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Arkle Angus bulls top at $27,000 as new WA average price record hits $15,551

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Bob GarnantCountryman
With the equal $27,000 top-priced bull, Arkle Paratrooper S10, were Nutrien Livestock Esperance agent Barry Hutcheson, Arkle Farms principals Deidre and Paul Cowan, of Munglinup, buyer Luke Bairstow, of Arizona Farm in Lake Grace, and Nutrien Livestock southern manager Bob Pumphrey.
Camera IconWith the equal $27,000 top-priced bull, Arkle Paratrooper S10, were Nutrien Livestock Esperance agent Barry Hutcheson, Arkle Farms principals Deidre and Paul Cowan, of Munglinup, buyer Luke Bairstow, of Arizona Farm in Lake Grace, and Nutrien Livestock southern manager Bob Pumphrey. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Munglinup-based Arkle Angus stud’s annual On-property Bull and Female Sale reached an equal top-price of $27,000 and set a new WA record average price of $15,551 for a total clearance of 69 bulls.

Arkle Angus was established in 2020 and is owned by Paul and Deidre Cowan and their daughter Siobhan Solway and her husband William Solway.

In just three short years, after securing the Kojonup-based Cherylton Angus stud herd in January 2020, Arkle has set a new WA record average price ($15,551) for a single vendor sale, breaking the former record of $14,550, set in 2022 by Bremer Bay-based Coonamble Angus stud

Arkle studmaster Ms Solway said she attributed the success to “moving forward and constantly improving”.

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“We are offering the genetics most suited to our clients’ requirements,” she said.

This year’s sale, held in Arkle’s newly built selling complex on February 10 and conducted by Nutrien Livestock and interfaced with AuctionsPlus, brought a big crowd, including 56 registered buyers, with results certainly passing the three-year business test.

Nutrien Livestock Esperance agent Barry Hutcheson said it offered a “progression of Angus genetics” into WA’s cattle industry.

The sale was also very generous in raising $13,000 from the sale of a charity bull (lot one), with all proceeds donated to local St John volunteer emergency medical services.

Mr Cowan said St John volunteer first responders were “the most unrecognised in the community”.

St John emergency medical technician Niki Crane said the money would be used to bolster services to the community.

Equal-topping the sale at $27,000, Arkle Paratrooper S24, sold to repeat buyer Andrew Bott, who trades as Bott Livestock in Esperance.

“This bull was my first pick for its length and 200-day weight (+56),” he said.

“We’re increasing from 500 to 1000 Angus breeders by 2025 and want to provide good quality calves for clients who feedlot-finish.”

Mr Bott paid the $29,000 top price at last year’s Arkle sale, securing his first Millah Murrah Paratrooper P15 son after the Arkle owners paid $160,000 for the sire from the NSW-based Millah Murrah stud in September 2019.

Paratrooper P15 goes back to US sire EF Commando 1366, and was out of Millah Murrah Ela M9 — and its progeny have been recorded to be infused into 179 registered Angus herds.

Mr Bott’s purchase of Arkle Paratrooper S24 comes with above-average growth, with Estimated Breeding Values of +56, +97 and +126 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights and also positive figures of +3.4 for eye muscle area, +0.2 for rib fat, +0.4 in rump fat and a +1.9 for intermuscular fat.

He also secured three other MM Paratrooper P15 sons for $20,000, $18,000 and $17,000.

First-time Arkle Angus buyer Luke Bairstow, who trades as Arizona Farms in Lake Grace, secured the other $27,000 top-priced bull, Arkle Paratrooper S10.

This son of MM Paratrooper P15 recorded EBVs of +3 birth weight and growth figures of +53, +97 and +123 for 200, 400 and 600-day weights.

Mr Bairstow, who was assisted by Nutrien Livestock southern manager Bob Pumphrey, said the bull represented outcross genetics for his family’s Angus herd of 1200 breeders.

“He will be the first Paratrooper to run in our herd,” Mr Bairstow said.

“We will put him over some of our 240 recently drafted heifers.

“This bull is a good square type and he will contribute good genetic gain and conformation into our herd.”

The sale offered and sold 39 MM Paratrooper P15 sons, with prices ranging from a high of $27,000 to a low of $13,000 for a total average price of $17,692/head.

John Locke, who has attended all three Arkle sales and trades as Adina Grazing in Merivale, secured a Paratrooper son for the second equal top-price of $23,000 to work in his family’s pure Angus herd of 2200 breeders.

“We have been breeding Angus since 1961,” he said.

“I selected this bull for its calving ease and he will be mated to some of our 400 heifers.

“At 84 years of age, I am too old to be pulling calves.”

Mr Locke said he sold off calves to feedlots at 10-15 months old.

The other equal-second top-price $23,000 Paratrooper son sold to the Blyth family, who trade as MJ Blyth & Co in Manypeaks.

Rebecca and Jeff Blyth, who run about 650 Angus breeders, secured their first Paratrooper bulls at Arkle, which were selected for muscle and good growth figures.

The couple bought four MM Paratrooper P15 son,s including the charity bull, for an average price of $15,000, and they also paid the $13,000 equal-second top-price for an Arkle PTIC female and calf unit.

The 2016-drop cow, Cherylton Pleasant M70, was sired by Coonamble H176 and out of Cherylton Pleasant K92.

Ms Blyth said M70 had a big frame and a nice bull calf-at-foot.

Arkle offered 17 stud cow and calf units, with 13 sold for an average price of $8000/unit.

Monjingup Angus stud principal Wes Graham, who trades as WJ & FJ Graham in Esperance, secured one of the $14,000 equal top-priced cow and calf units.

He also bought two other cow and calf units paying $13,000 and $6000.

Mr Graham earlier secured a bull, Arkle Powerpoint S47, for $22,000, as a return buyer of both bulls and females.

Volume buyer of 21 bulls was Northern Australia Pastoral Company, assisted by Pemberton-based Independent Rural Agents assessor Colin Thexton.

A Northern Australia Pastoral Company representative said the bulls would go into an Angus cross Bos Indicus commercial enterprise consisting of three stations in Northern Queensland.

Mr Cowan said the overall sale result was “fantastic”.

“We have had great feedback on our bulls and females, and our family is proud to bring first-class genetics to WA producers,” he said.

“This year, we sold many bulls to south-coast producers and expanded our sales to the Eastern States.”

Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Neil Brindley said it was an excellent sale.

“It represented a quality offering of genetics and showed the commitment the Arkle owners have to the industry,” he said.

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