Large crowds and high prices set the tone for the first Mountain Calf Sale at Hinnomunjie on Tuesday where genuine weaner calves sold to $1860.
The Sharp Fullgrabe sale offered 1100 mixed-sex cattle from vendors across the Omeo and Benambra district.
Northern demand and competition between Gippsland restockers underpinned the sale, agents said, as buyers put the calculator away and opted to buy on merit, ultimately disregarding the cents a kilogram.
Sharp Fullgrabe director Graeme Fullgrabe said he was blown away by the interest in the sale.
"We worked out some of the smaller calves were way above 700 cents a kilogram," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"We had support from Gunndeah, Tamworth and good support out of Albury and southern NSW.
"We also had a few agents from South Gippsland and we had South Australian blokes who were here but couldn't compete with the rates."
The sale started with two pens of grown steers offered by Don Betts, Benambra, which made $2390 and $2100, respectively.
Mr Betts offered 42 cattle in total including 14 September 2019-drop steers.
Ron and Melissa Johnston, Swifts Creek, sold the third pen of 18 steers for $1770, while Peter and Sue Soutter, Benambra, sold 24 steers for $1770.
The Soutter's pen of steers was named the best-presented pen by Herefords Australia.
Louis and Sharon Pendergast, Benambra, sold the dearest pen of the sale with 16 Charolais steers making $1870.
RT & RL Gilmore sold the dearest pen of black weaners with seven steers making $1860.
Gus and Sandra Crisp, Omeo, and AL Fitzgerald sold the Hereford sale-topping steers with pens of 18 and 16 calves respectively both fetching $1780.
Brian Dyer, Benambra, sold nine steers for $1740 and a further 18 steers for $1750.
The same vendor also sold 14 heifers for $1670.
Mr Fullgrabe said restockers were prepared to pay more than $1500 a head for calves weighing below 200kg.
"The lighter calves of Ronnie Johnston's from Black Camp were the most-improved cattle and the best run of calves we had - they were true to the breed of Hereford cattle," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"Louis and Sharon Pendergast also had a great sale and they were the only vendors with Charolais cattle."
The Pendergasts also sold 15 heifers for $1660 and another 15 for $1590.
G & S Crisp sold 15 heifers for $1640.
Processor and feedlot competition was less prominent than grazier demand due to the high prices.
"It was pleasing to see the top end of the heifers brought by breeders and the smaller cattle went to backgrounders which shows they could compete at the smaller rates," Mr Fullgrabe said.
He said the sale was supported by return volume buyers.
"We had blokes there who have been hanging off the rail for close to 40 years and people come back every year to buy these cattle and that is something we continue to see every sale at Hinnomunjie," Mr Fullgrabe said.