*63 of 65 bulls sold to $42,000, av $12,709
Renowned eastern Victorian Hereford stud Karoonda Park has smashed its previous top-priced record after a bull sold for $42,000 at auction on Tuesday.
The high country stud at Gelantipy sold 63 of its 66 bulls during its annual on-property sale, with the top-priced bull snapped up by a return stud client in NSW.
Karoonda Park Hereford stud co-principal Paul Sykes said after the sale he felt "emotional" by the strong support, mainly from repeat buyers.
"I didn't expect the world, I think it caught me off guard," he said.
"A lot of these people are friends of ours and they have paid a lot of money for these bulls."
In comparison, the stud sold 55 of 57 bulls in 2021 to a top price of $28,000 to average $10,214.
Mr Sykes put the success of the family-run stud down to its reputation for breeding and offering sound cattle which perform in many different environments.
"I think genetically, our cattle are middle of the road," he said.
"We use the best genetics we can find with AI and we aim for that consistency throughout the herd.
"We don't do a big, hard sell at all."
The top-priced horned bull, Lot 2 Karoonda Yoshi, was bought by Lotus Hereford stud, Glen Innes, NSW, via South Gippsland agent and Phelan & Henderson & Co director David Phelan, Staceys Bridge.
Mr Sykes said the bull had benefited from a good season in far East Gippsland, noting none of the bulls were supplementary fed this year off the back of a buoyant season.
"If you go on figures, his birth weight figures are probably too high but he was by a very good lady, he has terrific bone and it's very hard to get bulls with that sort of leg on every corner," he said.
"He's got the hide we need for our people and certainly his temperament is remarkable."
Mr Phelan was the largest volume buyer at the sale and purchased nine bulls for eight clients, including for several South Gippsland cattle graziers.
"Lot 2 is an outstanding calf, he has a great amount of doability (sic) in him, he has a beautiful hide in him and he's got a butt end in him as good as the bloke talking to you," Mr Phelan said.
"A wise old man once said, before you buy a bull, have a look at the people who bred him and then you'll know whether you can buy their bulls.
"The temperament of the people, the way they handle themselves and run the show, and how they stand behind every bull that comes in here, shows you can have confidence in these bulls."
Lot 2 was a March 2020-drop bull sired by Emu Holes Murdoch and out of Karoonda Park Marshall.
Lotus Hereford stud also bought Lot 57, Karoonda Yoyst, a half-brother to Lot 2 for $16,000.
Among the other volume buyers was Colin Scott & Co, Hinnomunjie, who bought three bulls for $6000 three times.
Clive and Di Anderson, Benambra, were among the volume buyers with three bulls bought at auction including Lot 36 for $21,000,Lot 49 for $9000 and Lot 69 for $13,000.
Nutrien south east stud stock auctioneer Peter Godbolt said the sale was underpinned by return buyers.
"We had three of four studs that operated and a couple of them have bought from here previously, along with a few new buyers as well," he said.
"The bulls presented magnificently after a very good season here in Gelantipy, straight out of the paddock without supplementary feed."
He said high weaner calf prices and strong demand for cull cows and bulls was having a positive effect on stud sales.
"I wouldn't say it was the figures on this bull that got him over the line," he said.
"It was just the phenotype of the calf because he's very deep sided, he's mean and he has the excellent bone and hindquarter you like to see in a sire, along with a good set of numbers."