- 99 offered and sold, av $5048, top $17,500
The $17,500 sale of a cow with calf at foot at Ayrvale Angus' stud dispersal last Friday had principal Richard White brimming with pride.
Fifteen years on from when Ayrvale Angus was founded with the purchase of four cows with calves, Mr White began the first stage of the stud dispersal and said he was "pleased but not surprised" by the prices.
"I've been breeding some high indexing animals for a long time so I knew the value in the animals," he said.
"It was just a matter of getting everyone together and giving people an opportunity to see the animals and the value in them."
Due to stringent COVID-19 restrictions, the sale was run entirely online with a live auctioneer running the bidding just as if it was a conventional on-property sale at Ayrvale Angus' Ballarat farm.
The buyers responded well, and Ayrvale's cattle will find new homes as far south as Launceston, Tasmania, and north as Warwick, Queensland.
The sale-topping Lot 10 comprised of three-year-old Ayrvale Nickel N75PV HION75, with four-month-old bull sired by GAR Phoenix at foot.
The cow's Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) put her in the top 1 per cent for 200, 400 and 600-day growth weights, scrotal, carcase weight and all indexes, as well as the top 5pc for retail beef yield, and the top 10pc for milk and eye muscle.
There were 54 bids on the outstanding set, including "fierce competition from some some big-name studs", Mr white said. The cow and calf were knocked down to John Fleming, Wagga Wagga, for $17,500.
The top cow was Lot 80, Strathewen Regent Mittagong J23PV VSNJ23, the 7yo dam of the sale-topping Lot 10.
Described as a "star donor cow", in the top 1pc for all indexes, Lot 80 attracted 36 bids before selling for $15,500 to Nick Moyle, Pathfinder Angus, Gazette.
"Lot 80's an exceptional cow that we bought a few years ago and her EBVs have got better better with time. She's currently number two for heavy grain index - she's quite an elite animal," Mr White said.
At $15,250, Lot 64, Ayrvale Popular P26PV HIOP26, was the top-priced heifer of the sale. The rising two year old, P26PV was PTIC and ranked in the top 1pc for marbling, Angus Breeding and heavy grain indexes.
She and a yearling, Lot 94, were bought by Greg White, Robrick Lodge Thoroughbreds, Parkville, NSW, who is no relation to Ayrvale's Richard White.
A horse breeder, Mr White said he was looking to build two small mobs of Angus and Hereford cattle.
"I'm trying to put a really nice Angus mob of about 40 cows and the same for Herefords," he said.
"I'm 60 now and I'd like to have really nice cattle for a change."
Mr White said he already had an excellent bull with Bartel blood, so sought different pedigrees at the dispersal sale and Lot 64, a Strathewen Regent H70 heifer out of a Africa/Mytty In Focus donor cow, fitted the bill.
He'd had two agents check the heifer's suitability and they'd both provided "glowing reports".
"Hopefully she can gallop, and if she can't gallop, hopefully she can produce," the horse breeder said.
"We're having fun setting this up and I do believe we'll be able to breed some quality cattle that we can pay a couple of wages with, do justice to our land values and enjoy having quality animals on farm."
Even so, Mr White said he had no intention of starting his own cattle stud.
Of his own plans, Ayrvale's Richard White said he was dispersing the stud to better manage his workload, as family and a career in the mines stretched his time.
The final and second stage of the dispersal will be held in October and will feature about 30 bulls and 25 unjoined yearling heifers.
"There will be embryo brothers of the some of the high-priced Q heifers that sold on Friday, so there'll be an opportunity to get the male equivalents and the last of our high-indexing heifers," Mr White said.
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