THE top buyer at this year's Southern Charolais Breeders Group Sale at Yea has praised the impressive pedigree of his bull purchase after paying $24,000 for Challambi Rover.
Buyer Roderick Binny, Glenlea Beef, Coffs Harbour, NSW, said he had been watching the bull since it had been promoted in a spring brochure and specifically came from interstate to purchase him.
"Apricot Charolais are very much in demand in the northern market, with 90 per cent of my sales up in Queensland, Mr Binny said.
"This bull is homozygous polled so he's going to have no horns, which is pretty much a criteria these days."
He said the quality of the bull justified its high price.
"Phenotypically he's a big, strong, long bull with a very fine hair coat which is important in northern markets, along with a tidy underline and big testicles," he said.
"He has a big stride on him so his progeny will cover the ground and he's not muscle bound and tight.
"He's a classic northern bull, then he's still got the best in front of him, growing up to be a big bull and I'll use him specifically over females who are a little bit more moderate, because he'll give them a bit of a lift and stretch."
He said he was hoping to sell many sons of the bull through Queensland and north-coast NSW and would "be used over bos indicus-influenced females".
"My stud operation includes almost 1000 Charolais cows across several geographic locations and we have three bull sales ourselves in Queensland where we will sell 200 bulls in total," he said.
"Another female sale is also going to happen in Scone, NSW, as well, so this bull will do well for our production."
The bull had figures of +15 kilograms 200-day-weight, +34kg for 400-day weight and +48kg for 600-day weight, as well as an eye muscle area of +3.7.
Vendor Nigel Spink, Challambi Charolais, Tooma, NSW, said he was pleased that all three of his bulls on offer sold.
"We have retained 100 straws of semen in this top-priced bull to use in our herd as well and throughout the future to get those genetics through," Mr Spink said.
But despite the big sale, the auction only saw 15 bulls sold from 40 lots with a total average of $7300 for the bulls.
The next-highest selling bull was Lot 32, Airle Rader, bought for $9500 by K & K Hendry, Kyneton, who also bought Lot 36, Airlie Radar, for $5000.
Southern Charolais Breeders Group Sale committee chair Col Pickering, Chenu Charolais, Bridgewater, had mixed feelings on how the sale went.
"The top was our highest ever, but overall, I thought there would have been a better clearance across the board because we had a really good line up of bulls and it's disappointing to see not as many sell," Mr Pickering said.
"We hope to move a few more at the back which is always the case when these things happen, but we'd rather them sell in the ring."
Nutrien south-east Victoria stud stock manager Ray Atwell agreed the sale had been a little disappointing overall.
"People were very selective and there wasn't the demand that there has been in recent years here," Mr Atwell said.
"There were limited buyers looking for quality bulls, and a very selective amount of buyers had more interest in the females on offer which I really can't find a reason for."
In contrast to the bulls, all six females at the sale sold to an average of $4583.
The top Charolais female was Lot 46, Clarinda Imperator Maind 2nd, sold for $6500 to an AuctionsPlus buyer in Horsham.
Mr Spink said there there was a benefit to purchasing Charolais bulls at the moment, despite good interest in females at the sale.
"Many of the females did sell better than many of the bulls but I think the Charolais bulls here still have good benefits to any breeder that buys them," he said.
There was a small number of volume buyers at the sale keen on females.
D & H Wigg, Maffra, purchased three females and one bull - Lot 41, Clarinda Imperator Dianna 2nd, for $4000, Lot 42, Chenu Pussycat 112, for $4500, and Lot 45, Clarinda Easy S6, for $5000, while the bull, Lot 8, Clarinda Ismeal R56, was also bought for $5000.
Noel Taylor, Campbells Creek also bought two females and a bull - Lot 43, Chenu Kelly 24, for $4500 and Lot 44, Clarinda Imperator Brie 3rd also for $4500 while the bull, Lot 4, Challambi Roberto was bought for $8000.
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