A BLEND of return buyers and a few new faces paid to a top of $11,000 on two occasions for bulls at the annual Mount William Charolais bull and heifer sale on Friday.
The 25th on-property production sale saw 30 of 39 bulls average $6400 and 10 of 17 heifers average $3250, with buyers coming from around Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
Mount William stud principal Rob Abbott, Willaura, said the sale was a "buyer's market", with really-good bulls in a $5000-$8000 band that would "do a job and last a long time".
"So the economics of buying Charolais bulls like this is pretty sound," he said.
"I'm happy for my clients that they could buy good bulls today at reasonable levels."
He said the spring of 2023 was dry until 125 millimetres of rain in December kicked things along.
"The rain helped restore confidence and it was pretty widespread which meant we 'got out of jail' with the weaner sales," he said.
"The Charolais-blood weaners weighed well and amazingly they topped some of the sales and matched dollars per head and there wasn't much difference in cents a kilogram with the black cattle - which is really positive."
Joint top-priced bull, Mount William Tug Boat, sold at $11,000, to long-time client Terry Dove, Fargo Minda, Colac.
The March 2022-drop artificial insemination son of JWX Downtown weighed 706 kilograms and had a four-millimetre fat cover at the rump and 3mm at the rib with an eye muscle area (EMA) of 113 square centimetres and intramuscular fat (IMF) of 1.9 per cent.
The same buyer paid $7000 for Lot 21, Mount William Transmitter, a son of Palgrove Nitro, that weighed 711kg and came with figures including 3mm rump cover, 3mm rib cover and an EMA of 105sqcm.
Buyer of the second bull at $11,000 was Rick and Melody Guye, Kotri Beef, Birregurra.
The bull was Lot 23, Mount William Tanzania, a red-factor son of Hannibel.
The April 2022-drop bull weighed 704kg and had figures of 5mm rump cover, 4mm rib cover, an EMA of 120sqcm and IMF of 2.8pc.
Lot 40, Mount William Turnpike, went for $10,000 to volume buyer, PJ & SJ Lenehan.
The red-factor bull by Rosedale Porche weighed 652kg and had figures of 106sqcm EMA and an IMF of 3.1pc.
The same buyer purchased four in-calf heifers to Talgoona Russel, a Rockwood Magic M127 son, for $3000 each.
Lot 37 sold for $9000 to Rosedale Charolais stud, Blayney, NSW.
The bull, Mount William Tandem, is a Rosedale Puma son and whose dam was a Palgrove Hannibal daughter.
The March 2022-drop bull weighed 719kg with an EMA of 109sqcm and IMF of 1.8pc.
Buyers of three bulls at $5000 each were Graham Robinson and Lesley Hasthorpe, Tanjil South.
The couple are working toward a straight-bred Charolais herd and have been buying from Mount William for more than 10 years.
Mr Robinson said they liked the Mount William cattle for their temperament, good feet and ease of calving to produce calves for the weaner market.
Volume buyers included A & C Robertson, Naracoorte, SA, who purchased four bulls at $5000 each.
Buyer of the top-priced female at $4500 was the Rainbow Grange Charolais stud, Campbells Creek.
The March 2022-drop heifer, Mount William Telah, was a artificial insemination heifer by Turnbulls Duty Free, weighing 550kg and in calf to Talgoona Russel.
K & D Palker paid $4000 for Lot 54, Mount William Tinka, a heifer weighing 517kg, sired by Hannibal.
Sophia Greig, Kooringal, Moriac, made a splash, buying her first cattle in the form of three in-calf heifers at $3000 each.
The Ballarat Grammar year 9 student, who attended with her grandfather Chris Davison and mother Claire Greig, is continuing the involvement of her family in the livestock industry that goes back to her great, great, great grandparents whose farm was called Kooringal.
She was keen to get started in the livestock business and the three heifers would remain at Mount William to be calved down.
Claire Creig said the beauty of the day was that Sophia had done the selections herself looking at factors including structure, temperament and femininity.
Sophia said she was enthusiastic about her foray into the livestock industry with a long family history.
She said she hoped the three heifers might produce a steer or heifer that she could show.
Mr Dove has been a supporter of Charolais cattle since they came to Australia and likes the Mount William cattle because they "are so versatile" and fitted his commercial operation.
He said the herd was 95 per cent pure Charolais breeding for sale as weaners.
"Our weaners have gone to the same feedlot buyer for the past 20 years," he said.
"The same people come back because they are very pleased with the article and we have pleased with them."
He said the bull he purchased had "everything - power, muscle, right birth weight" and would complement his program