And they had the upper hand being able to secure these bulls at lower prices than last year's strong sale, including 19 bulls knocked down at the $6000 base price.
Overall 74 of 99 autumn and spring 2022 drop bulls offered by the Finlay family sold for a $8378 average.
This was down nearly $2000 on 2023's result when 101 of 109 bulls sold.
There were no headline grabbing bulls this year but 21 bulls made five figures showing the depth of quality in the offering.
Elders Kingston SE's Nick Downward and client Phil Cameron, Chameleon Investments, Kingston SE, took home the $19,000 sale topper after also getting lot 5 for the bargain price of $6000.
Their top pick was lot 46, Granite Ridge Tactical T62, by popular sire, Millah Murrah Paratrooper and out of a Rennylea K447 daughter.
The March 2022 drop weighed 812 kilograms.
"I like his evenness of EBVs but then he is visually appealing with growth, great hindquarter and depth of body," Mr Cameron said.
Tactical was in the top 15 per cent of the Trans Tasman Angus evaluation for many traits including direct calving ease at +6.6 and +22 for milk.
Also the buyer of the $20,000 equal top price in 2023, Mr Cameron said he liked being able to source new bloodlines for his 300 cow commercial herd.
With 25 different sires represented in the 2024 catalogue there were plenty of outcross genetics to choose from.
The first drop of Merridale Quackier Q140 sons impressed for their docility, including lot 3, Granite Ridge Tennyson T77 which sold for $16,000 to SA&GE Smith, Lucindale.
The spring drops in the sale had a tough start having been weaned early due to the River Murray floods affecting the Murray Bridge property in late 2022.
They were sent to Granite Ridge's SE properties at just three or four months of age but had grown out well.
Nick Simpson, Wild Dog Creek, Bugle Ranges, paid the $14,000 highest price for a spring drop- lot 52, Granite Ridge Tom Brady T446.
The late August drop son of Murdeduke Quarterback Q011 was a curve bender with a low birth weight and good growth figures.
Long-time supporters the Bainger family, Hillcrest Pastoral Company, Avenue Range, who were advised by Libby Creek, were the sale's volume buyers.
Their tally of 10 bulls averaged $8300, paying to $10,000 three times.
Other major buyers among the 45 registered bidders included Kiwi Blue which bought six bulls paying to $14,000 and averaging $10,000 for their buys. They bid through Platinum Livestock's Ben Dohnt.
Online bids added to the competition with five SA buyers from Redhill in the Mid North to locally buyers logging on to buy eight bulls and bidding on 23 of them.
Mr Finlay said it was pleasing to have such strong support from repeat buyers, many whose Granite Ridge blood weaners had achieved good prices at recent Naracoorte and Strathalbyn markets.
"I'm happy with that (average), we thought if we could average $8000 it would be a good result," he said.
"It is always great to catch up with our clients which we may only see once a year."
Elders southern livestock sales manager and auctioneer Laryn Gogel said it was pleasing to see so many repeat buyers in the gallery bidding on a "really good group of bulls that were pretty consistent for type".
"We would have probably expected a little bit better clearance but maybe that is where we are for this year's bull sales still coming out the back of the hangover of the cattle market from 2023," he said.
"The quality, style, EBVs and genetics were all there it was just a matter of who needs to buy a bull."
One of the highlights was the sale of 43 rising two year old commercial females in the Eastern States Cattle Sale on AuctionsPlus about an hour before the bull sale commenced.
Half of these females which had calved in the past month made $3040 and the other half on the point of calving sold for $2640 and $2500.
Three of the lots sold to Jamie White and his daughter Grace who travelled from Kamarooka, Vic.
After the success of Granite Ridge's inaugural spring bull sale in 2023 they will hold another spring sale on August 31. About 45 bulls are expected to be on offer.
Elders Kingston SE conducted the sale.