$18,000 twice for Coonamble females

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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One of WA's most outstanding line-ups of Angus stud females went under the hammer last week, setting the benchmark for the breed's maternal domination of the State's cattle industry.

The sale resulted in two equal top prices of $18,000 and a record average of $8039. The previous standalone State record top price was held by Mordallup Angus stud when it sold a heifer in 2006 for $18,000.

Landmark auctioneer John Wirth said the Coonamble Angus female reduction sale, held on-property in Bremer Bay, was a rare opportunity.

"It follows the stud's WA record breaking average bull sale in February," he said.

"It was the first time the Davis family has offered females in numbers and will most likely be the last time. Their cattle are known for longevity and are certainly very honest types - with great do-ability off grass fed-only."

A crowd of 39 registered buyers showed plenty of optimism, with strong bidding throughout the catalogue of 81 pregnancy-tested-in-calf cows.

While a syndicate headed by Cherylton Angus stud principal Mike Cameron, of Kojonup, equalled the $18,000 State record for an Angus female, it was single investor Gavin Russell, of Callanish stud, Thomson Brook, who set the precedent.

So rich was the sale that Mr Russell also purchased an equal $18,000 top-priced female, buying a total of five cows for an average price of $12,000.

The two buyers' top-priced PTIC cows (a six and a five-year-old) were both sired by Te Mania Ada A149 and out of Coonamble Y12.

Coonamble studmaster Murray Davis said Y12 was the soundest cow represented in the catalogue.

Mr Russell, a first-time buyer of Coonamble genetics, said the opportunity was too good to miss.

"I am very familiar to Coonamble cattle and there is no worry about structure and feet - just very honest Angus," he said.

Mr Russell said the cows would be used in a small nucleus to produce bulls and replacement heifers for his family's 500-head commercial herd.

"We sell seven to eight-month-old pure Angus and Charolais crossbred steers into the Boyanup saleyards," he said.

"It is encouraging that so many market options have opened up for beef cattle. The industry has certainly turned the corner."

Mr Cameron, who spoke for the undisclosed other buyers of the syndicate, said they were selecting strictly on phenotype and progeny performance.

The group bought a total of nine females for an average price of $11,778 a head.

Their $17,500 second top-priced female was sired by Coonamble Z3, the sire of Coonamble Elevator E11, a bull that sold for $50,000.

The group's Landmark agent, Chris Waddingham, said it was an opportunity to improve the syndicate's genetic base.

"The Coonamble herd has a wonderful reputation and this sale represents an opportunity to have access to all the hard work that Coonamble studmaster Murray Davis has contributed over so many years," he said.

Other stud interests came from Jutland Park Red Angus, of Serpentine, with principals Guy and Pat Jellicoe buying two cows for $14,500 and $8000, both carrying the red gene.

White Valley Red Angus stud principal Alf Lorkiewicz, of Dardanup, was a first-time buyer and bid on lot one for $13,500.

"I got in early and found a bargain," he said. "The cow carries the red gene and has good milk and growth figures."

Tony and Karen Golding, of Little Meadows stud, Dardanup, paid $12,500 for a BT Right Time 24J-sired female among their four cow purchases.

Trading as Bilara Pty Ltd, relatively new beef cattle entrant Jim Moore, of Sheron Farms, Benger, was a volume buyer at Coonamble's female sale. Mr Moore also attended the Strathtay Angus dispersal in 2014 and bought 98 females.

His farm manager, Steven Elliot, said the stud herd now stood at 180 breeders and was building with the additional 13 cows they bought from Coonamble.

Mr Moore bought to a top of $16,000 and average price of $8769.

"The Coonamble females represent a new line for Sheron Farms," Mr Elliot said.

Landmark Livestock bought a total of 14 females for an undisclosed buyer, paying to a top of $15,000 and average price of $7214.

Recent Coonamble bull buying clients, the Barstow family, of Arizona Farms, Lake Grace bought a total of 13 females for an average price of $4231.

"With fewer Coonamble bulls on the market in future years to come, we decided to pump up our nucleus breeding herd," Luke Barstow said.

After the sale, Mr Davis said his family was very pleased with the outcome. "It was very strong from start to finish," he said.

Coonamble Female Reduction Sale *

Offered * 81

Sold *77

Top price *$18,000(2)

Average *$8039

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